Wrong season!

Please don’t misunderstand.  I am not ready for winter just yet.  In fact, fall can wait a little bit as well.  That said, I did jump ahead in my sewing room this week.


This block idea has been simmering in my head for over a year now.  I wanted a six-pointed snowflake for a particular quilt. I’m not sure why I was so determined for it to have 6-fold symmetry like a proper snowflake.  I’m perfectly happy with vague representations of other objects in blocks, but my brain was determined.  I fussed in EQ on and off  and finally figured out how to section the block so paper piecing would work.

My other discovery was this tutorial from the Oregon Coastal Quilters’ Guild on paper piecing with freezer paper. The tutorial calls it paperless paper piecing.  I found the link on a blog a while ago and bookmarked it.  Now I wish I could remember whose blog it was so I could thank the blogger for sharing the link.  I’ll be using this technique again!

Here’s why I like it.  Compare:


On the left:  traditional paper piecing, where you have to tear away all those little bits of paper when you’re done sewing.  Plus you need one foundation for each block or section you sew.

On the right:  simply peeling away the freezer paper template, which can be reused a few times (I managed 6 times). By folding the foundation and sewing beside the fold, you never sew through the paper, though in all other ways this works like the usual paper piecing.  I won’t repeat the instructions here as the tutorial I linked to is very clear.

I would add that I found it helpful to fold along all the “sewing” lines on the template to crease the paper in the right places before starting to add fabric.  Once fabric was involved it was easier to fold the freezer paper in the right place when there was a crease to guide the folding.  This will make more sense after you’ve seen the tutorial and tried this!

This wonderful technique was not responsible for the piecing glitches and resulting trimming and fudging required to fit my snowflake sections together.  That was due to careless scaling of the block.  It really does help to set the block printing options to the correct aspect ratio when I print out the foundations…  Ooops!

I’m off to print the templates again (with the proper settings) to make another snowflake and confirm that fudging is not required to make it work.  While I’m at it, maybe I’ll play around with more snowflake designs.  After all, every snowflake is unique, so I really shouldn’t have three of the same design in one quilt, right?

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts


  1. Your block looks great. That's the way to deal with winter...in fabric. :)

  2. Interesting - I had not seen this technique before. I like that you can reuse the template (although with my luck, I'd end up catching the paper edge with my stitching). Time to buy some freezer paper!

    The snowflake is pretty. That blue material really adds to the iciness.

  3. I love the snowflake. I'd forgotten about that technique of paper piecing. I do admit though I love tearing off the paper of the more traditional version. I find it great stress relief xx

  4. Your block looks wonderful. I've been doing some paper piecing this year, if I ever need several copies of the same template I will definitely try this method. Less paper and I won't need to change my needle as often. Thank you, it's brilliant!

  5. I have seen a tutorial for that method before, but I wasn't sure I would like it. I guess I better give it a try. It seemed like it might be hard to stitch next to the fold, yet close enough without stitching the paper. Maybe I'll try it on one of my Dear Jane blocks - whenever I get back to that. Love the snowflake block!

  6. Yeah for new ideas! This snowflake block is so cute! And the paperless paper piecing method does look easy. Love this block!

  7. Snowflakes are great any time of the year. I really loved seeing it today as we are under a high heat warning - where the temps feel like 107-111 degrees F!
    (41-43 C) Looking forward to seeing more snowflakes.

  8. That is a wonderful looking snowflake and it will never melt away! I love winter themed quilts and you can work on them any time of year. Can't wait to see how your snowflakes all go together!

  9. Your snowflake looks great! I think I need to make a blue and white quilt!!

  10. I too have been thinking about snowflakes and will require mine to be Sox see as well. You've given me inspiration and I think I have a few ideas. My quilty bucket list continues to grow.

  11. Your snowflake is beautiful, but I'm thinking it's too much of a challenge for this old lady! I need to check out that tutorial a little more; it looks very interesting. ---"Love"

  12. Your block is beautiful! I'm going to go check out the tutorial - thanks! Anything to not have to rip those darn papers off and still get the accuracy! ;)

  13. Such a pretty block; I absolutely love the blue fabric, very ice-crystal-y! I checked out the tutorial and will definitely be trying this fab idea. I also think I need to buy EQ7 for Mac...

  14. Joanne, your snowflake is beautiful! I'm a fan of the six sided variety too. We do an applique one like that. Yours reminds me a bit of Paula Nadelstern's kaleidoscope snowflakes. Beautiful background fabric too!

  15. Your blocks is beautiful. I'm going to check out that tutorial. Ripping the paper from the back is my least favorite part. So if one can avoid it is worth a try.

  16. "Right" block ... great snowflake ... :) Pat

  17. What a beauty!!!!! Love the colours and your quilting.Good luck with your snowflakes!


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