Thursday, 15 August 2013

Paper Piecing Diagonals: Using freezer paper templates

As promised, a little technique for making diagonals easier when paper piecing.   We've all had that moment when we have joined a piece of fabric to a diagonal seam on a paper piecing project only to open it out and find that it is too small despite using a massive piece of fabric!  A way round this is to make a quick freezer paper template of the pattern piece. This technique also works for adding specific sections of fabric/fussy cutting.  I think Cindy first suggested this method to me for which I am profoundly grateful!   To see how this works I am using Chic from the 'Get Your Geek On' pattern set, there are diagonals galore!
 As foundation paper piecing means that you work from the back of the finished block, it can get confusing where there are diagonal seams and you have to check each piece of fabric to make sure that when opened out that there is sufficient coverage.  So instead of cutting chunks of fabric in the hope they will fit, instead, trace the paper pattern roughly onto freezer paper.  Remember to transfer the letter and number labels from the pattern and straight grain line arrows help too.
Cut out freezer paper pieces, and iron to the reverese of the desired fabric, in this case a background print.  Leaving the freezer paper on the fabric, cut out leaving a 1/2" seam allowance all round.  This generous amount gives you a little wiggle room.
Place on to your foundation pattern and sew as you usually would, it helps to leave the freezer paper on to identify the pieces as you go.
You can see how the fabric for piece A3 is ample size and opens out to cover the area and the 1/4" seam allowance with a little extra left over.
 This technique saves time overall as you shouldn't need to unpick and pieces because they are too small and to be honest I do this every time with diagonals- even if it is just making a quick freezer paper template for a single piece.  I hope that helps!


  1. So simple and yet so clever! Thank you and thanks to Cindy too. I can see how this will work far better for tricky pieces than my current 'eyeballing it' method.

    1. I agree with you Cindy, such a great tip from Kerry!

  2. Granny Maude's girl was good enough to send me over as I was having a rough time wrapping my head around paper piecing, I think your tip will give me some help - thx!

  3. This is awesome, thanks for writing the tutorial!

    1. No problem, we know from experience this is a tricky area for lots of piecers


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