Search This Blog

Saturday, October 17, 2009

PRESSING AND IRONING

As I was in my room pressing the flannel quilt I thought about the different attitudes each of us has about ironing.

My sister enjoys ironing. She may not say she "enjoys" it. Who would want to admit that? But she does find pleasure in how the clothes look and smell. We were brought up knowing how to iron. We we taught a particular way. Just as it was important to know how to hang clothes on the line correctly it was important to know how to iron correctly. It was a necessity as most of our clothes were cotton.

Back in the "old days" there were women that made a living, meager to be sure, but this simple skill allowed them to work from home and be "stay at home Mom's" (trust me, that term had not yet been invented!) by ironing clothes. It would be hard to project ourselves into their mind set. Were they pleased when their regulars showed up with a large basket of clean, wrinkled clothing? Were they pleased that they got the opportunity to make a little money and still be there for their kids? Did they enjoy the smell of hot, fresh, neatly ironed clothes and bedding? Did they find satifaction in a job well done? Or did they really wish they had better skills and opportunities to go out into the world and do something else? As a pre-school child I remember my Mom had a friend that did ironing. For Willimina, "Willie", it was only a way to survive. It was drudgery but made lighter by her childrens laughter and the visits of friends. While visiting she would continue ironing.

I'm into "touching up" my clothes. That used to mean a hot iron, maybe a towel over the bed quilt or counter, and a pressing of seams and bad wrinkles. Over the years that has mainly been given up to a quick spray with the water bottle and let it dry in the car....stretched over my body to give a smoother look. Thank goodness I wear casual clothes to work!

I have to say I love the smell of freshly ironed cotton. And I love that stores and catalogs offer "linen water" to add a light scent that instantly makes me nostalgic for some of the "old days".

I don't like to iron. I no longer pre-wash, although many do. In fact one of the local charities to which I was going to donate yards and yards of cotton fabric required that I pre-wash and iron it. Do you think they got my donation?. One benefit of not pre-washing is that you don't need to iron but only "touch up" the folds. We carefully press our cut quilt pieces to maintain correct size and to prevent distortion. We carefully press quilt seams in planned directions to prevent bulk and to more easily abutt the pieces for perfect matches of seams and corners. And when we are to the point where are are about to measure the for the final borders, we press again. Making certain everything is flat. Then we measure. My rule is measure top, bottom and center, come up with an average and cut your borders to that measurement. And the same is true for side borders. Measure each side and the middle and again, after the addition of the top and bottom borders, come up with an average and cut and fit your borders to that measurement.

The flannel quilt is to the pressing and measuring for borders part of the quilt. I've given you a peek of the quilt (see below, still working with picture placement) and later today will give you a view of the whole. It is a Thimbleberries quilt and the name is "Snow Geese" which did not fit Lynette Jensens example in her book (Geese? Yes. But there wasn't a single thing that represented snow) and with my colors and bears as a theme in the main fabric I'm going to have to come up with a suitable name. Who would have thought that this would become one of the most difficult aspects of quilting...naming a quilt.

Find time to sew, if not quilt!

Toni




No comments:

Post a Comment