Friday, June 28, 2013

Freezer Paper Shrinks!

Who knew!? No, Seriously who knew!?  Well, not me and I had to learn the hard way…let me tell you how it happened…

I’ve recently been hand-piecing a sampler quilt for a class I’m teaching in the autumn.  I’ve hand-pieced before, mainly Dear Jane blocks, but this is the first time I’ve pieced larger blocks measuring 12” finished.  As I’ve always used freezer paper as my templates with great success I have gone about the procedure in the same fashion…tracing the template shapes to freezer paper and then ironing them to the back of the fabric, marking the stitching line etc… 

Most of the blocks I’ve done up to now have been simple enough, but last night I pieced a more complicated block and left it on the ironing board to be checked over in the morning.  Imagine my surprise when I measured the block this morning and realized it wasn’t 12” finished…how could it be?  After scratching my head for a bit, DD1 and I surmised that it might have something to do with the templates.  So I got my templates out and compared them to the original pattern and to my horror some of the 6” edges were no longer 6” but 5 7/8”!  Could the freezer paper have shrunk? YES!  After a quick google search I discovered that heat and steam can drastically shrink freezer paper particularly in one direction. 

So I did a test and cut a 7” square of freezer paper and got the iron on it and wouldn’t you know one side had shrunk by 1/8”.  So what is the solution?

Well, from what I can work out..if you preshrink* the paper before drawing your templates and keep to a dry iron it should all be ok.  I’ve done that and have another block prepped, so I’ll let you know how that works. 

*Lisa asked a good question in the comments…how do you preshrink freezer paper?

  • Place your freezer paper, shiny side down, on your ironing surface or applique pressing sheet.
  • Press each section of the freezer paper with the iron for 5-10 seconds using the Cotton setting with a dry iron (no steam).
  • Lift the freezer paper from the ironing surface and then set it back down. Press a second time.
Until next time...♥

10 comments:

Katie said...

Horrors! Thanks for sharing your discovery.

simplebirdapplique.com said...

We learned about freezer paper shrinking at a class with Pearl Pierra. She recommends pre-shrinking it before using. Thanks for reminding me!!

black bear cabin said...

so how do you pre-shrink freezer paper?

Leanne said...

Thanks for that bit of info I just have to remember it.

Kathie said...

wow I had no idea.....thanks I will keep this in mind now
Kathie

Shirley said...

I am thinking that has happened to me. Most of my Farmer's Wife blocks are different sizes and I used freezer paper templates. That could be why. I will spread the word.

Ali said...

I often wonder if freezer paper is used for anything else (freezing related perhaps?) as I have only ever seen it used for quilting. If just for quilting why is it called freezer paper???

Teje Karjalainen said...

Well, once I'm not in trouble because can't find freezer paper here - I have just learnt to use the normal paper! Great tip for those who use the fr. paper. x Teje

Rose Marie said...

That was an interesting discovery .... many thanks for sharing!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow. I always knew my paper wrinkled a bit, but never thought about it shrinking. Thanks for a great tip!