Greetings from my quilting nook. Today I am going to share a quilting hack. Recently while on the Nancy’s Notions website, I noticed a pressing tool and so I started researching it. Turns out she is not the only store to offer this tool, you can also buy a dritz brand that resembles a finger and is silicone and kinda creepy looking to boot.
Supposedly, you can press your seams using this stick device and your seams will not stretch and you will end up with perfectly straight seams no matter how long a seam you have sewn. I was skeptical. I saw how these things were constructed. Charging $18 for something that is just a piece of wood, highway robbery. So I set off to the hardware store to find something I could make into this pressing tool.
All it is, a dowel rod split in half. I did not look for 1/2 round molding but that would work too, provided it was of a hardwood (most of these are made out of pine). So I purchased the dowel rod and had my dad put it on the saw and cut it down the middle. This cut does not have to be even-stephen or precise because it will sit on top of your ironing board. Next, I decided on lengths and used those that are being sold in stores. One dowel rod will make two sets of these so you can share with a fellow quilter for less than $5. Here is the end result.And so I tried it with the iron. No steam and holy cow, these seams were so straight after ironing all the 9 patches I made I did not even have to trim them up to be square! This phenomenon had never happened to me before, what a wow of a short cut. Now if you want to use steam, you would have to make a woolen sock for the dowel. Wool is water proof and would keep the wood from getting wet and the grain rising creating an un-smooth pressing surface. There is a smaller 6 inch one that is not pictured. I have two longs and two shorts and my mother has the other half of the dowel cut into sections that she customized to lengths she wanted.
I highly recommend at least trying this tool. If you are out at a quilt show and see one demonstrated, ask to use it. Better yet make your own. If you purchase wood at HomeDepot they will cut your wood to the desired length(s) for free.
The key to this tool is it only makes contact with the seam and presses it farther open than 180 degrees which is the angle of it if you were pressing on your ironing board. So the raw edges do not get stretched. I am a believer, and the good thing about it is, less effort for me and not hard on the pocket book! Winner times 2!
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