Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Iron a Straight Line

This might be an old trick to you appliquers out there, but I just learned it from one of my students yesterday while giving a workshop on my "Pretty Crazy" pattern at our delightful local quilt shop in Camas, Washginton: RiverQuilts.

Yes, I said "learned this from one of my students".  That is one of the many rewards of teaching--I always come home with new knowledge!

The Pretty Crazy pattern calls for lots of fabric strips with ironed under edges. Marie showed us an easy and great way to iron under those edges in a perfectly straight line, without burning your fingers.

All you need is a ruler, a smooth dressmaker's tracing wheel, like this one, and a hard surface.

What you do is run the wheel along the edge of the ruler where you want your fold to be.  This "scores" the fabric, not cutting any fibers, but making a nice dent.  Marie says she can get as small as a 1/8" fold this way (good for those fine flower stems in applique.)

Here is the flannel strip with it the edge folded up, before it is even ironed! 
I didn't get a shot of the ironed strip, but you know it turned out perfect.

Thank you so much, Marie!!!

30 comments :

Betty said...

Great idea!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!

Diane in Illinois!!!

regan said...

That is genius! And I think I have a tracing wheel in some box somewhere, too.....a remnant from long ago dress making!! Yay!

Judy S. said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it. Hey, I just saw your CQ playing cards. How fun is that?

Leeann said...

Gee thats a great idea I never knew it either.

Jean C. said...

Wonderful! Sooo nice of her to share and you thru her! Or does that go taother way? Anyway... thank you! And you can teach an old dog new tricks (meaning me!)cause I just learned something!

Synthia said...

Thanks, Allie, for sharing what Marie shared with you. And the love goes round and round. (smile) I'll be trying this hint ASAP.

Rebecca Grace said...

Oh, man! Brilliant! I wish I knew about this yesterday, when I was pressing under the allowances for a quilt label that I made with the Scrabble tile fabric. I can now commit felonies with impunity, because I burned off my fingerprints with that bleepin' iron...

Susan Elliott said...

Holy smiles! Did this come at the perfect time! Our whole first lesson is ironing strips! If it's OK with you, I'd love to link to this tip...thanks for sharing it...you doll, you!

Renee said...

What a neat idea because I make a lot of purses with handles. I will definitely utilize this idea.
I learn something new everyday so this is my first (learn) for the day.
Lovely blog by the way. I just discovered you this morning.

Gerry Krueger said...

That is sooooooooooo cool and I have to rush out and buy a dress makers wheel. I know this is one tip Ill find lots of uses for.. Thanks for sharing Allie... Gerry

Faith said...

Brilliant! Thank you, Marie and Allie!

Daffycat said...

Excellent tip, thanks bunches!

Renee said...

I just had to come back and let you know I tried your tip..after running the tracing wheel (my moms) a couple of times and removed the ruler edge I was like hum..didn't see anything. BUT it was perfect and had to just giggle to myself for being a skeptic. AWESOME!
Thank you

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Mimi said...

Well, well, well... that has got to be the best trick around! Thanks for sharing, now all I have to do is remember where my tracing wheel is??!!

Georgia Manning Lewis said...

All my tracing wheels are notched. Hmm.. I'll try my pizza cutter.
What a great idea! I've been doing some fancy embellishments on my Mug Bucket pattern. Will try this with the trim.

Jane M said...

Fantastic!

ElleC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ElleC said...

Brilliant! My fingers and I both thank you for sharing.

PS- I didn't proof read my first attempt at commenting.

smilie said...

Wow what a finger tip saver. Thanks to you for posting and to your student for teaching you.

Sewing Princess said...

fantastic idea! thanks for sharing

Sandra :) said...

What a great idea - I always get "bowed" lines when I try to eyeball my strips to press them :D I have the spokey tracing wheel too, but thanks to Georgia's comment I can try my pizza cutter too - LOVE THIS!

Nancy Staub said...

WOW!!!!! Thanks so very much for sharing!!!!

Anonymous said...

This tip works fantastically . I used the back of the scissors blade, and it worked just fine.

Jan Harritt said...

Oh what an exciting tidbit! If any of you can't find a smooth tracing wheel,Wawak.com has them.

Tam said...

THANK YOU! How have I lived all these years without knowing this? You have saved me hours of aggravation!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, just what I need!

Unknown said...

I can't believe I never thought of this!. LOL. Awesome.