I've Got a Notion...or Three
These three notions work together beautifully for quilting, sewing, and embroidery! Since this is National Sewing month, I thought that it would be fun to talk about some of my favorites. I do hope that you will find some new favorites this month as I will be focusing on some tried and true notions that live in my sewing room.
Earlier this year, I purchased a small wool pressing mat to replace my old, worn out mat that I kept next to my sewing machine. When piecing a quilt block, it's nice to get all the seams going in the right direction with a quick press. I was really impressed with how thick/dense the wool mat is. It can handle moisture or dry heat and either way results in a nice crisp seam. With my previous pressing mat, I would experience slipping when pressing and I would often have a crumpled seam that would need to be re-pressed.
I also discovered a couple of ways it outperformed over my prior pressing mat.
First, because it's a little over a half an inch thick and very dense, I found that I could pin more securely (the pins go in deep and don't tip over). This gives me more precise placement when I am working with lace, piping, or layering pieces. Second, as I mentioned above, the fabric doesn't slip around on the mat. This is especially important when applying a fusible to fabric or fusing fabrics together in the hoop while working on applique projects. The fusible goes where I need it, not on my mat or iron!
There are a few starch alternatives on the market today, however my "go-to" is Mary Ellen's Best Press. I like to spritz a little on to my seems to smooth out the wrinkles and give me that crisp look. It's states that it is the "clear starch and sizing alternative" for your fabrics and the bottle gives a list of multiple ways it can be used.
I like to use it when pressing holiday table linens, lace, clothing, and fabrics for my projects. Since I prefer not to use water in my travel/mini irons, using a starch alternative is my practice. It works well for me and I love the end result.
The third item in my "Pressing Trio" is a mini iron. There are several to choose from and have different options like: steam, spray, grip, and shape. I like to keep mine next to my wool mat close by the sewing or embroidery machine. Because I don't use it to iron large areas, the smaller size is very convenient as it takes up very little space.
The main thing I look for in an iron is that it needs to fit in my smaller embroidery hoop and has a tip/point on it to get into corners or tight areas. When working on an embroidery project, I remove the hoop from the embroidery arm and place it on the wool mat. It works like a charm when working with applique. Obviously, you do not want to damage your hoop, so you definitely do not want to touch the iron to the hoop.
As always, I hope this inspires you to go create something special and most of all enjoy your sewing time!
Smiles, Sandra of Inspired Remnants LLC InspiredRemnants@gmail.com