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

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoriAmD
    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.
    I always use steam, but I am very careful to PRESS, not Iron. It is the moving of the iron across the fabric that stretches it - my opinion
    Ditto for me.

  2. #52
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    I have had problems with my blocks strething also and my instructor said to press, not iron. It is the motion and direction that you iron that stretches the fabric. I have also started finger pressing and then ironing when done and have had better results. I am also going to try starch to see what happens. I am pretty new at this to and will try anything to see what works best for me.

  3. #53
    Super Member LivelyLady'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:)
    Same here.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Quilting Angel's Avatar
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    I am new to quilting as well, and I always use steam.

  5. #55
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I love steam, but have not worked with bias, so don't know if that makes a difference

  6. #56
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    I have always used steam but after reading what you said and
    some of the others I guess I better not use steam on bias pieces.
    You can learn something every day.

  7. #57
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    "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 with Jan -- I have been quilting over 20 yrs and use steam but always PRESS!

  8. #58
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I've never been lucky enough to find a steam iron that didn't spit or drip. We also have hard water here and no softener so if I press for steam I'll get lime!!

    I'll use my 50/50 starch if I need to "press a seam into submission".

  9. #59
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    I do both.

  10. #60
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    I have 'well water' that is extremely hard. Therefore I use distilled or drinking water in the bottles.

  11. #61
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    I press with dry heat. Used to press with steam, but blocks are much less wonky now that I don't use steam. Haven't tried starch yet. I steam the heck out of wrinkled clothes and fabric. I might steam a finished block that was already wonky in order to try to make it work and avoid ripping and redoing.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoriAmD
    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.
    I always use steam, but I am very careful to PRESS, not Iron. It is the moving of the iron across the fabric that stretches it - my opinion


    CoriAmD...I also use steam and you are so right: PRESS..
    Press is the #1 rule for me...and I use steam 100% of the time.

  13. #63
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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.
    I agree it is the ironing motion that stretches, I find that I have most of my sucess with finger pressing and not iron pressing til the very end with steam, but the quilt police won't be around most of the time , good luck. :thumbup: :roll: :lol:

  14. #64
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    i always use steam, it seems to set the seam much better, if you do not want to stretch the fabric, do not run your iron over the fabric, just put it down for a few seconds and lift back up........gina

  15. #65
    Super Member watson's mom's Avatar
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    I have been using the tips that have been posted here. I use starch all the time now and a dry iron, I also just press, not iron. Thanks to this board my blocks actually come out the right size.

  16. #66
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I think something else that factors into it is the more you piece and quilt the more your eye can see those distortions. When I first started quilting I didn't even recognize some of the imperfections that I now try to avoid. Not that it makes your quilt any less beautiful as some people find those little imperfections endearing. As long as you are not distorting your blocks to the point they look strange or they interfere with your measurements...and as you increase in skill you are bound to run into those types of issues.

  17. #67
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    I have taugth quilting for 30+ years--yikes! Anyway, the word is press GENTYLY. Steam or not. Don't run the iron over the fabric patches like you're ironing a shirt. That will stretch fabric. Use a gentle hand to maintain the shape of the pieced unit. This applies to either dry or steam. Dry pressing with a heavy hand will do as much damage.

    Sandy

  18. #68
    Senior Member Prettiptibbs's Avatar
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    I use steam but to press...don't move the iron back and forth in an ironing motion

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