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to press or not to press; that is the question!

to press or not to press; that is the question!

Old 01-10-2013, 07:30 AM
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Default to press or not to press; that is the question!

do you guys press and starch your fabric before you start and then iron your seams when machine piecing or do you eliminate that step? i dont want to take a bunch of unneccessary steps; i realize there is no 'quilting police' in anything we do and there are no rules, but i also am fairly slow at piecing a top and i take a lot of steps to ensure accuracy, etc. maybe because im only a 2 year old sewer. any suggestions? it takes me an average of about a week? to piece an intermediate queen pattern if im really steady at it and life stays out of my way! thanks
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:33 AM
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if you want your pieces to lay falt and match then you will press. prewashing is a matter of preference. some do and some dont. However, if you want to be sure all the chemicals are out of the fabric and they won't shrink or fade then you will pre wash. I don't consider these unnecesary steps to assure good results. Every quilting has his or her ways of doing things. You have to make up you mind how you will do it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:35 AM
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I always iron first and I have been using Best Press for about 2 years now. It adds a little stability to the fabric and helps to get rid of stubborn wrinkles. I don't always wash first if it is a small project but ironing, that I always do.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:56 AM
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As I piece,I finger press the ends of the seams and only use the iron after all the edges of the fabric have been stitched.I think it leads to less distortion.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:01 AM
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If you prewash - ironing and starching are a big help. I definitely iron seams when piecing as it helps when quilting. A week to piece a queen sounds reasonable.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:11 AM
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You can experiment and find what works for you. What you are making can make a difference too. If you are working with precise measurements, pressing/starching will help. If you are working with triangles or other bias, starch helps. On occasion, I have sewn a piece or two without pressing the seams and not been happy with the results. It made a tuck by the seam. I prefer to press, and most of the time I starch too.

If you are looking to speeding up your process, chain piecing can help.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by terri bb View Post
do you guys press and starch your fabric before you start and then iron your seams when machine piecing or do you eliminate that step? i dont want to take a bunch of unneccessary steps; i realize there is no 'quilting police' in anything we do and there are no rules, but i also am fairly slow at piecing a top and i take a lot of steps to ensure accuracy, etc. maybe because im only a 2 year old sewer. any suggestions? it takes me an average of about a week? to piece an intermediate queen pattern if im really steady at it and life stays out of my way! thanks

prior to cutting, I press, usually with starch, only enough to insure a good cut. After sewing, I always press. At almost 66, I still HATE pressing.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:36 AM
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I press and I starch. I am a fabric washer, but that is just my preference. I guess I never thought about how much time it takes, I just try to enjoy!
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:38 AM
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I like to press. For me it is the rewarding part of the process. The seams look so nice, and it helps with the next steps.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:48 AM
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I starch before cutting, it really helps everything lay flat during the process. It even helps with getting very precise cutting. Pressing thoughout the piecing , really lets me know if I am on track. Through out my years of quilting I have experiemented with omiting some steps... and everytime ended up with regrets.
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