Curved seams in my strip sets
by Elaine DeFoor
My strips do not have curves and my machine has a great 1/4" foot that makes perfect seams. My eight 14 1/2" strips look great sewn together before I press.
I use a dry iron but once ironed the seams are curved, giving the block a strange shape that cannot be cut nicely into a 14" square.
I have made several strip quilts but never had this problems.
Anyone have any ideas?
I am stumped.
This happens to the best of us—so you're in good company...not happy-camper company...but good company nevertheless!
It sounds like something commonly referred to as 'rainbowing'. Your strip set is curved like a rainbow.
What's happened is that as you've pressed, you've pushed the strips a bit and they've held that position once cool.
There are two ways to prevent this from happening.
- Pin a tape measure to your ironing board cover in a straight line. You could mark a line on your cover, too, but I'm always worried that the ink will transfer off when I least expect it. Or you may have a cover with straight lines already marked on it...all the better. Then as you press, with steam or not, keep the long edge of the strip set even with this line. Or...
- Press your strip sets perpendicular to the length of your ironing board. You'll have to move them more often to press the full length, but much less bowing occurs when you're pressing left to right instead of away from you.
As to the current state of your strips, you may be able to block them straight with steam. Basically press them into submission following a straight line. Steam the living daylights out of them, and then don't move them until they are completely cool and dry. This may work but will depend on how bowed they are.
Again, I think every quilter has or will have this happen at one time or another. We love what we're doing so much, we add a bit too much gusto to our work!
Thank you for your question. I hope this has helped!
Generations Quilt Patterns