Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pressing Issues

Pressing properly is one of my favorite (rants) issues to share with my students. I think it can make or break your piecing. You would be surprised how many people press incorrectly or (gasp) NOT AT ALL. So, if you are interested I have a short tutorial for you:

1. Cotton fabric is wishy washy - it can be pushed around. Be careful not to distort the fibers when you press. If you remember to move the iron parallel with the selvage, the fibers will stretch less and stay straighter.

2. Streamed? Well, as a matter of fact...I am. I do use steam when I press. Did you know most irons rely on steam to heat fully in the cotton setting? It's true. So don't be afraid to use steam. Just remember #1.

3. I always prewash and use spray starch or sizing when I press. I think I get much better results this way. Once I start pressing pieces I have sewn, I have a few tricks...

4. When pressing Half Square Triangles, I set my seam first with the unit still closed.

5. Then I open the seam with my fingers.

6. Then I carefully press, moving the iron parallel to the weave of the fabric so I don't distort it. (Don't push the point of the iron into the seam. This will make it wavy).

7. Now comes the time saving cool part...Lay the next HST unit right on top of the first one. Line the edge of the top unit up with the seam line of the first one. (Do a better job than I did). Continue on setting the seams and pressing until the pile gets too big and start a new one. You'll find this is quicker and keeps your seams straighter!

Next time I will show you some ideas about pressing strip sets. I know you can hardly wait!


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