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Thread: Leaving the paper in on Paper Piecing?????

  1. #1
    Super Member urgodschild2's Avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Leaving the paper in on Paper Piecing?????

    I just have to ask this. I am new at paper piecing and I bought the freezer paper. Now that I have it I don't know what to do with it. I did put 4 small pieces together to make a template and that worked out really nice. But I hear people saying that they leave the paper in. ?????? What does that do to your quilt when you wash it?????? Shouldn't it be removed????? Also, do you iron on the freezer paper to the back of your material and then cut out your pattern with the 1/4 " added on???? OH I also bought some paper from Soft Expressions that is made for Paper Piecing and it worked out fine but i was curious about the ironing on of the freezer paper and so I bought that. thanks for all your help in advance.
    Dreaming of New England while being stuck in So. Calif.(the asphalt jungle of the world.) But hey the Happiest Place on Earth is here.

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Aug 2011
    Louisville, KY
    I'll be looking for answers too!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sturbridge, Ma
    if you don't take the freezer paper out then when washed it will leave that plastic stuff in your quilt as well as the heavier paper. Piecing with paper only is the foundation and to me should be removed when it has served it's purpose.

  4. #4
    Senior Member heyjami's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    I always take my paper out for paper piecing. I do often leave the block with the paper in tact to use the marked seams when I piece the top together. But then I take it out before sandwiching.

    I love PP - it makes it look like I'm a MUCH better piecer than I am! :-)
    I'm now venturing into HST and I've found that PP gave me some wonderful scant 1/4" habits. I have a little bit to shore up but compared to last year's piecing I've improved so much!

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southeast Wisconsin
    The usual recommendation for paper piecing is to leave the paper until your blocks are assembled. You would then take them out before quilting. (I usually remove as I go.)

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    There is a type of paper you can leave in, it feels like paper but when washed turns to tissue thin poly fabric. Also there is paper that will dissolve in water for paper piecing. I use vellum. It works the best for me and easy to remove. Newsprint is good. Any paper that will go through a printer is what you need to try. I use waxed deli paper for foundation piecing because it comes pre cut in in the size I like to use. Foundation piecing does not have a pattern on the paper to follow. Usually used for strip piecing making string blocks.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    When Paper piecing with freezer paper you do NOT stitch through the paper when peicing. The technique I know is you stitch your design on the paper using an unthreaded needle. When you go peice you iron your first fabric unit to the shiney side of the freezer paper, then you add the next peice of fabric to it, right sides together. FOLD the freezer paper back along the preforated line you stitched out previously, then stitch right next to the paper. Open your unit, press, unfold the paper over your newly pressed unit and continue in the same manner with your next piece.
    Here is a good step by step tutorial with pictures: http://www.twiddletails.com/store/in...age=page&id=21
    I can't imagine using freezer paper to do traditional paper piecing. In both cases, the paper is removed before sandwiching and quilting.

    Actually when I do the freezer paper method I peel off the paper as soon as my unit is done because you can reuse the pattern piece up to 8 times before it quits sticking.

    Like BellaBoo, my preferred paper for traditional PP is Vellum. But I have also use newsprint and plain old copy paper.

    When cutting out my fabric units I add 1/2" or more to all sides just to be on the safe side and ensure my unit will cover all the parts it is supposed to.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 01-25-2012 at 10:12 AM. Reason: to add link to tutorial

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Using regular paper for paper piecing or using freezer paper are two different techniques. I wasn't aware that anyone does leave their paper in anymore. I know some antique quilts had the newspaper left in. Here is a freezer paper tutorial. Have fun.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2010
    Lived in San Diego now retired in Eagar, AZ.
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    no, of course i wouldn't want to leave in something that kept my quilt from being soft to the touch... think about the end product... and as for processes... there are as many ways to PP as there are quilters... we all do it a bit different...
    i make a normal copier copy and then a freezer paper copy.... the copy paper for me is just a permanent map.
    I cut my freezer paper into 8.5 x 11 pcs and send them thru my printer (i make all the copies in my printer, so i can have more any time i want. when doing this, draw your design (easy enough to do for most PP blocks are all straight lines....
    draw a 1" square somewhere in your pattern, it doesn't matter where, anywhere.... now print a copy....
    measure the square.... if it is a teeny smaller than 1" print another copy at 1.1% (available choice on your Print Page).... if it is a bit bigger.... try printing again at .9%.... then you move to .92 or .94.... when you get the % absolutely correct, mark it on your pattern so you won't forget what you used. many of YOUR printer adjustments will be the same, but maybe not, doesn't matter because you will have it on your permanent pattern (the copy paper version)...
    when it is perfect, print your freezer paper version.... as many as you need... now cut them all apart (WITH NO SEAM ALLOWANCES) and take them and your stash to an ironing board....
    press each pc of freezer paper onto a scrap and move on...
    when you have a bunch pressed on, you can either trim or sew and trim...
    you will take pcs 1 and 2 and hold them up to a light and match their straight sides... sew (this will happen right along the edge of the freezer paper, WHICH HAS NO SEAM ALLOWANCE... there are on the fabric, but not the paper.
    take #3 and rep...til you're done...
    when finished with block, press and put aside, taking the next 1 and 2 and doing the whole thing again...
    I prefer to iron everything on for this batch (i do a 'bunch' then i do another step, then press on another bunch) and then i trim all the seams. That way, i'm not trying to trim seams that may have cross seams over them.
    One friend of mine just gets them close when choosing her scraps and puts the two pcs in a pile for pressing later, being careful not get them separated.
    A third friend trims each seam with scissors as she sews... i never use scissors that much any more, but all of us just do it a bit differently...

    this way the paper keeps you from having to be exact or straight with the fabric cutting... close is good enough because you are only going by the paper... then when i'm ready to sew one block to another, i pull the paper away... very little of it is in the seam (remember, NO SEAM ALLOWANCE)... so it peels right off.

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    I have used freezer paper to use as a guide for a pp pattern but as someone already wrote, I do not sew through the paper. I use the zipper foot to align agains the next line and sew against the paper. Then I open the pattern by the next segment and keep working that way. Personally, I find freezer paper too rigid for pp. Plus, when I use regular paper I can use a little spritz of water to help get the paper off - that won't work with freezer paper.

    If you use freezer paper and you plan to sew through the paper, make sure to decrease your stitch length (actually that is a guideline for all pp)

    As for ironing the fabric on the freezer paper, I would find that bothersome because you generally have to trim part of the overlap (paper-pieced fabric scraps are usually not precut to size) and if they are ironed onto the paper, you need to then peel it off.

    The pp patterns often show the 1/4" edge which you need to sew the blocks together. If you have paper on both blocks all the way to the edge, that is quite a bit of paper to have to peel off the joint seam.

    Good luck
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

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