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Steam or no steam?

Steam or no steam?

Old 07-05-2012, 08:18 AM
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Default Steam or no steam?

I have heard different opinions concerning the use of steam when piecing a quilt. I prefer to use steam, but worry that it does distort the blocks, but the iron doesn't seem to work as well without it. I am using a cheapo iron, but had the same results when I was using an expensive one.

What are some opinions out there concerning steam?

Gina
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:25 AM
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I think steam is okay, but you have to watch whether you're "pressing" or "ironing". And you can do both with or without steam. I like to use steam when I'm setting seams and when my block is finished. Either way, I'm pressing, not ironing. I've gotten in way more trouble with distortion because I've slid the iron across my fabric than I ever did with steam.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:25 AM
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Whether using steam or not the important thing to remember is to PRESS and not IRON!
Up and down, not side to side.

You'll get opinions on both being right ... I know top notch quilters who do it both ways.
So do what works for you!
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:27 AM
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Like others have stated, "PRESS not IRON." I also use Best Press or light starch when necessary.

mltquilt
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:43 AM
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I use no steam when I put pieces together and steam once the block is together but the areas where the seams come together is bulky or lumpy. Steam tends to get it into submission. I have also used steam with starch to "block" a piece into shape.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MadQuilter View Post
I use no steam when I put pieces together and steam once the block is together but the areas where the seams come together is bulky or lumpy. Steam tends to get it into submission. I have also used steam with starch to "block" a piece into shape.
I try to get my blocks 'trained' as I go, so they don't need to be 'beaten into submission'

I have learned to press/iron along the grain lines instead of diagonally (on the bias) - and that seems to help maintain the desired shape.

I usually use light steam.

And- horror of horrors - I've taken a pressed block and then ironed it in all directions like I was rolling out a pie crust! From the top/right side.


Try several ways - use what works for you - sometimes one method will work in a given setting - sometimes one has to go to Plan B

Many of us have tried several ways of doing things - some worked well for us - some were 'interesting experiments' - (translation - WHAT THE ???? )

Last edited by bearisgray; 07-05-2012 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:40 PM
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How do you break yourself to press and not iron. I am used to garmet sewing and find myself ironing, with lots of problems.
Originally Posted by mltquilt View Post
Like others have stated, "PRESS not IRON." I also use Best Press or light starch when necessary.

mltquilt
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:47 PM
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I never figured out how to put water in my iron so I started using a small spray bottle of water. I lightly spritz the seam area before pressing. If I'm paper piecing, I spritz my finger and run it across the seam line. I like my seams beaten into submission before I assemble my blocks LOL.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:16 PM
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Sometimes I steam; sometimes I don't. Depends upon the fabric and how it's behaving. I usually use steam, when pressing the fabric, though.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:02 PM
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I steam press my seams to set them, but use starch to press blocks. Actually, I starch my fabric before I even cut into it. By the time my quilt is done there is so much starch that I've never had any trouble getting the markings out of it when I wash it as all the markings are on the starch. LOL
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