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Pressing experiment
Cat n Bull
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Cat n Bull  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/11/12 1:48 PM

I know we have discussed this recently, but I wanted to share the results of my pressing experiment.

I had noticed distorted shapes when pressing, and the overwhelming consensus is that steam is the reason fabric distorts.

Then I saw Sharon Schamber's tutorial on pressing boards, and she said pressing on a too-soft surface causes distortion.

Hmmm.....

So I had hubby cut me a piece of plywood. I had every intention of covering it and making a proper pressing board, but I lost interest and just stuck it under the ironing board cover.

I used Mary Ellen's Best Press on everything. Mary Ellen is my new Best Friend! LOVE that stuff! What a difference it makes!

I was making pinwheels, lots of half square triangles, and I used Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company's method, so each triangle had a bias edge.

I started with hot dry iron on the board. I was VERY happy with the way the shape held. Not so happy with how the seams were staying flat.

Then I used steam. PERFECT shapes AND flat seams.

I went back and re-pressed every square that was dry pressed. Helped to get rid of the center lump, helped when I went to square them up when finished, made sewing time much easier by having nice flat seams to work with.

Turns out it WAS the pressing surface that made all the difference.

And did I mention that I just LOVE Best Press?!
-- Edited on 4/11/12 1:52 PM --

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Cathryn

TessKwiltz
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In reply to Cat n Bull <<
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Date: 4/11/12 2:42 PM

Quote: Cat n Bull
And did I mention that I just LOVE Best Press?!

Me too!

And I gotta make me one of them hard pressing boards, too. Mine's not too bad, but it's too small.

Edited for typos
-- Edited on 4/11/12 2:42 PM --

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Tess

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SouthernStitch
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Date: 4/11/12 2:45 PM

Cat thanks so much for this! I've almost ordered the Steady Betty several times. I bet that would do a good job too, but the plywood sounds cheaper!

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Cat n Bull
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In reply to TessKwiltz <<


Date: 4/11/12 3:07 PM

Quote: TessKwiltz
[quote]
And I gotta make me one of them hard pressing boards, too. Mine's not too bad, but it's too small.



Edited for typos
-- Edited on 4/11/12 2:42 PM --

I just told hubby I want a piece of wood that will fit over the entire ironing board.

My ironing board is directly behind my chair when I sew, so I really don't need a small portable pressing surface. The piece he cut me WAS going to be one, but then I realized it would actually take up room I don't have to spare.

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Cathryn

Cat n Bull
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In reply to SouthernStitch <<


Date: 4/11/12 3:10 PM

Quote: SouthernStitch
Cat thanks so much for this! I've almost ordered the Steady Betty several times. I bet that would do a good job too, but the plywood sounds cheaper!

You're welcome!

The wood is cheap, and easy to deal with. My ironing board cover is pretty thin, so it is working out for me!

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Cathryn

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In reply to Cat n Bull <<


Date: 4/11/12 6:44 PM

What I want is an ironing station that is made of quality wood, has wheels for moving, has shelves for storage and can be an ironing board or not. The Local Quilt Shop (LQS) has one that was custom made for them. It think it is 5 feet wide, 18 inches deep and about a normal ironing board height. I love it. It is stable and does not move on carpeting. My ironing board is on carpeting and if I bump into the board, the board will move around. With a hot iron on it, I do not like that.

Now, where can I find something like this?

I myself like steam when pressing. The LQS classes use a dry iron. I do not think it does as good a job of pressing as mine with steam. I think the steam makes such a difference. I have not tried the Mary Ellen products, but they sell them.

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Cat n Bull
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In reply to Learn To Sew <<


Date: 4/11/12 9:27 PM

Quote: Learn To Sew
What I want is an ironing station that is made of quality wood, has wheels for moving, has shelves for storage and can be an ironing board or not. The Local Quilt Shop (LQS) has one that was custom made for them. It think it is 5 feet wide, 18 inches deep and about a normal ironing board height. I love it. It is stable and does not move on carpeting. My ironing board is on carpeting and if I bump into the board, the board will move around. With a hot iron on it, I do not like that.



Now, where can I find something like this?



I myself like steam when pressing. The LQS classes use a dry iron. I do not think it does as good a job of pressing as mine with steam. I think the steam makes such a difference. I have not tried the Mary Ellen products, but they sell them.

I have no idea where to find a pressing station like that! My ironing board is up against a wall, it can't go anywhere.

I am in a small bonus room (no closet), 10 x 10, and my table takes up most of it. I also have a kind of desk in there, it is high, like countertop height.

I was just thinking today of the 3 bedrooms upstairs in my house, and which one I want as my sewing room when the yungins move out. I would LOVE more space!

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Cathryn

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Date: 4/11/12 9:39 PM

This is such a great topic because it is based on quasi scientific method! I have been going around this very issue with the last two quilts I made. I made a Sharon Schambers iron board that is too big for me to use near my machine but I think I am going to pull it out again and give your experiment a test. I love Best Press too... (but my sprayer has been leaking and I am not so happy about the puddle of dried starch I found on my notions cabinet)

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Maia B
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Date: 4/13/12 1:25 AM

I'd rather spend on the Steady Betty than make a board out of plywood if the SB will work as well. I've pretty much mastered SEWING perfect 1/4" seams, but precision in cutting remains deficient for me. When I stopped using steam to press, the wavy or bowed bias edges disappeared, but I concede that the blocks aren't as flat as I'd like.

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Sonoma33
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In reply to Cat n Bull <<


Date: 4/13/12 1:38 AM

This is AWESOME! I adore best press. I want to stock it by the gallons.

I had been trying to dry press--and I hate it! I can never get things to lay/flatten as well.

I shall now try a new pressing surface--and actually I need a new iron while I'm at it!

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