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Thread: Steam or not.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    Do you use steam when pressing your blocks, and as you go making the block. I heard you are to use a dry iron. Help

  2. #2
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I press my individual pieces with a dry iron - setting the seam first before pressing anything open. Generally I don't use steam until the entire top is together OR if something just doesn't behave. The key is that you don't want to distort anything and steam can lead to distortion.

    Don't you just love those "it depends" answers?

  3. #3
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I have found that sometimes it shrinks my block. I read somewhere that this can happen and well it made a lot of sense when my squares were short 1/4 inch. I still steam but only on larger fabrics

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I only use a dry iron. Just my way I guess.

  5. #5
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    Dry pressing for me as well!

  6. #6
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    First I set the seam then open and finger press then apply my slightly
    damp finger tips on the seam and press. It makes for nice flat seams
    without shrinkage or distortion. :)

  7. #7
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    I use a dry iron. I keep a spray bottle of water near the ironing board. I sometimes will give a fine spray to the fabric and press with the dry iron. That way you get the benefit of steam without distorting the fabric.

    Using a dry iron means you don't have to clean it.

  8. #8
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I'm basically too lazy to keep refilling the iron reservoir if I want to use steam so even if I were to start with steam I would soon be using a dry iron. So, I just leave it dry.
    :) :)

  9. #9
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    I use a dry iron also.

  10. #10
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    I use a dry iron too. If I need to sometimes I'll spritz a seam with a spray bottle. I do pre-wash and press with steam if necessary, so I wouldn't think the block would shrink from steam pressing.

  11. #11
    deema's Avatar
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    I don't steam my seams. I do use steam when ironing the fabric before cutting, but it's dry from then until the top is finished, then I steam the whole top.

  12. #12
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Interesting responses!
    I ALWAYS use steam, and high heat. Have taught my classes for 25 years that it isn't the steam that distorts but the "presser," and that it's how the point and the edge of the iron are used that makes a difference.

    I LOVE how quilting is not a "written in stone" art!

    Jan in VA

  13. #13
    Member bikerlady21's Avatar
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    I don't use steam, but do use homemade spray starch sparingly!

  14. #14
    e4
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    Steam, steam, and more steam. - and a hot iron for me. Steam let's me make small adjustments when needed to get blocks square or take care of easing I might have had to do.

  15. #15
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I flip back and forth between a dry iron and steam. If a seam is being stubborn I use steam to tame it. Also a drop of water on the front and back of the intersections, works well to get them to stay nice and flat too :D:D:D

  16. #16
    Super Member ktmo815's Avatar
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    I was taught not to use steam but will try it for the ones that don't quite fit right & see if that helps. Thanks everyone.

  17. #17
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i NEVER put water in my iron; i keep a spray bottle of water on the ironing board, and if a fabric is so wrinkled that a dry iron does not take care of it i mist the fabric and press. works great for me. :)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltforme
    I have found that sometimes it shrinks my block. I read somewhere that this can happen and well it made a lot of sense when my squares were short 1/4 inch. I still steam but only on larger fabrics
    Were these fabrics washed before cutting?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    Thanks all I will go dry and see how I make out. Sometimes my blocks are wacky maybe it is the steam.

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    Generally I use a dry iron and starch. However I do use steam on occasions. I also use vintage irons that heat up fast, hot and never have a shut off. An iron that shuts off after so many minutes drives me insane, maybe that's because I'm slow as molasses (sp)!

  21. #21
    FortMyers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    Interesting responses!
    I ALWAYS use steam, and high heat. Have taught my classes for 25 years that it isn't the steam that distorts but the "presser," and that it's how the point and the edge of the iron are used that makes a difference.

    I LOVE how quilting is not a "written in stone" art!

    Jan in VA
    I always steam when I press, not iron my blocks when quilting Jan is right it is the driver not the car, lol

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    I don't steam my seams. I do use steam when ironing the fabric before cutting, but it's dry from then until the top is finished, then I steam the whole top.
    This is what I do also. After washing and starching the fabric it needs to be either steamed or sprayed with water and ironed to get all the wrinkles out before cutting. After that ---dry iron. I should explain-- I hate spray starching and then ironing. It seems to flake or stick or something, so I starch and dry the fabric then spray with water and iron.

  23. #23

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    has anybody really had steam from an iron shrink something up? that really sounds a little out there for me. I think there's more potential harm in distorting shapes than danger of shrinking something. And if you steam everything, everythiing that could shrink would do so uniformly.

  24. #24
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i think it depends on the block and the fabrics i'm using; i never ever put water in my iron, but i do keep a spray bottle of water on the end of the ironing board; if i am pressing a block and am not getting the crisp sharp press i want i give it a little spritz and press again...if water is not enough, i give it alittle starch- what ever i need to do to get the results i want

  25. #25
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Gosh, there's so MUCH to remember!!! And I've been regular sewing most of my life!

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