Nancy Rink Blog

Quilt maker, pattern designer, fabric dyer, and lover of all things quilting.

Tweet Friends Quilt Along Post 5: Freezer Paper and Starch Applique



Technique: How to use freezer paper and starch for applique'


Here is what you need:

Freezer Paper

Starch (I prefer Best Press because it leaves no starch residue or flakes)

Paint or stencil brush.  A cotton swab also works in a jam.

Sharp pencil


Awl or something pointy


Firm pressing surface

Glue (Aleene's glue pen or Roxanne's with an applicator)


Here is what to do:


1. Using a sharp pencil, trace all of the applique shapes onto the freezer paper.  Layer the sheet of traced shapes onto another sheet of freezer paper.  Both sheets should be paper side up. Press sheets together.  Scribble all over the freezer paper with a highlighter. In the photo below, I labeled each piece instead. You can do that too. The highlighter helps you tell the right/paper side from the wrong/shiny side. There is nothing more annoying than picking little freezer paper pieces off of the sole plate of an iron. Trust me, I have done it far too many times. It took me far too long to figure out the highlighter thing.

2. Cut out the templates.  Press to the wrong side of the fabric and cut out leaving between a 1/8"-1/4" seam allowance.

Here are all my pieces for the Happy Garden block. Some of them have already been starched and turned.




3. Pour a small amount of liquid starch in a small jar or saucer. Take the stencil brush and dip it in the starch. Using the artist brush, wet the seam allowance with the starch. (these hearts are from Block #2)


4. Use the awl/pointy thing to fold and hold the allowance over the template’s edge while ironing with the min-iron. The iron will dry and press the allowance to the freezer paper side.  Be careful with your fingers—the mini-iron can get very hot!  

Continue working around the shape until the turn under allowance is all flipped and the starch has dried from ironing.  Clip the allowance as needed. If you are not pleased with how the shape looks, reapply some starch and start again. 



5. Place small dabs of glue on the seam allowance as shown. Position in place on the background patch and allow to dry. Appliqué by hand using a matching thread or by machine using clear thread and a small zigzag stitch.





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