A lot of ladies ask me how I go about preparing a block for stitching. This is the way I have found works for me. There are many different ways of doing things. A lot of the patterns are very expensive, so I make copies of them. I can carry the copies around with me, and if I lose the copy I can simply make another. (I haven't lost one so far.) I use freezer paper to make my copies. Why freezer paper? Well, about 20+ years ago there was a rampant rumor that the freezer paper makers were going to discontinue the product, so most of the applique ladies I know ran to the grocers and bought at least 10 rolls. "Waste not, want not." (Oddly enough, this sent a message to the manufacturer that their product was very much in demand. They are still making it.)
Pattern already copied onto dull side of freezer paper.
I place the original pattern right side up on the light box and copy the pattern on the dull side of the freezer paper. This is the first opportunity to adjust the pattern if you wish (flower size is askew and not to your liking, you don't like the placement of a leaf, the vase is uneven, or the bird is too skinny).
Lightbox--I have used several methods, and the one I like best is a glass topped computer table (approximately 20 by 30 inches) which I bought for about $75 from Staples (and which sadly go on sale for half that now). I slip a folding Ott lite on the sliding rack under the glass, and it makes a perfect light box. I draw the pattern with a medium point Sharpie pen which will be equally visible on the shiny side of the freezer paper. Work quickly. There will be 2 more opportunities to adjust the pattern.
back side of the block.
By pressing softly with the pencil, you will find that this will leave a visible mark which will disappear when you are working the applique. No erasing is necessary.
Copy time: 20 minutes
Next: How to place an accurate stitching line on the front of the block for painless applique.