Do you applique? Whether you applique by machine or by hand, applique takes time and patience for you to have a beautiful end result. One of the important steps to consider in applique is ironing or pressing your block. The worst thing you can do is put a hot steam iron on the front of the applique itself. Always, always always press from the back.
Here are the steps I take to press my applique:
1) Put a terry cloth towel on the ironing board for extra cushioning.
2) Place your applique right side down on top of the towel.
3) Wet or mist a pressing cloth (see below) and place over the area to be ironed.
4) Using a dry iron (not a steam setting), press through the pressing cloth with an up and down motion. The key is to not slide your iron back and forth, but go up and down in different areas gently. The moisture from the pressing cloth will be sufficient to get any wrinkles out and set your applique.
What is a pressing cloth?
A pressing cloth is 100 percent cotton piece of fabric that you reserve for ironing purposes. A turkish towel (sometimes called a Tee towel or dish towel) works wonderfully and is the right size for your ironing board. You can also make a pressing cloth out of a cotton sheet or fat quarter of white or muslin fabric. To use, you wet the towel in a bowl or sink or with a mister, wring it out, and place it between the iron and the item you are ironing. If the pressing cloth becomes dry, simply wet it again. Using a pressing cloth prevents scorching, shine or damage to whatever you are pressing.
Want to learn more about pressing?
There is a great pdf document available here. It is geared more towards clothing, but offers some good information.