Inklingo quilters use freezer paper because fabric feeds smoothly through an Inkjet printer when it is stabilized with freezer paper (FP).
FP has a plastic side and a paper side. (It is not wax paper.) The plastic coating will stick to fabric when pressed with a hot, dry iron. FP sticks well to fabric that has been washed (no steam, no sizing, no starch).
With the right amount of heat, the freezer paper sticks firmly and then peels off neatly to be used over and over again!
There has been a discussion in the Inklingo Yahoo group about freezer paper, and how expensive it can be outside of North America.
FP is cheap. It’s the shipping/postage that can add up fast.
In Canada and the US, we have easy, inexpensive access to FP in grocery stores, usually near the wax paper and aluminum foil.
Reynolds knows that freezer paper is used by quilters and even puts quilting tips on the box. (Nothing about Inklingo—yet.)
There are pre-cut sheets (8.5 x 11) of FP available in quilt shops, too. Quilters love them because the paper is heavier than Reynolds and it is not curly from being on a roll.
The curl from a roll has never bothered me, and the curl is gone once the freezer paper has been ironed the first time.
USE IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER
I use every sheet of FP many times. The plastic coating will gradually pick up lint and fuzz that will prevent it from sticking well, and that can cause a jam in the printer. After several uses, you might want to set a sheet aside for use for other projects which don’t go through the printer.
I cut from a roll using two rulers and a rotary cutter with an old blade that I just use on paper.
- Cut with the plastic side up so the rulers don’t slide away from you.
- Cut several layers at a time. There is an example in The Inklingo Handbook (page 26, or page H26 in the free shape collection).
- Label each sheet with the size, and what shape it is for.
CUSTOM PAGE SIZES
For Inklingo, we cut the freezer paper to Custom Sizes, like 5.75 x 11.5 and 8 x 12.5, so we get exactly the number of shapes we need and no fabric waste.
Every Inkjet printer allows you to print Custom Page Sizes by entering the numbers in the Print Dialog box. Isn’t that cool? I had no reason to print anything other than letter size (8.5 x 11) before Inklingo. It’s easy but there are tips for your first time under the Support tab at inklingo.com.
OVERLAP YOUR SCRAPS!
Inklingo quilters end up with scraps of freezer paper. Don’t throw them out!
They can be overlapped and ironed plastic-to-paper to make bigger sheets!
I overlap about 0.25 inch.
TIP If you label your FP, you will know at a glance which is the paper side and which is the plastic side. You don’t want to put the iron down on the plastic side because it melts the plastic coating.
BIGGER AND LONGER?
What if you have lovely pre-cut 8.5 x 11 inch sheets from the quilt shop, and you want a sheet 8 x 12 or 7 x 14? Easy! Overlap another sheet or scrap and trim. Save those scraps to make another custom sheet!
TIPS FOR IRONING FP TO FABRIC
Iron the FP to the fabric before cutting the fabric to size.
To get a good bond, iron on a firm surface and press on the paper and the fabric side.
Overseas quilters might want to make friends with a quilter in North America and trade for FP.
It is always a nice idea to support your local quilt shop if they carry FP sheets, and that is probably the least expensive for quilters Down Under and in Europe too. When you buy online, the shipping can add up.
If you are in the US and like the idea of using heavier freezer paper, you can buy 300 sheets 24 x 24, 54# freezer paper online.
http://www.pospaper.com/freezer-24-24-sheets.html (No affiliation)
300 sheets of FP weigh a ton, so be sure to check the shipping cost! This site includes a shipping calculator, so you know in advance. It is reasonable by ground service within the US, especially if you share with friends.
I have cut up sheets to send to friends in Australia. (A flat rate Global Priority envelope is $13.95 US and can weigh up to 4 pounds.)
If you Google Freezer Paper, you will find many other online sources, including Amazon. Shipping costs make a big difference in the final price.
CUT AND SEW WITH LINES ON THE FABRIC!
The tip about ironing scraps together is the kind of thing in the first chapter of The Inklingo Handbook. It includes everything you need to know about printing on fabric, so we added it to the free shape collection for Diamonds/Triangles/Squares (pages H1-H48) to get you off to a good start.
FP might also be good for storing food, but I have no experience with that. You’re on your own, okay?
Do you have a favorite tip for using FP?
Linda & Monkey
New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.