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Quilt Tips From Quilters Around The World

Ironing & Pressing Tips:

I use a small travel steam iron as my regular iron now. My florescent lights no longer dim when my iron is plugged in - less wattage - also helps keep the electric bill and usage of power down. - Gail in Arizona

To clean any leftover fusibles on my iron, I dampen a terry washcloth and sprinkle a teaspoon or so of salt on it. Then I run the heated iron back and forth over the salt...anything stuck there is scrubbed off safely! - Kim in New Jersey

Use fabric softener sheets to clean fusibles from your iron. Heat your iron--no steam and iron the fabric softener sheet until the fusible is removed. It may take several sheets and the perfume free sheets are better as they do not smell when the iron touches them. - Diana in Washington

If you give the back of your block a quick shot of spray starch and press it will lie much flatter. - Sandra in New York

You don't have to throw away your ironing board cover if you tried to use a fusible, but ironed it to the ironing board instead of the fabric! Instead, fuse and stitch an applique to your ironing board cover to extend its use. Just pretend you intended to gussy up your ironing board cover! - Brita in Tennessee

For those of us that like to use a dry iron when ironing quilt seams and sometimes small, little puckers appear out of nowhere -- Well, I keep a small plastic squeeze bottle with a very fine tip next to my ironing board. Most of the time just one tiny drop of water will ease out the pucker & you don't need to take out the seam. I find it's really a time saver. - Rita in Michigan

I keep a spray bottle of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar beside my iron. The mixture will take out any unwanted creases (especially "on the bolt line") and will also sometimes give you that extra 1/8" to make a perfect size block. - Jackie in Calgary

I purchased a small, clear silicon mat that is sold for use with hot glue guns to catch drips and such. Cost about $2.50. I use it under my mini iron to protect surfaces from the heat if it should slip off it's holder. (It does all the time.) I also use one under my curling iron to protect my antique dresser from heat and scratches. - Linda in Minnesota

I covered the top of a wooden TV tray with batting and teflon fabric. I keep it beside my sewing table with an iron and use it to press my blocks as I sew them. It is very handy and saves lots of trips to the other room where the ironing board is. It is also easy to take along on retreats. - Nikki in Texas

I do a lot of paper piecing. To help with time management I keep a small ironing pad and cordless iron next to my machine for pressing. I bought my iron used and didn't have to pay much for it. - Trisha in South Carolina

I have a small night stand that sits by my machine that I placed a thick towel on top of to use as place to press my pieces after stitching. Can be stored under sewing machine when not in use. One with a drawer is also very useful. - Joanie in Missouri

An empty fabric bolt makes a handy portable ironing board. Just
wrap it in a thick towel, pin and tote it to your next workshop.
Most retailers will give these to you. - Dorene in Oklahoma

To avoid hard water build up in your iron, use bottled water. It has the hard minerals removed. I buy the gallon size of store brand and never have to clean my iron. - Shelley in New Brunswick, Canada

Alcohol wipes are wonderful to clean the fusibles off your iron. (You could also use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.) I have also found the wipes helpful to remove the gunk left by price stickers. - Colleen in New York

To keep from burning your fingers from the steam or heat of your iron, use a bamboo skewer to hold open your seams as you press them. - Beverly in Ohio

I am one of those quilters who use steam rather than a dry iron when pressing my seams. I keep a bottle of water with the sipper top on it to fill my iron. It makes it easy to get a small steady stream of water and I don't have to leave my sewing each time I need to add water to my iron." - Jackie in North Carolina

Have you ever ironed Wonder Under onto your ironing board? I did, and at first while it was still warm I could pull some of it off, but as it cooled I could no longer do that. I tried rubbing it with a wet cloth but that didn't work. So I got rubbing alcohol and used it on the cloth and even spilled some directly on the Wonder Under. I kept rubbing and scrapping with my fingernail and finally I got it all off.  - Ferrell in California

Turn you ironing board in the opposite direction from normal use.  Place the iron on the narrow end, leaving more wide space for fabrics and patchwork pressing. - Carolyn in Texas

When making strip sets, be sure to iron out the "humps" in the strips before sewing them together. - Kay in Oklahoma

Tin foil is great for cleaning a teflon iron. Crumble up the tin foil and then open it back up and move your hot iron back and forth on the foil. You can even mush up a tip on the foil and clean out around the holes on the bottom. This does not scratch the iron.  Not sure how it would work on a non-teflon surface. - Jackie in North Carolina

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