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Thread: pressing blocks

  1. #1
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    steam or dry iron?
    press from the front or the back?

  2. #2
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I press from the back and use steam. and then turn over and press the front. I know some people say use a dry iron, I really like the steam. Make sure you press your block and are not ironing back and forth, that can stretch the material.

    :)

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I press from the front and then the back, too. I start out with a dry iron, but some fabrics cannot be tamed without steam :wink:

  4. #4
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I press from the front and then the back, too. I start out with a dry iron, but some fabrics cannot be tamed without steam :wink:
    Yea me too, but seems like I always have to give it a shot of steam.

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Depends on the pattern and how the seams want to lie (or not). I usually start from the back and then give the front a press. I usually don't use steam until the top is finished.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I recently learned about clapping boards. Tailors used them to make professional looking seams. I was skeptical until I used one. It makes a big difference. My blocks lay flat. If you have one of the old flat irons that would work great on the flat seams in piecing. I have learned that proper pressing makes a big difference. I pay as much detail to it as I do getting a 1/4 seam. I use a very hard pressing board, one thin layer of batting covered with cotton duck/ticking/canvas. A soft surface will let the block sink in and the block won't lay flat. I use a dry iron I starch and iron my fabric before cutting.


  7. #7
    Senior Member mamabird3's Avatar
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    I watched a quilting show once, I think it might have been Elenore Burns. She use to press the seam closed "to set the seam" and then press it open. That is what I do. Set the seam, press the back and sometimes the front if I think it needs that little extra. I always use steam, that is the only way I will ever get a facial. :)

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I like steam and use a Rowenta travel iron for my pieced blocks.
    Lightweight seems to be the answer for keeping blocks shape.
    For large pieces of fabric that I have just washed I use a cheap steam iron from Walmart.

  9. #9
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    when i first started i used steam and pressed from both sides but was never happy with my work.

    i think the steam and repeated pressing distorted my work.

    now i only use a dry iron and i only press from the front and i use the lift and set the iron down on the fabric method instead of moving the iron around as if i'm ironing DHs shirt.

  10. #10
    Senior Member key4unc's Avatar
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    I fill my iron with water but turn the steam setting to off. There is no such thing as "off" on my iron :lol: I get just the slighest amount of steam and it seems to be the happy medium for me.

  11. #11
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    I set the stitching first too... then press the seam open. Iron filled with water, but set to "dry" as well. I've also learnt the hard way that pressing is just as important as the 1/4 inch seam. It's made a huge difference to my blocks being gentle with the iron and taking the time to press carefully.

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I press from the back and use a dry iron.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I always press with dry iron and never with steam . Blocks seem to stretch too much when I use steam.

  14. #14
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    When I first starting sewing, I worked in a factory ... what do you MEAN ---IRON??? never happened, and I quilted for more than ten years without ironing most of the time. After all, gravity CAN be our friend, right??

    Time went by, and the Lord brought me a helper who is a STICKLER! well, it might be better to say that she makes beautiful quilts and she does EVERYTHING the rules say ... even the ironing. So, we would work together, her making her quilts, me making my quilts, but we found out that we could produce more if we worked together. Just before that happened, we produced two quilts for a Veterans' Day luncheon ... they were to be presented from a free drawing. The Friday before the Luncheon, we met at the Post, each carrying our individual quilts and we hung them on the wall. And, I asked her ... okay, you iron, I don't. Look at those two quilts and tell me which is which!
    She just laughed and said, I can't tell them apart ... I didn't iron mine, either!

    It happened, that I got a chance to quilt a quilt that she had assembled. The difference (in a good way) was very noticeable!

    Now, I press my blocks, setting the seams first and then opening the block and pressing from the front. And, using steam helps me with being gentle with them.

  15. #15
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    omark.....are you my Mom?????.......she is like you no pressing.....now I press.....just makes sewing so easy and points line up better for me.....that is my preference....Mom......:-)

    I read somewhere that you should press your block 3 times.....( a I do 4...just cause I'm there and can...:-)...)

    1. Set seam
    2. Press open
    3. Press back
    4. Press front for good measure.....and I use steam when needed to set block...or a little squirt of sizing

  16. #16
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcathie
    omark.....are you my Mom?????.......she is like you no pressing.....now I press.....just makes sewing so easy and points line up better for me.....that is my preference....Mom......:-)
    LOL ... I could be! I have long said I am a normal human
    Since my friend has convinced me to iron/press ... you ought to see what I go through when I see someone abusing my blocks!
    At the Post, on our weekly workdays, we never know who will show up, and we try to keep everyone busy... if one shows they cannot/will not sew, the next step is ironing ... if that lady EVER does her "version" again, I am going to have her vaccum!
    I have almost become obsessive about the procedure . :wink:

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