Ironing and quilting can be confusing sometimes. When do I iron? Do I use steam or no steam? Ironing is important to do before starting the quilting process. It will help to get all those ugly creases and wrinkles out.
There is a specific way to iron the fabric, and certain things to know when using steam and not using steam.
Quickly lets clarify the iron and pressing words….
Ironing— move back and forth with the hot iron to remove creases. Great for larger pieces of fabric. Not patchwork or pieced yet.
Pressing— no movement of the iron is needed. Place the iron on top fo the object being straightened and let the weight and heat of the iron do the work. Perfect for pieced patchwork and applique.
Depending on what you are working on either option is acceptable.
- good iron that gets hot. I prefer the Oliso brand, but have use others just fine.
- spray bottle with water or a steam option on your iron
- flat surface- you can make your own ironing board or use a traditional one
The most important thing while ironing is not to move the iron back and forth vigorously. It is more of a pressing motion. Let the iron do all the work.
Gently press the iron down on the fabric, and make sure the fabric is on a hard flat surface. By gently pressing it is easier on the fabric. Also, make sure the fabric is a single layer when ironing.
Steam is called for, sometimes. There are a few pros and cons to using steam while ironing the fabric.
- Steaming can help make the fabric more square and even sided.
- Crisp fabric is much easier to work with, and steaming makes the fabric this way. It also gets the wrinkles out.
- Pulling on the fabric while or after it has been steamed may cause the fabric to stretch.
- Fabric may bleed if using steam.
After ironing, lay the fabric on a flat surface. Take care not to fold it or create any more creases, you don’t want to undo the work you just ironed out.
Here are more ironing helps-
Homemade Spray Starch – cheaper than store bought!
Mini Iron Travel Bag Tutorial – just in case you travel with your mini!
Make your own portable iron station
Iron or Press? Which one is right for your project?
More Ironing board stations inspiration
This is part of the Pre-K Patchwork Series. Click here for more Quilting 101 tips.
Q & A– Do you have a trick for ironing or pressing? Leave a comment and start the conversation.
Follow along with the Quilting 101 series— Pre-K Patchwork. Every week there is a new topic! Sign up for email nudges and reminders.