May 11, 2013
When you first learned how to sew quilts, were you taught the difference between pressing and ironing? Using the proper technique can make all the difference in how your quilt blocks come out.In my early years of quilting, my quilt blocks sometimes turned out slanted and I couldn’t figure out why. My borders were not always straight on the edge after using my iron and I couldn’t figure out why. Bingo! The light finally came on one day when I realized I was not “pressing” but I was “ironing”! There is a big difference. When you have completed your piecing for your block, you first of all should “set” your seams, as is shown in the Pressing Tip video (below). Once this seam has been “set”, you then need to flatten the seam by pressing the seam to one side. By pressing in an up/down method, you should eliminate any distortion of your block. [youtube]http://youtu.be/0ZHwOhNZB-4[/youtube] When you iron your blocks, you are dragging and pushing your iron across your fabrics and this has a tendency to really distort and misshape your work. This is not what you want. Personally, I will “iron” my large pieces of fabrics prior to cutting them, but always try to “press” my blocks and my quilt as it progresses to a finished project. It also helps if you have a good iron. I like to use steam so I look for an iron with many steam holes on the bottom plate. I am one of those people who will press my fabric to death because I don’t want any wrinkles in it. Sometimes we have fabrics for quilting that just do not want to cooperate and we need to offer them a little help with products such as “Best Press”.