Ironing Tips with Cathy


Ironing is a very useful tool when quilting.  Use a cotton setting on the iron.  Dry iron means less distortion but some fabrics work better with steam depending on what finishes have been added at the factory.  When you say spray the fabric do you mean with water or starch.  We recommend Mary Ellen’s Best Press.  Having said that, if the fabric is going to be used with freezer paper applications or fusible web the Mary Ellen product can affect how they fuse.


Ironing is really for fabric or clothes.  Quilter’s press their seams, blocks, and quilt top.  Before ironing though, make sure to trim any lose threads. 


Follow these 3 steps for professional results:

  1. Press the seam as sewn.  This embeds the stitches and flattens out any ripples
  2. Use the tip of the iron to press so that the seam allowances are in the direction you want OR press the seam allowances open
  3. Use an up and down motion to press the whole piece flat.  No rubbing and scrubbing here.

When you have a complete block you can also use a ruler and pins to pin the block to the ironing surface at the exact size, spray with starch, iron, let cool, and the block will stay flat and ready to be sewn into the quilt. 


Stay tuned for my Quilting Tips and Tricks in the next blog! 

Happy quilting,




  1. Margaret Haffner says:

    Good info, thanks!


  1. […] Pressing: An iron is used to press a seam to one side or open after setting the seam. The weight of the iron is used to do all the work while the iron is kept very still. (Not to be confused with ironing. Ironing moves the iron briskly back and forth over the fabric. This would cause distortion of the small pieces used in quilting) Good pressing is a necessary to obtain accurate results when quilting. See previous Blog post July 2013 […]

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