Ironing & Pressing Tips For Quilting

Should I Use Quick & Portable Ironing Board?

Usually I prefer to have a regular ironing board set up across the room from my work area so that I have to get up and stretch every so often. But since I started working on my double wedding ring quilt there are so many seams that have to be pressed before I can do the next one on the arc that I created a little ironing board to have right beside me.

I took a little wooden fold up TV dinner table, put a layer of cardboard from a box on top threw a towel on that and then an old piece of fabric from some long ago sewing project is over that. To hold it all together I put a large elastic over each end. Voila.. instant sewing table that sits right beside me and doesn’t interfere with my work space at all. When I need to put it away I just fold it up as usual and it can go almost anywhere out of the way. It works great.

Should I Press My Block as I Go or When It’s Complete?

Some quilters press after every seam, I prefer to wait until all of the patches are sewn in my blocks.

I have found that once pressed, it is difficult to get a patch to adjust if it needs to be bigger or smaller. Once the whole block is sewn, I want the inside patches to stay that size.

I press both sides of the block, beginning with the back, that way I can make sure that the seam allowances are facing the way I want them to.

Once everything looks good on the back, I flip the block right side up, and give it another press, checking the seam allowances. Sometimes an extra little push with the iron into a seam allowance flattens the block even more and may hide any sewing errors.

Also, if my seam allowance was a tad too small, it gives me an opportunity to correct that will pressing as well. In that case, sometimes I will go back and sew the seam to correct it. Other times I leave it alone, and let the quilting secure the seam.

How To Protect My Fingers While Ironing?

It’s easy to burn your fingers while ironing your quilt blocks.

Try wearing a leather thimble on the index finger of the hand you use to hold the fabric. The leather will protect your finger while you get the seam allowances lined up, and keep your finger from being burned by the steam from the iron.

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