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Quilt Top .....Press or not to Press

Quilt Top .....Press or not to Press

Old 02-16-2011, 11:56 AM
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Ok, I have completed a quilt top that has a wide outer border. I want to know if I can press the quilt top or not before I pin it to my backing and batting? It is a panel in the center and a 2 1/2 inch border then a 1 inch border and then an outer border of 10 inches. I'm just afraid of my last border stretching cause the last quilt I did with a wide border, the border of the quilt would not lay flat. It had alot of ripples. I am going to fix it when I am done with this quilt. I just had to put the other one away for a while but I don't want to end up with the same problem with this one too. I was more careful about not stretching out the fabric when I sewed it on this time.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:01 PM
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Press only the seam. And press do not iron. Do be careful of the weight of the top stretching as you are going. Put something under the top to help support the weight.
Did you use lenght wise grain of the fabric for your border? Using lenghtwise cut can really eliminate the stretch that comes from cross grain. Batiks do not stretch much on the cross grain as they are so tighly woven.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:05 PM
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if it fits, pressing will not hurt it, no steam and be very careful not to stretch with the iron
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:09 PM
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Yes, press it!
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Lori S
Press only the seam. And press do not iron. Do be careful of the weight of the top stretching as you are going. Put something under the top to help support the weight.
Did you use lenght wise grain of the fabric for your border? Using lenghtwise cut can really eliminate the stretch that comes from cross grain. Batiks do not stretch much on the cross grain as they are so tighly woven.
I cut my borders across the grain because it has a horse design in it that is shown that way. Another words to have the horses going along the length of the border i had to cut the fabric across the grain. I tried to be very careful not to stretch it or handle it much.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:12 PM
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I would press it (carefully). It lays flatter for me that way.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Corry
I cut my borders across the grain because it has a horse design in it that is shown that way. Another words to have the horses going along the length of the border i had to cut the fabric across the grain. I tried to be very careful not to stretch it or handle it much.
Do you mean you cut it on the bias?
Or length-wise, parallel to the selvedge?

If it's the second, then the fabric should still be pretty stable. If you still have ripples, then it might be piece of fabric that's too long for the quilt top. Maybe you need to remeasure to make sure you've got the right length. Pressing should not be a problem.

If it's the first (bias), then, yes, proceed very carefully, with as little handling as possible. You should still check your measurements.
Press the seam area very gently so it will lie flat. And get the whole shebang sandwiched ASAP.

The border - with the galloping horses - sounds fabulous. This sounds like one of those time when normal techniques need to take a back seat to aesthetics. Please post a picture when it's all put together.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:09 PM
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Yes, you absolutely should press it before you sandwich it. But do be careful with the borders, as you said, they do tend to stretch even when cut right on grain.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Corry
Originally Posted by Lori S
Press only the seam. And press do not iron. Do be careful of the weight of the top stretching as you are going. Put something under the top to help support the weight.
Did you use lenght wise grain of the fabric for your border? Using lenghtwise cut can really eliminate the stretch that comes from cross grain. Batiks do not stretch much on the cross grain as they are so tighly woven.
I cut my borders across the grain because it has a horse design in it that is shown that way. Another words to have the horses going along the length of the border i had to cut the fabric across the grain. I tried to be very careful not to stretch it or handle it much.
I understand you are pretty nervious after your last boarder that stretched. You may want to consider putting in a line of stay stitching around the perimeter of the boarder. ... but make sure you use a small stitch ( about 2.0 not bigger than 2.5) and.. do not let it hang as it feeds through the machine . Do this just under 1/4 inch from the edge. This can really help those cross grains to remember where they belong.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:33 PM
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you should always press your quilt top nice and flat before sandwiching otherwise you are apt to have wrinkles in your finished quilt ... forever
quilt top nicely pressed and square
quilt backing nicely pressed and square-larger than quilt top
quilt batting in between = beautiful quilts :thumbup:
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