Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pressing Perfect Edges with Aluminum Foil

Did you ever find something so simple 
you were almost silly about it?

Monday's post was about list making, and one thing on that list was to start on a charity quilt for Hands2Help. The quilt was the first thing I put my mind to, and I'm well underway. 

This is a 100% scrap quilt using an elongated hexagon shape I found while trying to make a real hexagon with just straight rulers. I will give you more details about how it came about, and what I've learned later. What I want to share immediately is the technique I learned about pressing all the straight sides under to applique it on the yardage.

My very stitchy friend, Irene, is laid up with a bum knee so she's been brushing up on technique with books and YouTube. We've had several conversations this week comparing notes as I've been nose deep in many books myself. I told her about having all my Y-seams sewn, and needing to get the 1/4" edges all turned under next. She said she had just read about a technique to iron round shapes easily using aluminum foil. While she was talking, my mind was going a mile a minute.

Off the phone, I flew into action!

My old painting edger was dug out of the garage, and given a scrubbing. Then I wrapped it in a layer of aluminum foil. *This is not labelled or intended to be heat proof, but it is what I used. Ideally, this should be metal, and you may come up with something much better.

Lay your block on a piece of aluminum foil on your ironing surface. Using your flat edge, test where to position it gauging to have a little less than 1/4" of fabric showing.

Now wrap your bottom sheet of foil up and over the edge, bending the fabric over your flat edge. Press for only a few seconds. I used a cotton setting and no steam.

Open the foil, remove the flat edge, and press 
flat over the foil again.

Isn't that pretty? And straight!

I pressed every other side, then went back around to the in between sides. Even the corners are great!

These are the edges that all need done, but I think this method will make it a breeze.

And that will leave me time left to clean up today.

I hope you're thinking about new techniques, and how you can be a better quilter, too. I'd love to hear any hints you have regarding pressing under edges.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


Angie in SoCal said...

Woohoo - foil strikes again. And here is how to make circles with foil: by Sarah Fielke. My new technique.

Sandra Walker said...

This is terrific Julie!! It reminds me of my skinny pressing bars for making stems for flower appliqué. Too smart and simple!

Unknown said...

Love your idea!!! Foil strikes again - as you say! lol I showed my applique pieces with the foil to the ladies today. It may not be the best method for small pieces - but for orange peal 3- 5 inches it is great!!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

That has to be the most creative way to use foil.

Christine Slaughter said...

Fantastic idea!! Thank you for sharing, it's one I will definitely be trying!

Sarah Craig said...


Teje Karjalainen said...

Thanks Julie, this is a great tip! x Teje

Stitchin At Home said...

Never heard of this before, now of course I will have to give this a try.

Jayne said...

Now that is a technique I have never heard of!! How very clever! I love finding new techniques! Thanks for sharing Julie!

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing that technique, I know I'll find a use for it when I finish off my hexie quilt.

Amy B. said...

What a great idea!

Mary Huey said...

hmmm, interesting! Did you use an spray starch or sizing?

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

What a great technique, thanks for sharing!

Lara B. said...

That is a great tip Julie! Your edges look so neat and straight. Thanks for sharing!

canuckquilter said...

Tucking this tip away! Thanks for sharing.