I was taught to iron everything as you go: iron your fabric before you start (still essential in my view), iron your seams to the dark side (definitely), and press your rows of blocks out flat before attaching them to the next row.
Then a couple of weeks ago I can across an interview with someone who says she never irons as she is piecing because it saves time. So, ever game, I thought that duty calls and I would give this a go on your behalf. The things I do for you… 🙂
I’ve been whizzing up a sample for my beginners Railfence class that’s coming up (see pic) and that potentially involved a lot of pressing. I created my initial strip piecing, and yes, definitely ironed those seams before I cut them up to the size I wanted.
Thereafter I left the iron alone.
Cue cold sweat.
All the blocks were sewn into rows without seeing an iron once. Then in their slightly rumpled state, I went on to attach the rows together. All 18 of them (with 6 blocks in each row). And do you know – it worked?
All my seams matched, bar one which I think would have kicked up a fuss anyway. There’s only so many times you can unpick and I decided seven times was my limit on that particular one (and I think you’d be hard pressed to find it)!
I pressed the entire piece at the end before I put my borders on, and honestly – I don’t think you would be able to tell the difference as to whether I ironed as I was going or at the end, and it was definitely quicker.
Pros and cons?
- Definitely quicker
- A bit more difficult to butt the two opposing seams together when you’re seam matching, but it was no great problem.
- It does feel a bit against the grain to start with.
- The traditionalists will probably frown at you. And at me for telling you. But hey, change is good!