When quilting, there are three things that lead to an accurate quilt block. Cutting, sewing, and pressing. If you don’t cut your pieces right, your block (and quilt) will have no chance at accuracy. Once you cut your pieces, you have to sew them – usually with a 1/4″ seam. If this seam isn’t accurate, your block will not turn out right, either. The final step is good pressing.
Pressing is the least obvious of these three, but just as important. I’ve taught classes where my students have come to me with blocks that were an inch short of their accurate finished size. They cut correctly, they stitched well, but they didn’t press accurately, and had lost fabric that was buried in an incorrectly pressed seam.
There is lots of controversy about pressing. The first is on pressing a seam open or to the side. There are benefits to each. Pressing a seam open results in a flatter seam area, and less bulk. Pressing to the side allows you to “stitch in the ditch” when quilting. Both are right. I switch the way I press depending on the project.
The second piece of controversy is about using steam. Some quilters say that if you use steam when pressing, you will distort your fabric, and your block. I don’t have this problem, and love pressing with steam. The more steam the better. I find that using steam to press results in a crisply pressed seam, without having to push down on the iron – and I find that is is the pressing down on the iron that results in distortion.
I also love steam for getting out wrinkles in clothing. Or fabric that has been folded up in my fabric stash. Steam presses quickly and crisply without a lot of effort or work on my part.
That is why I love my new iron! Hamilton Beach sent me their Durathon steam iron to try out. This sucker delivers an amazing amount of steam!
I was able to get such an amazing burst of steam that I could actually get the iron to “squeak” for me!
The delivery of this steam is also amazing. Here is a picture of my old iron, and the new Durathon. Check out how many more steam holes are on the soleplate!
You can tell which one is my old iron, right? The soleplate on the Durathon is also larger, and has a more narrow tip for working on smaller projects.
In the next week I’ll be sharing an ornament tutorial. I used the Durathon for this project, and check out how crisp my seams are thanks to the amazing steam from this iron!
The awesome folks at Hamilton Beach not only gave me one of these irons, they’re also letting me give one away! Leave a comment letting me know if you like to iron with steam or without, and use the entry form below for a chance to win this great iron! Giveaway ends Monday night (10/1/12) at midnight.