The Farmer's Wife Quilt comes with a CD of 106 templates, each on its own PDF. If you print them all out as they appear, that's 106 sheets of paper, each one around 90% unused. Even if you do the maths for the simpler blocks rather than print a template, it's still a heck of a lot of paper. I know some people have imported the whole lot into Illustrator and printed them as one document but (a) I lack the IT skills to do that and (b) I lack the Illustrator to do that.
I also quite wanted my templates on freezer paper to save on pinning. The solution came to me during a brief tweet chat with Amanda, and I thought I'd put the process into a quick tutorial in case anyone else is looking for a solution.
How to print templates with not a lot of wasted paper
You will need:
- Freezer paper (or you can use plain paper, if you don't mind pinning your templates after printing)
- A piece of A4 paper (I used jolly yellow so you could see the freezer paper more clearly)
What to do:
Tape a piece of freezer paper that is at least as big as the template onto your A4 paper, over the original print out. I found a small piece of tape in each corner was enough to hold the freezer paper in place through my home printer, but you may want to experiment with that. I save freezer paper scraps from bigger projects, so I had some bits ready to go, but after they ran out I just cut a piece approximately the right size off the roll.
I have heard that you can just iron the freezer paper onto normal paper, so I gave that a shot too. However, my printer is somewhat temperamental, and the freezer paper slipped and got a little chewed. Possibly I didn't do a good job of ironing it, but since the tape worked perfectly well I didn't bother persevering to find out.
Pop the paper back in the printer and print your template again. Make sure you insert it the same way as you did the first time you printed the template (you could mark the top right corner of your paper before your first printing if you're worried about forgetting which way up it goes).
As if by magic, your printer will print the template onto the freezer paper. Cut it out and you're good to go! Repeat 106 times more and you'll have all your templates at a fraction of the wastage of printing out an A4 sheet each time, at a fraction of the cost of Illustrator.
Of course, you don't need to print out every template onto the A4 piece of paper before taping some freezer paper on top, just err on the generous side when cutting out your freezer paper to stick on. Here are some other templates I printed on to the same piece of A4 by estimating where the freezer paper needed to go.
If you're really cheap (like me) you can even reuse the pieces of tape - just don't press too hard when you stick them down each time. I got two or three uses out of each piece of tape.
I know that's all probably extremely simple and you already thought of a better alternative while reading this, but maybe it will save one or two of you a couple of sheets of paper.