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Thread: To steam or not to steam................

  1. #26
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    I start out with steam and end up with no steam. I use starch so i don't see any real difference in it.

  2. #27
    Senior Member JuneD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erstan947
    I use spray starch and no steam. It is all a personal choice.
    There is really no right or wrong:)
    I use spray starch also. I have always used steam, but I found that the spray gets out hard wrinkles that steam can't and I really like the crisp feel of the fabric. I found some non-aerosol, bio-degradable starch that doesn't clog the nozzle and it's good for the enviroment as well.

  3. #28
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I don't use steam, but to be honest I have forgotten and pressed with the steam function on and never had any distortion that I could notice. I think I get a crisper flatter result if I press with steam and a little bit of Best Press though. I also keep a bottle of water by my ironing board for wrinkles that won't come out.

    The biggest habit that has been helpful to me is pressing not ironing - as many other ladies have mentioned. I generally open seams with my fingers first and use my nail to sort of create a "guide" for pressing. You can also buy a little wooden pressing stick from the craft store for a few bucks...I use that when I'm making something with a lot of seams so I don't have to keep getting up and going to the ironing board. Like this pineapple quilt I'm currently working on, I usually finish the entire block and just use my wooden pressing stick and then take it to the ironing board and press with a little bit of Best Press.

  4. #29
    Junior Member Grammashel's Avatar
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    If you can find one of those wooden rollers used for pressing the seams of wallpaper, they work wonderfully for pressing seams. I use it on short seams and save pressing for the finished or long seams. With or without steam depends on the block. And my mood.

  5. #30
    Senior Member Karyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    30 years quilting, teaching, designing. My opinion is that it isn't the steam which distorts, it's the 'presser'. I always use steam, high heat, and a pressing-not ironing motion.

    Jan in VA
    I agree Jan, you can 'press' with steam or you can iron with steam. Ironing with steam distorts fabric because we tend to pull on it. Sit your steam iron on the seam you wish to press, then lift. Thats the secret. Hope this helps!

  6. #31
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    I've never really got comfortable with the steam function on irons, so I don't use it. I keep a spray bottle around for stubborn creases, though I'm now trying to make sure that I don't let my fabric get too creased when I prewash it as that's the main problem. I don't use the spray bottle often.

    The main thing for me is the size of the iron. Unless I'm pressing whole pieces of fabric to prepare them, or pressing a completed quilt top before basting, I don't use a standard sized iron. I use a little travel iron which sits on a tabletop ironing board on my sewing desk, so I can press without doing more than reaching a few inches further away. I find that the small size and light weight of the iron are much better for those little 1/4" seams, it's much easier to manoeuvre, whether it's straight seams or curved ones, or appliqué come to that. If I was using a big heavy standard iron for piecing, I suspect I'd end up with distortions and accidentally pressing in creases and such.

    Spray starch - I've found that while it makes the fabrics easier to handle because they're stiffer, it also means that if the top gets folded up at any point (and sooner or later it will, especially around basting time) then I get creases settling in which are much harder to get out. This also happens with quilting frame creases. So now I'm pretty much keeping it for appliqué and for sewing small pieces on the bias, since I had no end of fun with some small triangles a while back.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramie bj
    I have always used a dry Iron if I need steam I use a spray bottle. Ladies aren't spray bottls great! I remember using a sprinkle bottle when Ironing cloths. I still have mine.
    I remember those sprinkle bottles! I was thinking of that not very long ago, wishing I had one. It was what my grandmother used and what I used when she taught me to iron! There was a little dent in ours on the metal 'sprinkle top'. I also learned to sew on a treadle machine. I wish I had both of them now! Never liked spray irons - and don't have one even now. Yes, spray bottles are great, use them all the time for a lot of things.















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  8. #33
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    I don't steam. If I need to, I just spritz with water.

  9. #34
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    I don't steam. If I need to, I just spritz with water.

  10. #35
    Senior Member redturtle's Avatar
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    thnx for asking this ? JAK...
    i never thought about the steam distorting the fabric...
    guess i will try no steam on triangles...see if that helps any with my seam alignment :)

  11. #36
    Super Member Surfergirl's Avatar
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    I agree with Jan. I always use steam...high heat...PRESS, not iron.

  12. #37
    Senior Member ThreadHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK
    I am a new quilter of only about 3 months. I have read numerous articles, books, Youtube tutorials and most generally they have all said not to use steam when pressing seams/squares as it can stretch fabric. I started a quilting class this week and instructor says to steam. Just wondering what most of you more experienced quilters prefer.
    Ha Ha have you ever tried on a T-shirt or blouse that was kinda tight? Iron it with a little pushing/pulling pressure and your top will stretch out to fit.
    Syl

  13. #38
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    30 years quilting, teaching, designing. My opinion is that it isn't the steam which distorts, it's the 'presser'. I always use steam, high heat, and a pressing-not ironing motion.

    Jan in VA
    This is what I do too. Sometimes I dry press before steaming so the seams are almost flat to begin with. And also remember allow the fabric to dry COMPLETELY before working with it again.

  14. #39
    Senior Member ThreadHead's Avatar
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    Back in the day------we used to iron everything.
    My husband was in the Air Force so I had to iron his fatigues. What a job!
    I would sprinkle them down, roll them up, and put them in a pillow case, then I put them in the frig over night. The cold and damp would take out all of the wrinkles.
    The next day I would spray starch them, with my starch that I made from the dry box of starch and adding water. Faultless? Back then they also had a bottle of starch that they used just for collars and cuffs, very, very stiff that would last through 3 or 4 washings, I haven't seen any in a long time. Not much need for it now.
    Syl

  15. #40
    Junior Member qltncat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThreadHead
    Quote Originally Posted by JAK
    I am a new quilter of only about 3 months. I have read numerous articles, books, Youtube tutorials and most generally they have all said not to use steam when pressing seams/squares as it can stretch fabric. I started a quilting class this week and instructor says to steam. Just wondering what most of you more experienced quilters prefer.
    Ha Ha have you ever tried on a T-shirt or blouse that was kinda tight? Iron it with a little pushing/pulling pressure and your top will stretch out to fit.
    Syl
    I love this idea. At my ASG meeting recently, someone shared an embellished sweatshirt. She told us to stretch and iron the ribbing with steam on the bottom. It looked great and natural.

    Linda

  16. #41
    Senior Member darlin121's Avatar
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    I do the same!

    Quote Originally Posted by qltncat
    I've been quilting for about 12 years, and I still can't decide. I do both, but I generally start without steam. If I can't get the fabric to cooperate, I use steam....

    Linda

  17. #42

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    Some fabric just won't lay flat without steam but I use no steam for most things.

  18. #43
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Starch and press here too!!! I love the crispness!!

  19. #44
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    a lot of magic sizing here and no steam unless it is an unruly fabric and will not stay laying... then steam.

  20. #45
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    I use dry and starch during the construction phase. Steam after the quilt is done to freshen it up.

  21. #46
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    I steam my fabric before I cut it. I also steam set my seams, after mt block is completed I starch it.

  22. #47
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Pressing, not ironing makes a huge difference! I use steam when I need things to behave~

  23. #48
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    I tend to finger press simple blocks as I sew the individual units then steam press the whole block.

  24. #49
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    Maybe this is why when I sew things together that seem perfectly cut, they don't end up straight! I steam a lot and probably iron rather than press.

  25. #50
    Super Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    I dry iron & starch when assembling the blocks. Once all the blocks are sewn into the quilt, I steam.
    Brenda

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