Friday, September 5, 2014

Press vs Iron

Yes, indeed! There is a difference between pressing and ironing fabric. I’ve written about this several times over the years because it’s so important! Great tips are always worth mentioning again!

“Pressing” is lifting the iron up and down where needed. When preparing fabric for cutting out quilt pieces, or for the stitched pieces, “press” is the method we need to use. Hard sliding the iron back and forth easily causes the fabric to stretch. Trust me! Press!

When working on quilt tops, always use a dry iron. This will also keep the fabric from stretching out of shape as steam (water in the iron) is a major contributor to stretching cotton out of shape!

From a long-arm quilter’s perspective,
the flatter the seams are, the nicer the quilt top will quilt.

It is critical to press seams as you go!

Never ever stitch over an unpressed seam! It will be an absolute messy mess to press correctly and flat after the fact. The as-you-go press method will make the difference between a nice quilt top and a fabulous one!

Once you’ve joined two pieces, from the wrong side, press the seam flat, to set (or meld) the stitches in place. This will also take out any little puckering that may be there.

In my opinion, the safest bet is to press the seam open.
Next – to press the seam open or to one side – that’s a dilemma… some wonderful patterns tell you which way to press. I love directions like that! The Glory Be block we’ll do in a few days is such a fully explained pattern!

But without specifics, it depends (open or to one side) on the next piece that will join up against it… we don’t want bulk – ever!

Once that seam is which ever way pressed, flip over and press again from the right side before adding the next piece.

I usually wait to use spray starch until I have a block totally created (several pieces stitched and pressed as I made them). Oh yes, the frequent using of unscented spray starch is an absolute must in quilt making!

Any longarm quilter will tell you… press press press!

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