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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Papercut Appliqué Blocks Using Freezerpaper

For Mrs. Iwata's gift, I chose to make an applique pillow. I used my favourite applique method, in which a papercut freezer paper pattern  is ironed on to the top of the applique fabric and pinned into place on the background fabric.

The book that I took down off the shelf was "Papercuts and Plenty" by Elly Sienkiewicz which has a wealth of patterns to choose from.

Taking a large square of freezer paper, fold carefully into quarters, taking care to match edges and making a crisp fold (remember your origami skills?) Then fold into eighths...

Many people then label the centre and edge of the folded paper, to aid in the tracing and cutting. If you orient the paper wrongly, the papercut will fall apart, as we have all experienced!

Unfold the paper and lay down on the pattern with glossy side downwards. Match up the creases with the edges of the marked pattern. I chose this pattern but please note - it is NOT a beginner's choice as the seam allowances are very small - better to choose a simpler pattern if you have not done this before! Trace the pattern onto the dull, matt side of the paper with a pencil.

Refold the paper, the drawn pattern should be outermost. Staple the shapes so that the paper does not shift during the cutting.

Then cut out the paper pattern - remove staples and unfold your papercut pattern...

For my applique fabric I chose some hand-dyed Kona Cotton pfd fabric - I dyed a lot of this at one point, especially greens, and still have quite a stash left! It is crumple dyed, which leads to interesting mottled effects. Carefully iron the freezer paper pattern onto the right side of your chosen fabric - flip over and iron from the back as well to make sure that the pattern is on securely...

Centre the applique fabric onto your background fabric and smooth out - then carefully pin the shapes. The fabric appears rumpled due to the number of pins - but will lie flat on the completion of the applique...

This method of applique is known as "needleturn applique" and is very easy to do once you get the hang of it. The edge of the paper pattern is an easy guide to the applique and peels off afterwards. Trimming the fabric a little at a time, so that there is a small turning allowance, the needle sweeps the excess fabric under so that it can be whip stitched in place. I use a quilting needle - your thumb and fingers act as a vise, pinching a fold in the fabric (once it looks about right) and holding it in place as you stitch. As I am right handed, I work from right to left, using fine tacking stitches in a matching coloured thread.

Here is the partly completed block - I purposely used quite a large background square, so that I will have plenty to work with when it comes to making up the cushion. The freezer paper can be cut away as you go, as it tends to get in the way once the applique is completed. I find these blocks very relaxing to do, and they can be picked up and set down as needed. I'll show you the completed block later.


  1. just sooo beautiful love that color green. for some reason I always seem to have trouble with the folding of the paper, this is a wonderful book maybe I need to get it out again

  2. Gorgeous work.

    Quite irrelevantly, I wanted to let you know that I have just finished my first Welsh wholecloth quilt, and it was inspired by a quilt I found in your blog, as well as the various lovely quilts you have here. There are more details at

  3. An excellent tutorial - thank you for the time and expertise you share with us!