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Thread: To steam or not to steam, that is the question

  1. #1
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    LOL You're not going to believe what I did...I have been ironing my entire stash after a good amount of washing and drying and was just about done when I realized the steam was off THE ENTIRE TIME! I'm talking days!! I use this iron for pressing only usually and never bothered checking it :lol: I guess that's why I had to refill my spritz bottle so often...all the way upstairs. Thought it might make you giggle.

    I was watching a video this morning on allpeoplequilt & the instructor says steaming is a personal choice and another says the weight of the iron doesn't matter in reducing wrinkles. I had always heard a heavier iron was best and NEVER EVER (like it's illegal LOL) use steam to press in quilting as it distorts the fabric....is it just me?

  2. #2
    luvmy2bts's Avatar
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    I have heard that you never iron in quilting only press. I use some fabric sizing when I press my fabric.

    Debbie

  3. #3
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    I use steam to press and haven't had a problem with distortion so far.

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I think if you're at least a little careful using steam it shouldn't distort, it's probably mostly when someting is cut on the bias . And I have to disagree with the one who said the weight of the iron doesn't matter. I used to not have a dryer and had to hang outside on a line. I had to iron everything and I know it takes more passes with a lightweight iron to get the wrinkles out. heat, steam and weight, When I'm pressing my seams after I have it where I want it I like to give it a shot of steam, seems to make it stay better. I used to starch my blocks when I pressed(they're like cardboard by the time I finish!) but with that much moisture it was easy to stretch out of shape so I don't do it anymore.

  5. #5
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Thank you! I think so, too...love the heavy iron for small pressing. i just put it down and boom, I'm done.

    I'm getting buff going through the stash :lol: well, at least my right arm is! I'm ready to switch to the heavy full time...now that I've had some practice.

  6. #6
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    I agree with Kathy. The heavier the iron, the faster the wrinkles come out.

  7. #7

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    What do you do with your stash once it's ironed? Doesn't it get wrinkled again during storage?

  8. #8

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    If you fold the fabric you don't have trouble with it getting wrinkled again. When I was working on dd's quilt I started by throwing all the fabric in a bag, but a cup of water spilled in there so I put it all in the dryer to dry, and then gently laid it in the basket I'd been keeping the fabrics in and it was WAY easier, to smooth out the fabrics.

    The only two cents I have about steam which might only mean a penny to someone knowing more than me, is that you have to be very careful when peicing that the fabric is completely dry before putting it in the sewing machine. Sewing machines do not like even a little damp fabric and they wont sew properly. In my case the bobbin thread wont catch if the material is a tiny bit damp.

    The other thought I had while typing is that before you put fabric away in storage or in a plastic bag to take to the longarmer, you need to be 100% sure it's completely dry or else the little bit of dampness would cause mildew, yuck.

  9. #9
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I dont iron my fabric till ready for use. Then I use a steam iron.
    For piecing I use a Rowenta travel iron with steam. It is lightweight and does not distort like a heavy iron. I love it.

  10. #10
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I use steam if wrinkles are really bad, or to relax fabric I am teasing into a shape for applique. I also use linen spray from the dollar store to give me a little crispness and a nice smell. If I am haing a hard time, I will drench it in spray starch., then rinse out later.

  11. #11
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    OOh, such good tips. I have my stash separated and in open containers or baskets (whatever I had lying around), neatly folded. Some of the containers are plastic but I thought they'd be OK since I didn't put a lid on them.
    I have already grabbed some fabric to use this morning & took just a sec for the iron to get the folds out...plus I've already gotton rid of those annoying clumps of string Yea!! and got straight to marking and cutting. It's nice.

  12. #12

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    Loretta, I read that if you mail a quilt you should put it in a plastic bag, and then when it gets where it's going it should be promptly removed, mostly to prevent it from being damaged by water, etc. was that wrong? I loved your idea from another thread, about making a pillow case to match to store the quilt in.

  13. #13
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    I don't usually keep water in my iron, so I have a spritzer bottle on stand-by all the time!
    Makes sense to me that a heavy iron would take less pushing effort to get the wrinkles out. :D

  14. #14

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    I use steam all the time and have been quilting 30yrs and have no problem , I don't push the facric around like when ironing and am now lazy and do't pre wash anything just take a chance. Most quilts don't need washin g just airing on the clothesline which are now okay in Ontario LOL Happy Quilting

  15. #15
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input. I'm trying not to steam much, but will play around with the steam on the next project----deadlines are keeping me from getting carried away with experiments right now :D

    Is everyone using 100% cotton the majority of the time? I have a lady coming to pick up some "other" fabric today that I inherited and she just sent me an email to say that she'll use it in her quilting.

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