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Thread: Pressing Strip Sets

  1. #1
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Pressing Strip Sets

    I have started another quilt, one that has many strip sets (3 strips each 1.5")....all needing pressed and then cut down to size, either 6.5" or 1.5"....my question is how exactly do you press them (adding spray starch) and keep them straight?....mine always seem to end up with bows in them, requiring me to either repress, or cut a few sections, then straighten against the line again.....HELP ME!....if I thought I could add a straight line to my ironing board without causing more problems I would....LOL....I can see an ink/marker line that transfers to the fabric, not a good scenario(:.....what tips or hints can you share with me?

  2. #2
    Senior Member RonieM's Avatar
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    I actually used a permanant marker and drew a straight line with my ruler on my ironing board to help me with the pressing of my strip sets. Just remember to press and not iron - that helps a lot.

  3. #3
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    Be sure to set your seam first, that is put your hot iron on the seam before you open it, I just press, not back and forth but up and down to the end of the seam. Then lift one side of fabrics run your iron tip along the seam, this irons your seam to one side; I usually press to the darker side if at all possible.

    Sometimes I use spray starch and sometimes not, just according to the fabric and how it behaves.

    Good luck,

    delma

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I use a strip stick. You can probably make your own with half round and some thin batting and muslin. I bought mine at a quilt show though. It shows them pressing the seams open but with a little practice you can also use it to press seams to one side and they come out nice and straight. When you use it to press seams open you do it from the back side and when you use it to press seams to one side you do it from the right side.

    http://thestripstick.com/

    Everybody else is going to tell you you have to sew them from opposite ends and that'll solve your problem. It might help some but the real problem is in the pressing.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You can draw a line on your ironing board cover with a Sharpie permanent marker; won't transfer to fabric.

  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Lots of pressing tips from Quilt University.
    http://www.quiltuniversity.com/pressing_tips.htm

    I press the seam of every two strips before I add the units together. I also lay the strip set across the ironing board, not along it, keep the iron parallel to the seams, never tug on anything and never iron, just press. I 'almost' never have bowed strata.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  7. #7
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    I think if I had lots of the fabric, I would sew the strips together and subcut the strip into 7 inch lengths before pressing. I would think it would be easier to control the strips in shorter pieces. After ironing the 7 inch pieces I would re-cut to the 6.5 required size. Just an idea, I don't know if it will help or not.

  8. #8
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    3 things that help me with keeping strip sets straight: (1) always set the seam; (2) PRESS, don't iron; and (3) I lay the strip sets crosswise on the ironing board, so I'm only pressing a small section of the set at one time, then gently move it along. I found that when I laid them out lengthwise on the ironing board I always ended up with the strip set having a bow or curve, and then sub-cutting it is a mess. I actually think that a strip set with three or more strips is easier to keep straight than one with only two strips...
    -Chris-
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  9. #9
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    I use a strip stick. You can probably make your own with half round and some thin batting and muslin. I bought mine at a quilt show though. It shows them pressing the seams open but with a little practice you can also use it to press seams to one side and they come out nice and straight. When you use it to press seams open you do it from the back side and when you use it to press seams to one side you do it from the right side.

    http://thestripstick.com/

    Everybody else is going to tell you you have to sew them from opposite ends and that'll solve your problem. It might help some but the real problem is in the pressing.
    I saw that demonstrated at the DesMoines show last week ... looked interesting .. and easy to make myself

    To the OP ... I have found that I'm much less likely to bow my strip while ironing if I press my seams open, than if I press to one side. I'm becoming a bigger fan of pressing open.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThreadHead's Avatar
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    easy for me. My ironing board cover has stripes on it so I just line it up. lol
    Syl
    Syl

  11. #11
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    Put a single layer of flannel on your ironing board. Then, iron your sets on the flannel. The flannel will help hold the fabric in place and will help make it so it doesn't get distorted.

  12. #12
    Jim
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    Super Member Jim's Avatar
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    I gently press after setting the seams and starch heavily
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort :lol:

  13. #13
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    I just line it up against my 24" ruler, press that bit then line it up again and press again.

  14. #14
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    are you sure your strip set is straight to begin w/?? I know there have been times that if i don't pay attention and my fabric isn't straight, I get a bow in the middle of the strip before i even begin..
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    One way to prevent warping of strips is to alternate the sides when you sew. For example, you sew two strips together and when you are done use the bottom of the pair as a starting point to sew the third strip.

  16. #16
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    The strip sets are straight before I start pressing...it seems to be something I am doing while pressing LOL I guess it is just my way way of making an easy quilt difficult! I do like the idea of the pressing strip...will have to look into making my own.....am also going to try the marker line on the ironing board fabric....I made my own cover and have some scraps yet to test and see just how "permanent" the marker is.....Thanks everyone for your tips!




    Quote Originally Posted by 117becca View Post
    are you sure your strip set is straight to begin w/?? I know there have been times that if i don't pay attention and my fabric isn't straight, I get a bow in the middle of the strip before i even begin..

  17. #17
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    Be sure and don't lay it along the ironing board. That's what I've been told, and that is what I do. I haven't had any problems YET! HA.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    One way to prevent warping of strips is to alternate the sides when you sew. For example, you sew two strips together and when you are done use the bottom of the pair as a starting point to sew the third strip.
    When I started doing this my strip sets became much straighter. You will notice this even more if you are sewing lots of strips together like in a bargello.

  19. #19
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    Could someone give us an idea on how to make these stripsticks? They seem to be a helpful tool and not too hard to make. If someone has made one, we could learn from their mistakes! LOL

  20. #20
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maviskw View Post
    Could someone give us an idea on how to make these stripsticks? They seem to be a helpful tool and not too hard to make. If someone has made one, we could learn from their mistakes! LOL
    It's simply a piece of half round covered with thin batting and muslin. The one I bought is sewn on but I'll bet you could just glue it on the flat side. One lady I met years and years ago just used a plain piece of half round without anything over it. At the time I didn't really get what she was using it for until I saw the demo at the quilt show.

  21. #21
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    Try pressing seams open. That seems to work for me. There is no extra bulk on one side that way. I also like the idea of putting a flannel strip down to help hold the fabric straight.

  22. #22
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    Strip stick is the way I go. It somehow makes it easier and my strips don't bow.

  23. #23
    Senior Member star619's Avatar
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    A really effective way to control "bowing" of strip sets is in the sewing phase. Sew strip 1 to strip 2 going "top to bottom", Then, sew strip 2 to strip 3 going bottom to top. I made a Trip Around the World with 1 1/2" stops and this technique made it come out perfect!

  24. #24
    Junior Member iwillquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handcraftsbyjen View Post
    Put a single layer of flannel on your ironing board. Then, iron your sets on the flannel. The flannel will help hold the fabric in place and will help make it so it doesn't get distorted.
    Love this idea! Learn something new from this board every day.

  25. #25
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    Saw a Fons and Porter show this afternoon on our public tv channel. Was allabout pressing strip sets and they recommend that you cut them into shorter pieces instead of one long piece. Makes pressing and keeping them straight a whole lot easier. I am going to remember this trick myself on the next set of strip sets that i do.

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