Thursday, March 8, 2012

To Steam or Not to Steam, That is the Question.

So, yesterday I was assembling the blocks on the quilt for my mother, and I realized that some of the bulky seams (which I had pressed open) were not very flat. So, I decided to steam those babies and you would not believe how flat they came out. I had been told previously by many others that steam is bad for the fabric. "Don't do it, it will [insert reason here] to your fabrics." Well, I wanted to know what others think?

I'm not talking about "pressing" versus "ironing." That is, pushing across the fabric versus just pushing down. I know that this can stretch the fabric and make your piecing "wonky" shaped and therefore more difficult to assemble. Does anyone have any insight into this?

Here are some pictures of the seams, one with steam, one without:



You can tell which is which, huh?

So, just curious. Comment on what you think. And if you do not follow me, please do. I am in need of followers :)

Another question: 

If you could buy a long arm quilting machine, which one would you buy? I went to a show in NJ last weekend and tried two (for the first time ever) and I want one. And, I will find a way. I love doing them on my home machine, but I'm an instant gratification type of person, and I loved it!!! The guy that showed me said "you've done this before, haven't you?" and I said, "Yes, on my home machine!!!" Send me your thoughts in the comments. 

I also wanted to mention that next to my design wall (on the left) near the computer where I type this are signed, framed photographs of Kenny Chesney and Ben Affleck. So, they are watching over me :)


Any my friend Sheela's band (love you sweetie)!

Until next time,

Mike.

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9 comments:

Rhinocerology said...

The first has been steamed. Am I right? You're work is awesome Mike! I am so proud to say I knew you when...

Mike Pearson said...

I love the big V (only if you know me will you know what this is) :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I steam. Sometimes spritz with water and then just a hot dry iron. Or some Best Press if a lot of bias seams. Even a damp pressing cloth (cloth baby diapers are the best if you can find them) is a great tool for flat seams. And a thick problem area - get the old seamstress hammer out and pound the patootie out of them.

I have been looking at (and test driving) a Bailey - a heck of a lot cheaper, but I have a dealer near with service, which is something I want.

Mike Pearson said...

Thanks for the advice. I will take it into consideration. I know the thick seams really suck, so I love the flat ones :)

danih03 said...

I have had this problems with seams myself. I like best press, but it's a little pricey. Starch helps too. I do agree that steam stretches out the fabric in my experience. Maybe you should Ask our favorite pro Leah next week when she gets back!! I'd like to hear her opinion! Hope you get a longarm! I would love one, but I don't think I will ever have the space, or the $cash$

Alycia said...

I steam - I don't know why, all I can think of is that the first quilting retreat I went to had the irons set to steam - and it worked - and so I do...

Second - I have a Nolting Pro Long Arm - I love it - its a work horse....

Sheila said...

Following up on what someone wrote above about a damp pressing cloth... I have never quilted (sadly, my "make it with the sewing machine" pillow in 8th grade Home Ec. was the only project I have never finished), but I am an ace at ironing! Whenever I have a fabric that is delicate but really needs a good iron, I use a thin towel. Reading this now, a cloth baby diaper (yes, they still sell them) would be best. However it works, you get the same effect without harming the fabric.

Richard Healey said...

When I first started quilting a month or 2 ago every blog i saw talked about more steam the better. So I am a steamer. I give my little girl grief when she insists on ironing and does not get it flat. I have never though other wise tell reading your post so now will have to ponder things.

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com
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Anonymous said...

My thoughts are steam, steam, steam, and even more steam!