Marking Quilting Designs with Glad Press 'N Seal Freezer Wrap

When I first read about quilters using Glad Press 'N Seal (PNS) to create quilting designs, I was intrigued . . . the concept was to trace the design onto the clear wrap, then smooth it on the fabric, quilt the design, and then tear the PNS away.

I didn't like it! Although I loved the way the PNS grabbed the fabric without using adhesive, I found it hard to tear away from the stitching, especially where lines crossed. I found it nearly impossible to remove tiny pieces.

Then I wondered what would happen if I perforated the PNS and used it as a stencil . . . after a little experimentation, I found this method was quick and easy, one of the easiest methods I have ever found to mark quilting designs, especially for dark fabrics. I like using the Press 'N Seal Freezer wrap, which is easier to handle since it a bit heavier than the regular and has a light blue tint to it - it costs no more than the regular variety.

Note: You will need a pounce pad and powdered chalk for this method . . . I was unable to mark using just a chalk pencil. These are available from many quilt shops and online stores.

First, trace or photocopy your quilting design onto paper. (The one I am using is free along with lots of others from 






Then take a piece of PNS and smooth it onto the paper. (I like to leave plenty of extra wrap around the edges of the design so the chalk won't get where I don't want it..)






Next, perforate the quilting design by sewing it on your machine without thread. I find it helps to put a quilt sandwich under the paper and I also put in one of the largest needles I have. 







Now the fun part! Smooth the PNS on the area of your quilt you want to work on. The paper grabs the fabric like magic . . . thousands of tiny little grippers, no messy adhesive. (I like to use a permanent marker to mark the edges of my block or border on the PNS to give me a guideline for placement.) Then take a pounce pad and rub it firmly over the quilting design. I use "Miracle" or "Ultimate" chalk when I am working with dark fabrics - it disappears quickly with a little heat (just get a steam iron close to it - you don't need to press your quilt!) It will also wash out. You can rub hard to transfer the design - the PNS prevents the chalk from seeping onto other areas of the fabric. For light fabrics, you will need a second Pounce Pad filled with blue chalk that washes out with plain water.
Voila! In seconds, you have transferred your design to the fabric. Another thing I like about this method is that I can mark as I go . . . the chalk will hold up but get lighter as you work, so you may want to mark smaller areas instead of the entire quilt. (The web site for the manufacturer of Quilt Pounce suggests spraying it with hair spray to make the chalk stay longer, but I don't like the idea of getting hair spray on my quilt!) There is no need to mark the top before you create the quilt sandwich!





Then quilt as usual by hand or machine . . .






And end up with a beautifully quilted design, marked with minimum effort! Your Press 'N Seal stencil can be used a number of times . . . I haven't tried perforating several at the same time but I think this would work fine if you put paper or fabric between the layers of PNS so they don't stick together. When you are finished, smooth the PNS over the original drawing and file it away for another time!

If your stencil is larger than a piece of PNS, you can join pieces together just by overlapping for about 1/2" - they will stick together, and the double layer won't make any difference in how this handles.









Copyrighted material, Judy Kelius, September 2005 - you are welcome to link to this page. If you do, please let me know by emailing me at