Quilty THIS or THAT #3

Okay, ladies – it’s time for our third round of Quilty THIS or THAT!  So our THIS or THAT question this time is STEAM or DRY PRESS [during the piecing process]?


Personally, I dry press when I piece because my blocks experience less distortion as compared to when I steam press.  It could be due to the way I press… I don’t know.  I only steam press when I am trying to deal with a stubborn wrinkle before the fabric is cut for piecing.

HOW ABOUT YOU?  Won’t you share about your preference with us?


Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #1. Click here for Vicki’s follow up post.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #2.

31 thoughts on “Quilty THIS or THAT #3

  1. I always use a dry iron to press blocks. As I am, for the most part, a hand piecer, I finger press my blocks as I stitch them and it usually only takes a bit of a press with a hot, dry iron to finish them. I was taught early on that pressing with steam can distort a block in no time.

  2. I like reading what others do, I have been curious about this. I steam press currently, but think I may just dry press and see how it goes. looking forward to reading more comments on this

  3. I’m working on a quilt currently and am trying to dry press only. It’s going together really well with all the seams matching.

  4. Dry press with an iron that doesn’t even have steam. I starch fabric before it’s cut & sewn, so dry pressing works well. As Vicki says, if I have a block that needs to be beaten into submission, I’d rather block it with starch & let it air dry. Any wrinkles will come out in the quilting.

  5. I have water in my iron all the time. Sometimes I press that steam button for extra help when needed, and other times I use Best Press, for even more help. I don’t think my blocks are wonky because of steaming. They just are wonky, lol. I need to work on that.

  6. Another vote for steam. I occasionally finger press if it’s a small seam, but for the majority it’s steam and careful pressing not ironing!

  7. I ies steam in order to get the maximum opening of the seam. That is important to get consistent size of finished blocks. I am careful tho to press with the grain and I do not have a problem with my work getting wonky.

  8. I prefer to dry press, to avoid distortion too! But unfortunately, my latest iron gets the hottest when in steam mode and in dry mode it is barely hot. So your question makes me wonder if you have a good brand for a dry iron? Or if you ever come across one that looks interesting – inquiring minds want to know.


  9. Dry. I even purchased a dry ONLY iron so I don’t have those pesky steam holes to ‘catch’ on seam allowance intersections. I use “Best Press” to final press.

  10. I prefer a dry press, using a Black & Decker Classic heavy iron. If I need an extra bit of help I use my favorite, Mary’s Best Press.

  11. I almost always use steam, and try to press with the straight grain, not the bias. My tops are nice and flat. Guess I’d do it differently if this wasn’t working for me.

  12. I always steam press and use a light starch before I ever cut into my fabric. I am hoping this will “shrink” the fabric a little and then I dry press while I am sewing the blocks together.

  13. I learned early on in my quilting career that the best way for me to destroy a block was to use steam. I usually finger press as I construct, and dry press when I’m done. Things do get the occasional spritz of water, but no steam. And, let’s face it, some fabric just goes wonky, it doesn’t matter what you do to it.

    I did learn something a week or so ago when I was washing/shrinking fabric before I cut a whole quilt top. I tend to overdry fabric and then it is all wrinkled. I put it in on permanent press dryer temp, and it came out dry but NO WRINKLES! I try to take fabric out of the dryer a little damp, and then iron, But the perma-press setting was nice.

  14. While piecing, I finger press. I use a dry iron on completed blocks. I do keep a spray bottle of water handy when I need to get rid of a stubborn wrinkle. I can’t stand an automatic shut off iron, either (just thought I’d throw that in there). I use an old Black and Decker…I’ll cry if I ever need to replace it!

  15. I use steam to iron the fabric, hoping for all the shrinkage and the dry press the blocks. For tough blocks, I’ll use a pressing cloth with no steam.

  16. Definitely dry press. I do use a water spray bottle and on some things I use Best Press. I love the product, but not all my friends do. So on bee projects, I use the water bottle.

  17. I’m a steam convert to dry, but if something is stubborn, I either use the spray feature on my iron or Best Press. But these are infrequent necessities. I also think pressing too hard, dry or steam, can cause premature wear on that flattened seam. I use a light hand and press, no moving my iron back and forth on seams.

  18. I dry press my pieces but when all is done, sometimes I will spray starch and dry press or I steam press because there are usually some wrinkles. It really just all depends of the situation.

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