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Thread: Ironing Tricks??

  1. #1
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    Ironing Tricks??

    Let's share them! I know a lot of you don't prewash your fabrics and get great results, but for me and my style of quilting (mostly working with scraps and charms) I think part of my success is that my fabric is prewashed, folded and stored so I can whack off a small piece and keep going. I've only had one problem with a running fabric, it was a burgundy that ruined the whole quilt (turned the white squares pink) and to be honest, I did prewash it but I didn't test it.

    Even though I believe in ironing/pressing and doing it every seam/all the time, the truth is I hate ironing. Hate it with a passion even. So I try to do things to make it better, like listen to my audio books while I do it. Or I put on movies that I know well to keep me company, having company while ironing is also good.

    But my first and biggest trick is to get it out of the dryer at the right time, which is when it is dry but not crisp, you don't want to dry in creases and such, they can be awful to get out. LOL I don't care about my clothes that much, but I do about my fabric. Also I prefer to wash only a couple of pieces of fabric at a time and with other things mixed in, I feel I get less tangles. I usually have to take the fabric out first and then dry some more for the clothes. Small pieces (less than half yard wide) I wash in lingerie bags. I "snap" the fabric as I take it out of the washer, cutting off any tangles of thread and make sure it is loose and not in a wad in the dryer.

    Second trick is to have a spritzer bottle to spray the fabric if I have over dried it, I do use a hot iron with steam on the raw fabric, I turn down the steam a bit with seams but still use it. I don't seem to have problems most of the time with stretching or distorting the fabric.

    With big pieces (over a yard) I iron along both selvedges first, then turn it and iron all the way down the width. I'll move the ironing board into the living room and stretch out the ironed fabric along the couch. I try not to iron pieces longer than 3 yards, but sometimes I don't know what I'm going to do with the fabric and hate it when I have multiple pieces and am just an inch or two short of what I want, so until I know if I can cut it I leave it long. A yard and under fit width-wise well on the ironing board.

    After ironing when I fold the fabric, I do it in quarters so it cuts well. The boxes I use (business file boxes) fit the fabric well, I have my fabrics mostly sorted by color and collections, plus boxes for narrow strips. Once the fabric gets below 12" wof, it gets cut into strips, 6.5" and smaller, I don't keep pieces less than 2". First I match the long edges so that the grain is straight, or at least so it folds well. Then I use the ironing board to help fold it, running my hands underneath the bottom to smooth it, then laying the top over, smoothing again and down the length until it's done. For awhile I tried to put my fabric in the boxes standing up so I could see each piece, but that didn't work so well for me and now I put it down flat and have to go through the box but I do a lot less ironing -- which is a plus for me.

    I'm not always good at doing it, but I try to pin (using brass safety pins) a note with the amount of yardage for the long pieces. That way if I'm searching my stash for a 3-yard piece or whatever, I don't have to unfold and measure to see if I have enough.

    What tricks/hacks do you have? I don't starch but I know people who swear by that. Any ideas no matter how small or big will help me

  2. #2
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    Some nice person on this board helped me years ago about ironing pillowcases as they are made. She said use a thin piece of cardboard at the seams--works very well-no pressed double seams, looks so much nicer.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Annievee, that seems like a great and simple idea I could use.

    I know I had one shirt for work that showed pressing lines at the seams, I got a dowel for that and it worked well too. I wonder what ever happened to that dowel...

  4. #4
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    I don't dry my fabric after it is prewashed. I lay it flat across a bed until it is dry. When it is dry, I fold it up and put it in my stash. I don't iron it until I'm ready to use it. Why iron twice?

    When I'm ready to use it, I cut or tear a piece a bit larger than needed. Then I starch and iron before cutting it into blocks.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I take take most of the large fabric yardage to the cleaners. They wash and press it. Sure saves me a lot of time when dealing with backing fabric.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  6. #6
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    Ideally, I dry the washed fabric most of the way and then hang it up on my drying rack. Wrinkles mostly disappear, the fabric has shrunk now instead of later, and I can fold it when it's fully dry. I iron when ready to use it, and only cut off as much as I need beforehand.

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