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Thread: Do You PRESS or IRON your Yardage before starting to cut for piecing?

  1. #51
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MimiBug123 View Post
    I wash and dry my fabric, then fold it away until I'm ready to use it. At this point, I starch and iron it. I don't see any point in ironing it before storing it, then having to iron it again before I cut it.
    That's how I do mine. Why iron it when it'll just get creases in storage (some of my fabric has been stored a long time!). Plus, I feel like ironing it kind of freshens the fabric up some.
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  2. #52
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burchquilts View Post
    That's what I do. To me, "ironing" is moving the iron all around on the fabric (like on a shirt). "Pressing" is more just lifting the iron up & down on the piece to be pressed (does that sound right?). I iron my yardage but once it's sewn, I only press it.
    Technically, ironing is anytime you move the iron around the surface without lifting it up. When I iron, even on a shirt, it's always with the grain and never "all around". It's just like sanding a piece of wood to smooth it out...the goal is to straighten the fibers so they lie parallel to each other. Go with the grain (and a light hand) and you won't distort the surface, sewn or unsewn, cut or uncut. With fabric, pressure is not necessary, the heat does the work.

    I press seams because they are small and easily flip around if ironed; same with the back side of partial and finished blocks and quilt tops. I iron the front side of blocks during and after piecing, just as i do with the front side of quilt tops, because it makes for a smoother, flatter, more square finish. In both cases, I use steam. My work does not stretch (even though I use no starch), and blocks always lie flat and go together easily...circles, irregular curves, bias edges, points, and diamonds included.

    I do not accept any 'must do', should do', or 'don't do' statements when it comes to quilting (or a whole bunch of other activities for that matter). It's all about finding your own path and following it. I truly believe that working with the fabric and understanding it's natural tendencies pays off with an enjoyable process and a quality product...at least it has for me for decades.
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  3. #53
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I starch and iron ALL fabric before cutting. Makes a BIG difference in ease of cutting and accuracy.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
    Valarie

  4. #54
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Do you PRESS or IRON your Yardage before starting to cut for piecing?

    Being a rank amateur myself, I have been doing a lot of stuff on white background with some very bright solid colors. Fortunately, my cousin, who has a quilt shop in Oklahoma, forewarned me about the bleeding of fabrics, especially bright colors. Otherwise, I would have had a ruined quilt that I worked very hard on for several months!

    I just started a new project -- a baby quilt -- again using a white/white on white background. And, yes, I washed all the fabric and used a dye fixative to set the dye in the bright colors. I absolutely breaks my heart to think I might put all that effort into a quilt and it be ruined by bleeding dyes in fabric! IMHO, it's worth the effort although it does take a lot of time.

    Jeanette Frantz

  5. #55
    Super Member maryel's Avatar
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    I iron my fabric always, couldn't imagine any other way.

  6. #56
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelinaMaria View Post
    So, I have been interested in clarification on this for a while. After you have prewashed and dried you fabric (I like to fully dry mine so that all shrinkage is achieved), do you press it or iron it? I generally start with a press, picking up and moving the iron a few inches at a time across the fabric surface but then I lightly move the iron across the surface as well.

    I've heard many times that there should be no ironing in quilting. Is this true or is it okay to iron the large yardage pieces before they are cut?

    No ironing in quilting????????? You've got to be kidding. How can a person cut accurately if the fabric isn't smooth?

    And I'd never be able to put pieced together without ironing.

    AND I HATE IRONING!
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  7. #57
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    LOL, I never thought about ironing and pressing having different meanings.

    I hate both, and only do it when sewing. "Ironing" is the word I use most, and it involves heating up the wedge shaped electrical gadget and using it on fabric or paper.
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  8. #58
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosyjo View Post
    I haven't pre-washed my fabric ever since I started sewing back in 1968 but now you guys are scaring me to death. I don't want to have the ragged edges and thought that once the fabric was sewn into a quilt it would stay put but now I'm worried. I don't want to give or sell a quilt that would change shape. What do you all think about my predicament?
    Put your fabric on the shortest but hottest cycle you have. The real purpose is causing any shrinkage that might happen and causing bleed if it's going to happen. A short cycle will lessen the fraying on the edges.
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  9. #59
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannieAnnie View Post
    Put your fabric on the shortest but hottest cycle you have. The real purpose is causing any shrinkage that might happen and causing bleed if it's going to happen. A short cycle will lessen the fraying on the edges.
    True, so true! I always use the 8 minute gentle cycle and I seldom get fraying and never get tangles.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  10. #60
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    Iron new fabric before cutting pieces for blocks. Press blocks after piecing.

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