Only a few days left until D and Y's Wedding!!! Woo Hoo!!! The handkerchiefs are with the Mother of the Bride, so my job is done!
All that's left is to blog about it. Here are the final instructions, since I do realize my brainstorming and rambling troubleshooting posts may be hard for some to follow.
1. Gather Supplies
Scissors or rotary cutter
2. Buy Fabric
Most fabric is 60" or so wide, which gives you 20 programs per yard. Do do some math and give yourself an extra yard or two to work with (cause you'll mess up a few).
Using your favorite software, design a fold-able 8.5x11 program (use "greeting card" feature, if it has one).
Leave enough margin for folding and stitching.
4. Fabric Prep
Depending on the fabric you are using, hand- or machine-wash and dry.
5. Measure and Cut Freezer Paper
I recommend getting the 18" freezer paper (it also comes in 15") -- 18" makes it easier to measure and fits the 8.5x11 pieces evenly.
Measure and draw the 8.5x11" rectangles onto the freezer paper - it's easier to draw on the paper before ironing it to the fabric. Positioning the rectangles landscape, draw 5 across and 2 up, with a small margin on end. This comes to about 57" of freezer paper.
6. Iron Freezer Paper
Iron the first section of fabric so it's flat. Place the strip of freezer paper plastic-side down on the fabric and iron until the plastic melts onto fabric.
7. Cut sections
Cut pre-measured sections with scissors or a rotary cutter. Give each section another iron to make sure the fabric is flat and the edges are firmly sealed.
Send each 8.5x11" section through your inkjet printer, making sure to print on the fabric side. It's probably best to feed each fabric section one at at time, instead of piling them in the paper tray.
9. Remove freezer paper from fabric.
Just peel it off.
Using a steam iron on the hottest setting (or whichever works best for the fabric you're using), press the edges of each fabric piece. Depending on how you plan to hem, this may be a single or double fold. Practice with a few test pieces to see how best to press the corners -- some fabrics may need some bulk cut out of the corner folds, other may press fine. Hint: for delicate fabrics, use a metal fork or metal tapestry needle to secure the corner before placing the iron -- this way you can place the iron down on it without getting your fingers too close.
11. Cut stabilizer backing paper
If your fabric needs stabilizer backing paper, it helps to cut a pile of paper strips before you start sewing. Tissue paper or tracing paper works well, cut into 2"-wide strips (8--12" long).
Place backing paper under fabric. Starting with the corner of the back "page" of the program (so the knot or back-stitching isn't right in front), sew around the program, keeping an even margin. Back-stitch or lock-stitch at the beginning and end.
13. Finishing Check and Press
Peel off backing paper and trim threads. Hint: Peel backing paper from ONE side of the stitches at a time (not the whole thing at once); it will tear more cleanly, reducing the number of ripped pieces left behind.Trim any stray threads from the fabric. Give them a final pressing and fold. Done.