Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Appliqué with freezer paper and starch

Many of you asked about the method I'm using to prepare my Orange Peel appliqué pieces, so here you go...

I have 6 blocks done and I'm happy with how it's looking so far. The days start getting shorter, and many evenings are spent in front of the TV doing some relaxing hand sewing. I like having my pieces ready to go.

Start by tracing your pattern {I used this one} onto a piece of freezer paper. Before cutting it out, iron the traced piece on to a second piece of freezer paper - shiny side to dull side. This gives you an extra thick template to fold the edges against.

To cut out my fabrics, I made a second single layer freezer paper template and ironed it on to my fabric.  I layered four fabrics together and cut around the template about 1/4". This doesn't have to be exact.

Spray some heavy duty spray starch into a cup. {Magic sizing doesn't work as well and Best Press doesn't work at all} Let the foam evaporate.

With a dry iron, press your double layer freezer paper template on to the wrong side of the fabric.

Use a small paint brush to moisten one side of the petal's seam allowance with starch. Use your iron to turn under the seam allowance and press dry.

Repeat on the second half of the petal.

A little bit of seam allowance will peek out at the point. Just tuck this under later as you appliqué.

Once everything is pressed dry, remove the freezer paper and press the appliqué piece one more time. The freezer paper can be used over and over as long as you make sure it's dry each time. I've used mine 15-20 times before making a new one.

My background fabric is cut 10" {finishing at 9 1/2"}. By creasing it diagonally in both directions, I have a line to position my petals. My petals don't touch in the center, nor will they touch when the blocks are sewn together. I thought it would be easier to purposely have them not touch.

I'm hand appliquéing them by pinning them in place with tiny appliqué pins, then stitching with an invisible stitch using fine silk thread. Any fine thread that matches the color of your appliqué piece will work.

The trick to getting an invisible stitch is to come up from the back, catching just a few threads on the folded edge of the appliqué. Then go back down into the background at exactly the point where your thread came up through the fold of the appliqué. Come back up about 1/16"-1/8" from the previous stitch through the background and the folded edge of the appliqué. When you come to the point where a bit of the seam allowance is sticking out, just push it under with your needle and finish stitching.

Here's what the back looks like...

Let me know if you have any questions!!


  1. So Amazing!!! I am always so impressed with everything you do :) I love the colors of this quilt as well as the last quilt that was posted. You are so inspirational, thank you for sharing always :)

  2. These are lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, Im in awe. Your stitches are neat and tiny. And Id have never thought to put the 2nd freezer paper on top of the one to make it stronger and durable. And spray from the spray can into a cup? DUH? WOW! Smart!

    Im going to be brave and start on my applique project that Ive been too unsure of. I lacked the confident but thanks so much for sharing and Im feeling confident to get started.

    Thank you

  4. Great instructions....thanks, Cindy! The double layer of paper is new to me.

  5. Thank you so much for instruction. Fabulous!!

  6. Wow, your stitches are crazy good! I love this pattern and thanks for the tutorial on this technique!

  7. Awesome stitching. Starch and template is probably my favorite method of applique although I have been known to needle turn depending on the design. I love the modern colors of this quilt. Can't wait to see it complete.

  8. Another stunner is in the making. Can't wait to see the completed project. Thanks for the tute.

  9. It's gonna be lovely! My Mom is quilting her orange peel quilt (she machine appliqued after hand basting the edges down) that she made with mostly my scraps. I can't wait to see yours finished; I do love this pattern!

  10. Awesome! This is definitely on my "to do" list!

  11. Cindy, I'm new to your blog as well as an aspiring quilter. Thank you for your fabulous tutorial & bit of eye candy (your finished orange peel quilt is stunning). I'm bookmarking your blog post for future reference. :)

  12. Cindy, I'm new to your blog as well as an aspiring quilter. Thank you for your fabulous tutorial & bit of eye candy (your finished orange peel quilt is stunning). I'm bookmarking your blog post for future reference. :)

  13. could not find pattern for orange peel


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