So the age old question about quilt fabric is whether to pre-wash or not. My opinion falls in the “not” category. If I wanted to enter any of my quilts in competition, I would definitely pre-wash my fabrics - no question about it, but working full-time and wanting instant gratification just doesn’t afford me the time for that. I also know that it’s better to use a dry iron when pressing seams on quilt blocks. Sometimes I do and most of the time I don’t! One of my childhood jobs was ironing for the neighbors. They liked their clothes very crisp and wrinkle-free and if upon inspection something wasn’t just right, I had to re-iron it! So steam was my friend in those days and remains my friend. Ironing without steam for me is like walking out in a blizzard without a coat! And mind you, I don’t “iron” my block, rather I lightly “press” them as I learned long ago from a Fons and Porter episode.
I’ve had pretty good luck so far with the blocks in my Winter Wonderland quilt. But this block was a bugger and I think I know why.
It may look okay now (well, there are a couple of points that aren’t very crisp), but I really had to work to get it just right. It seems that the darker red fabric must have been a looser weave than all of the other red fabrics I’ve used in this quilt so far. My cutting was accurate, but after making the flying geese and then pressing them, the red fabric shrunk a good 1/8th inch! It took me a while to figure out that it was the steam from the iron that was the culprit! I didn’t want to re-cut the block, so I adjusted my seams to make it all fit. Lesson for me for the day: compare the weave of your fabrics before using steam in your iron!
By the way, don't forget to leave a comment in the Whirl Into Winter giveaway on this post! You need not have a blog to enter, but I must have a way to contact you if you win.