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Thread: Steam Ironing question from a guy quilter

  1. #1
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    I am always burning my fingers when steam ironing a seam open or setting a seam. Is there a technique I am not aware of? Could I use a bone folder to hold the seam open while ironing? :cry: Thanks, Glenn

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    I am always burning my fingers when steam ironing a seam open or setting a seam. Is there a technique I am not aware of? Could I use a bone folder to hold the seam open while ironing? :cry: Thanks, Glenn
    Hi Glenn
    they have a thing you can put on your finger to protect it from the heat. Its like a thumble only its for the heat.

  3. #3
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    Some quilters don't use steam, others use a small iron made by Clover. I use chop sticks to hold the seams down when I use steam. I still steam myself from time to time. I am sure others will share more tricks of the trade.

  4. #4
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I use half of an old clothespin, not fancy, but it keeps heat and fingers apart

  5. #5
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I don't think you really need the steam for pressing seams open. Also, there is a mini iron that works great when working with smaller pieces. If I remember correctly, I think it is Eleanor Burns who just does finger pressing with seams.


    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    I am always burning my fingers when steam ironing a seam open or setting a seam. Is there a technique I am not aware of? Could I use a bone folder to hold the seam open while ironing? :cry: Thanks, Glenn

  6. #6
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I forgot to turn the steam off before trying to press and fold a turned under edge--ouch!

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I sometimes use a flat head screwdriver. I love steam!! A bone folder work too.

  8. #8
    Junior Member acesgame's Avatar
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    I have a wooden stylus and when I can keep it out of my dog's mouth, it works great for alot of things. Also those useless (because the are never sharp)long letter openers would work. Mostly I take the chance and sometimes burn my fingers but I don't use steam.

  9. #9
    Super Member shequilts's Avatar
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    A "wooden" iron works just fine for most things. It's cool and dry. You really don't need steam, it shrinks and/or distorts the fabric.

  10. #10
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Steam hurts! A bone folder, chopstick, wooden clothespin, stiletto all work well. I utilize the point of my iron a lot and try to keep my other hand out of the way until the piece cools. I have asbestos hands from cooking, but that steam hurts.

  11. #11
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shequilts
    A "wooden" iron works just fine for most things. It's cool and dry. You really don't need steam, it shrinks and/or distorts the fabric.
    What is a wooden iron? Glenn :?:

  12. #12
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    I finger press the seams first and I don't use steam when I press - I tend to stretch the fabric if I do - so I don't! LOL

  13. #13
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    I use steam for everything except paper piecing. You might try a pressing stick. They are sometimes called seam sticks. They are used in garment sewing and can be really helpful for narrow seams. I can ask about the web site tomorrow if you want.

  14. #14
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good info. I will try all that you mentioned and maybe I will rethink steam ( I have noticed it streches the fabric some). I am making a drunkard's path into an americana guilt and lots of ironing is required, curved seams you know. Glenn

  15. #15
    Senior Member jane65us's Avatar
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    finger press it first, I use my fingernail...it will stay open enough for you to press it

  16. #16
    Junior Member Newby0709's Avatar
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    Recently I read on this board about someone using a wallpaper seam roller for seams. I am wondering if that could be used first, followed by the iron and get the results needed when lots of ironing is required.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    I am always burning my fingers when steam ironing a seam open or setting a seam. Is there a technique I am not aware of? Could I use a bone folder to hold the seam open while ironing? :cry: Thanks, Glenn

    Have your tried using wooden skewers? You can pick them up cheap at Walmart or 99 cent store or dollar store.

    Just remember that we've all been there and done that! (And probably more than once!)

  18. #18
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I hate steam and got myself a little dry iron from Home Depot.

  19. #19
    Senior Member momymom's Avatar
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    When pressing seams open, I use a dress makers ham or sleeve roll. It grabs the fabric, and it doesn't move. A rolled up dish towel works too. Turn off the seam, and use one of the before mentioned tools to hold the seam open as you go. I saw this on a quilt show years ago. It works great for bias seams.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    Quote Originally Posted by shequilts
    A "wooden" iron works just fine for most things. It's cool and dry. You really don't need steam, it shrinks and/or distorts the fabric.
    What is a wooden iron? Glenn :?:
    Here is a picture. Most of the LQS and online quilt stores carry them. They also come in Left and Right hand, so specify when ordering :)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    If you are pressing a long seam open, if you hold the fabric to press up off the ironing surface, those seam allowances will open right up and you can easily press them open, down the whole length. I also suggest to try the little iron sleeve that fits on your finger (try Clotilde or Nancy's Notions) and protects you from the heat. Mine is black knit.

  22. #22
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    I have to admit I don't use a wooden iron. I just stole a polycarbonate shank out of an old pointe shoe from my daughter. I really think anything that is about 1 inch wide and fairly thin can be used to "finger press" seams open. Then I use my iron. Saves wear and tear on my nails.

  23. #23
    Senior Member barbsbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    Quote Originally Posted by shequilts
    A "wooden" iron works just fine for most things. It's cool and dry. You really don't need steam, it shrinks and/or distorts the fabric.
    What is a wooden iron? Glenn :?:



    I made some wooden iron/stilettoes that I use when I am paper piecing The other tool is one I use a lot when making solt sculptures, toys, pincushions, etc. The stiletto is a finishing nail that I ground smoother and also sometimes cut 2 sided knitting needles in half.

    side view of wooden iron and turning tool for soft scupture
    Name:  Attachment-91907.jpe
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Size:  41.0 KB

    flat side of wooden iron (bottom)
    Name:  Attachment-91908.jpe
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Size:  44.6 KB

    finger indention on top of wooden iron
    Name:  Attachment-91909.jpe
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Size:  44.5 KB

  24. #24
    Gal
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    Super Member Gal's Avatar
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    I don't use a steam iron, I use a small spray bottle which gives a fine mist over the area I want to press, I stared doing this years ago when I was sewing and have just kept on with it, works for me, I guess I am just used to it now.

    Gal

  25. #25
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    Normally all mine go to one side, very seldom, open, just try not to pull when presing, keeps most of it straight, :)
    Good Luck Happy Quilting :)

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