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Old School Ironing

Old 01-12-2020, 11:02 AM
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I've been working on several scrap quilts and have been faced with a tub full of wrinkled odd sized scraps. I'd been working my way through it with liquid spray starch but the cost and the stains it sometimes causes was getting me down.

While thinking through this dilemma I suddenly remembered how my mother prepared her ironing for years. She would take items that needed to be ironed from the dryer, (or clothesline) while they were still damp. Then she would sprinkle them with water, roll them up and put them in an old pillowcase. Then she would sprinkle more water on the pillowcase and put it in the freezer for a day or two.

When she was ready to iron, she'd pull out a few items while the iron was heating up, and then start ironing. Everything came out great. Of course, she'd been ironing since she was 6!

Anyway, I tried her trick on my scraps except I soaked them in a bowl of water and laid them flat inside a pillowcase. After freezing for a day I pulled them out and ironed them. They came out beautiful! I had to use a little starch on some stubborn pieces, but the rest of them were quicker to iron and had a nice soft feel, not stiff like even diluted starch can make them. Also, no stains!
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:14 AM
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Well done! I confess with scrap quilts, I iron as I get ready to cut pieces.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:24 AM
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We used to do that too in the “olden days”. It’s a great idea!
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:35 AM
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Yepper, back in the days when we had to iron everything and I go paid to iron other people's laundry. I did it this way. I would make a trip to a person's home to roll and freeze one day and come back a couple days later to finish the ironing. I got paid 10 cents a piece. Everything had to be perfect too.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:02 PM
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ha, my granddtr asked me not too long ago what an Iron was! I have my ironing board up always in my sewing room. putting into the freezer helps the fabric be moist evenly i think. works anyway.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:18 PM
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I just spray with water before I iron them......seems to work OK for most of them....when we sprinkled the wash...we just rolled it up and put in a laundry basket for a few hours and then ironed....no freezer...you also can make your own spray starch out of cornstarch.....best though if you plan to wash the quilt after made because starch could attract bugs.....
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:45 PM
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I remember my Mom had a bottle with a sprinkler top on it for ironing. Wow, that brings back memories!
I don't remember her putting them in the freezer though.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:54 PM
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Remember the sprinkle top on a pop bottle ? It’s what I used for 12 years to soften DH’s green National Guard fatigues before pressing. Now the fatigues are camouflage and I doubt they even need ironing.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:50 PM
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I just sprinkled with water and sometimes put them in the refrigerator. If I had room, otherwise I would just put in the laundry basket and iron them. If my fabrics or scraps need ironing I just spray with water.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:07 PM
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My mom did the freezer thing with the linen tablecloths and my dad's white shirts. She said once his shirts were considered "permanent press" she no longer put them in the freezer. The table cloths were kept in the freezer until she needed them. Every once in a while if she was distracted getting something out of the freezer for dinner she would bring up a tablecloth instead of a roast or whatever she intended. I don't bother to iron anything until I am ready to use it. It comes into the house and is washed, folded and then waits to be used. (I don't really like to iron, and it seems like it always has to be ironed again if I do it before I need it.)
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