I really hate marking my quilt-tops for quilting. I’ve used washable markers, and it works, but every time I do it, I hate the feeling that drawing on the quilt gives me. Like I’m ruining it. By the time I’m done quilting and can wash out the marks, I have a bad feeling that all the work will be wasted if the marks don’t come out or return. SO. Freezer paper stencils are my new approach…cheap, easy and no marks on my quilt!
I use Reynolds Freezer Paper that I find at the grocery in the aisle with plastic wrap. If you can’t find it locally, Amazon delivers! Freezer paper has a paper side, which looks dull, and a waxy side, which shines. When you lay the freezer paper shiny side down on cotton, and iron with a hot iron, the paper sticks. The best part…the paper can be easily pulled off the fabric without damage, and often, re-used several times.
For this small wall quilt, I cut 2″ squares from the freezer paper and pressed one square at the center of each block. I stitched along the edge of the stencil, then I outlined that stitch by stitching another square, using the edge of my machine foot to measure the distance from the last stitch, and turning on the seams.
At first, I ironed on 3 squares at a time, and the stencils did stay attached throughout the quilting of all 3 squares. However, I did eventually choose to iron and sew one block at a time. It was worth the few extra seconds at the ironing table in between sewing to roll the excess quilt to fit in the machine (instead of wadding and stuffing it every time). Each to your own preference on work flow!