Becoming a Better Quilter- Fine Tuning Skills part 4

Hello, Everyone!

Today is the last post for this Series. This past month I’ve talked about skills and tools to help us fine tune our quilting experience. I hope my suggestions have been helpful. Today I’d like to talk about Best Press.

I’ve been using “Mary Ellen’s Best Press” for about 4 years now. It is a spray and its label says “The Clear Starch and Sizing Alternative”. I like to describe it as a lightweight starch that adds a little body and stability to pieced blocks. A quilting instructor introduced this to me and used it as a finishing step to a block. When doing the final pressing, lightly spray the block with Best Press and press. If your block has some slightly wavy edges or a slight stretch at a seam the Best Press usually flattens it right out. If you’re constructing blocks with small pieces using the Best Press as you sew helps the small pieces stay square. It’s a nice product; I’d recommend everyone has some near their ironing station. JoAnn Fabric sells it. I can also find it at my quilt stores in town. There’s also links in this post.

Recently, at one of the quilting classes I take, I noticed one of the other students spraying her fabric before she even cut it. Keeping this in the back of my mind, I had to make a quilt sample for a class that will be taught at JoAnn Fabric store (the class is Modern Log Cabin Quilt and the class is in the May/June class cycle). The quilt is a Log Cabin variation. I decided to run an experiment with this quilt; I sprayed all the fabric with Best Press as I pressed it during the pre-wash prep. I pieced with an accurate seam allowance and finger pressed with the pressing tool I spoke about in part 3 of this Blog Series. As the blocks went together they looked so nice. When the top was complete I gave it a final iron (not using additional Best Press) and measured it for accuracy. I had a ¼” variance. (For comparison, my quilts of late have had a ½” to 5/8” variance). Look at the quilt top, it looks amazing! I am so pleased with it and really think the finished look and size accuracy was partially because of the Best Press. This top measures 57” square. I think I’ll make another one and add some more blocks to make it a little larger.

I think I’ll continue this little experiment of mine. The next few projects I do I will continue to use Best Press to prepare fabric just before I cut. I can’t wait to see if the accuracy measurement stays 1/4″ or less. That would make me very happy!!!

Thanks so much for hanging out with me and this Blog Series this past month. If you learned just one thing, I’m happy. As always, leave a comment below.

Until next time- find some time to sew!

Looking for Mary Ellen’s Best Press Sent Free Click Here

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