Messy me and Finger Pressing Techniques

When I get sewing, passion tucked in each stitch, I keep my sewing/cutting area clean by a swipe of the hand to the floor.  Most of what you see in this picture is file 13 bound, there are a few meager pieces to go to the scrap tub.

remnentsIt looks as if it was strewn about by a tornado, doesn’t it.  I cleaned up quickly with a swipe of my hands and the vacuum.  Earlier this week it was littered with dog ear trimmings from the bonus HST’s and QST’s.

I am trudging on with determination for the mystery quilt sponsored by Bonnie Hunter.  This is week three.  If you are interested in seeing how easy this is, visit her On Ringo Lake Tab and it will give fabric requirements, and sizes and great tutorial how to’s as well as the link up pages to see other’s peoples progress with her/their techniques.

During last Sunday’s link up someone commented how my seams were pressed so flat.  For those of you who may think your iron is substandard because you have not the money to buy an expensive one, save your money and try a different technique.

My sewing corner is in the living room and there are times when I cannot run the iron constantly.  In the summer months here in Texas we have the 220 dryer and the 220 ac window unit as well as the 110 window unit running to keep the house cool on a 60 amp box.  If I am running all of these things at once, I have to turn something off to get the iron going.  So my iron time is brief and I make the most of it.

First I finger press all my seams.  This is easy and costs you only your fingernail tips and really does not hurt those at all.  I have never had a failure with finger pressing.  There are other expensive gizmos you can purchase.  Save your money and use the best tools you have, your hands.

A while back I did a small post about a pressing tool.  You can buy these tools and they run about 18 dollars.  Save the 18 and for 5 you can have a set for yourself as well as a friend.  This post talked about taking a dowel rod and cutting it down the middle to make two half moon pieces and then cutting those into desired lengths.  The math behind this tools is simple.  You normally press things on your ironing board.  If you press your seams on a dowel rod, you are pressing them further than a flat surface, or further than 180 degrees.  This tool works great.  For more on this read visit the blog post here.

I have taken a video of finger pressing and formatted snippets into jpeg format for the viewer that is available.  It is not hard to finger press on small pieces of fabrics.  I highly recommend trying it.


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I have snapped some before and after photos as well as pressing of all the small pieces.

pressinggeese1These geese have all been finger pressed, and stacked in their piles awaiting the seam iron.  Using the steam iron on an after finger pressed seam is best because it does not distort the fabric in any direction.

pressinggeese2I just laid the steam iron on this one, removed the iron, placed another block on top, and pressed, until I had a whole row of geese overlapping one another.  The bottom ones really get the best pressing.  But they all press beautifully.



Below is a geese unit and one of the corners is flannel.   Yup, usually pressing flannel to a normally woven cotton piece of fabric can be obtuse (oh isn’t that punny), and the naked eye can easily tell which is not homogenized.  Can you tell which one is flannel?


If you guessed the plaid corner, you would be correct.  Using every little scrap counts and I am my own quilt police and deem flannel a usable fabric in the On Ringo Lake quilting mystery.  🙂


Above is a chisel block that is finger pressed, below is pressed with a steam iron.  Nice and flat.


If you are interested in learning how to make this chisel block, visit and it will give exact directions.

Linking up for Mondays Mystery Quilt On Ringo Lake Link up Party.

Well this concludes my post for the week.  I am hanging in there with the On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt.  I have not gotten an exact piece count on the flying geese from last week but I know I am very close.  I have cut all my orange strips and have also cut a gob of squares to sew on for this week.  I can’t wait to see what Friday brings.  Are we going to see this same block again?  Perhaps in brown’s and turquoise?  This is my guess.  Is it right?  We will certainly find out.

10 thoughts on “Messy me and Finger Pressing Techniques

  1. I am so glad to read about someone not praising the lastest and greatest quilting tool that will make quilting better. I use your finger pressing technique all the time but haven’t tried the dowel method but I will. Thanks for your post.


  2. I have been remiss and not followed up on my comment from last time. I followed your advice about finger pressing and was really impressed with the results! Even better, on the flying geese that I had to take apart, there was no distortion in the fabric and I was able to re-assemble the units so that they came out perfectly! This is a first for me, and I am very grateful for your help.


    1. Helping one another is what we quilters do! I am glad this worked for you. Now you have the knowledge to pass this onto someone else who might be struggling with pressing and distortion. Winner winner chicken dinner!


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