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duminică, 4 octombrie 2015

Make your own pressing board, but not Martha Stewart's! / Nu faceti o planseta de calcat asa cum spune Martha Stewart

I see on one of my favourite Yahoo groups (Bernina8series) much enthusiasm for Martha Stewart's method to make your own pressing board (large or small). I do not share this enthusiasm at all. Worse, I truly believe that it is a very, very bad idea. The final product will be a nightmare for every person who sews or quilts and love crisp and accurate seams: the padding is too thick, the board is too soft, therefore you will iron folds in your seams and will not press accurately for quilting.

Pe unul de pe grupurile mele preferate de pe Yahoo (Bernina8series) am citit ca unele membre sunt entuziasmate de metoda lui Martha Stewart de a face o planseta de calcat. Nu numai ca nu impartasesc entuziasmul lor, ci, dimpotriva, cred ca metoda lui Martha Stewart este neinspirata si ca planseta nu va multiumi pe persoanele care doresc sa obtina tivuri precise si foarte bine calcate. Pentru ca atunci cand calci un tiv pe o suprafata de calcat moale, calcatul va lasa urma cusaturii pe material. Revin mai tarziu asupra acestui punct. 

This is the ironing board I made about 10 years ago, using Scharon Schamber's method (sorry for the bad picture, but you get the idea). I shall give you the link  below.

Aceasta este planseta pe care am facut-o aproximativ acum 10 ani, dupa indicatiile lui Sharon Schamber pe YouTube (vezi mai jos). 
Poza nu este grozava, dar puteti vedea despre ce e vorba.

This pressing board was not always like this. The table under it is new. I saw it last year in a second hand shop, among a lot of horrible things, I would not even want to touch. But ... there it was, something used before in a restaurant. For only 25 euro. Perfect for my small pressing board.

De fapt planseta de calcat nu a aratat mereu asa, pentru ca masa de sub ea este noua. Am gasit-o intr-un magazin de vechituri al unui marocan de pe strada mea. Trona intre multe porcarii odioase, de care altfel nici nu m-as fi apropiat. Draguta de ea, o masa-carucior, folosita in restaurante. 
Cel putin asa zicea marocanul, care mi-a cerut 25 de euro pe ea. Nu m-am tocmit, atat eram de fericita ca am gasit-o. De fapt nici nu-mi place sa ma tocmesc.

I have another pressing board / cutting table; a big one (1,25 meter), but I use the small pressing board (65 cm x 65 cm; 25" x 25") more often, especially if the pieces to press or to cut (on a rotary mat) are not very large. 
Most of my quilting blocks are small enough to be pressed on it. 
You can see that I use it a lot, because the cover is starting to be... disgusting, if I may say so myself. Brown spots from the applique starch, before I started to use a pressing cloth.

Mai am inca o alta planseta de calcat / masa de taiat, mult mai lunga (1,25 m). Facuta in acelasi fel.
Folosesc insa mai mult aceasta planseta mica (65 cm x 65 cm), mai ales la calcatul blocurilor de quilt, care nu sunt suficient de mici. 
De altfel se vede ca e folosita mult, pentru ca a ajuns dezgustator de murdara din cauza apretului folosit, care dupa atatea calcaturi a ajuns maro inchis.

If you want to know why and how I made it, watch this video uploaded on YouTube by Sharon Schamber.

Daca vreti sa stiti cum am facut planseta de calcat urmariti videul facut de Sharon Schamber:

I used, like Sharon said:
* 1 layer of 100% cotton batting
* cotton canvas (not only to cover the board, but also instead of felt / fusible felt, which I could not find when I made this pressing board).

Am folosit exact ce a spus Sharon: 
* un strat de vatelina de bumbac 100%, nedata la apa
* canvas de bumbac (tot nedat la apa).
* ar fi trebuit sa lipesc un strat de fetru pe dos, dar cum nu am gasit asa ceva, am facut un fel de 'capac' din acelasi canvas cu care am acoperit planseta, i-am indoit marginile si l-am lipit cu lipici care lipeste panza definitv (sau un altfel de lipici care lipeste definitiv si pe care il gasiti in magazinele de specialitate, daca nu gasiti lipici pentru panza).

And here is what Martha Stewart wants you to use to pad and cover the board (http://www.marthastewart.com/267180/oversize-ironing-board)
* 2 pieces cotton or wool felt (34" x 49" for a 30" x 45 plywood board 3/4" thick)
* 1 piece of Bump (which is - as far as I understand something like a well felted wooden army blanket)
* cotton (medium weight cotton muslin sheeting)
* 1/2" cotton twill tape

Iata cu ce spune Martha Stewart sa acoperiti planseta (vezi linkul de mai sus / exista si un video):
* 2 (DOUA!) straturi de fetru de bumbac sau lana
* un material numit BUMP, care se gaseste in Anglia si USA, poate ne spune Geo ce este si cum arata; eu cred ca este ceva ca un molton mai gros sau o patura de lana de pe vremuri, adica mai subtire decat ce avem acum. Presupun eu!
* bumbac pentru acoperit planseta
* banda twill de 1,25 cm.

You can see that Martha Stewart's pressing board is much thicker and less hard than Sharon's. Which is a BAD thing!

Vedeti - comparand materialele cu care este imbracata planseta - ca planseta facuta de Martha Stewart este mult mai groasa si mult mai moale decat cea facuta de Sharon.

If you sew, you know already that the best professional pressing tools are not soft, but hard. Why would they be so? Without any purpose? Just by accident? 
I do not think so.

Daca coaseti si aveti ceva experienta, stiti ca uneltele de calcat folosite de profesionali nu sunt moi, ci tari. Oare de ce? Credeti ca acest aspect nu are importanta si ca aceste unelte au aparut din intamplare? Eu cred ca nu.

This is a professional (Dutch) pressing ham used by dressmakers and tailors. 
I bought it in a special store with stuff for professionals / tailors. By the way, the tailors, their hand made suits and this shop disappeared long time ago.
I can tell you that it is much harder than the contemporary pressing ham you can buy at Nancy's Notions store. It is covered with linen canvas and has therefore a strong grip. It does not have wool on one side and cotton on the other side. Just linen canvas.
Underneath it has a band for your hand, if you want to press a garment keeping the ham in your hand.

In poza de mai sus va arat o perna de calcat folosita de croitorii profesionisti. Am cumparat-o intr-un magazin cu furnituri si stofe pentru croitorii de barbati, care faceau costume la comanda. Croitorii care faceau costume la comanda au disparut de mult, la fal ca si magazinul, care a dat faliment la un moment dat.
Pot sa va spun ca aceasta perna de calcat este MULT, MULT mai tare decat ce se vinde acum (perna acoperita cu stofa in carouri). E acoperita cu canvas de in, care tine materialul de calcat in loc.

Another point: why do we have to press directly on wood for couture sewing, if a soft pressing surface would do the same thing or would be better?

Un alt argument: oare de ce calcam direct pe lemn cand coasem dupa reguli mai sofisticate sau in couture, daca o suprafata mai putin tare ar da aceleasi rezultate sau ar fi poate chiar mai buna?

Sharon Schamber convinced me that the industrial ironing board (small or wide) with that soft padded surface, will not help me get the perfect pressed blocks I wanted to piece.
I already knew that, from Sally Collins in the DVD 'Mastering Precision Piecing' (https://www.softexpressions.com/software/books/MastPrec.php). 
But I had no idea that I could make a perfect pressing board all by myself, until I saw Sharon's video.

Sharon Schamber m-a convins ca planseta de calcat pe care o putem cumpara in magazine (ingusta sau extra lata, asa cum se gaseste in America) si care are o suprafata de calcat mai moale, nu ma va ajuta sa obtin blocurile de quilt perfecte de care visam.
De fapt stiam asta deja, dintr-un DVD cu Sally Collins (vezi linkul mai sus). Ce nu stiam era ca pot sa fac singura suprafata de calcat despre care vorbea Sally Collins.

And here is what Leah Day writes about hard pressing board and about Sharon's board  (http://leahday.com/pages/build-firm-pressing-board)

>> One of the single most important tools in your sewing / quilting room is your pressing or ironing board. Unfortunately most ironing boards are created with squishy foam covers that provide almost no stability for the fabric as you press.
Your goal with starching and pressing fabric is to stiffen the surface by bonding the starch to the fabric fibers. When the fabric is able to move on the ironing board, it's very easy to stretch and skew the fabric out of shape. By using a firm pressing board, the fabric will remain square and stable and the starch will be forced to bond with the fabric, not with the iron or the pressing board <<.
Si iata ce zice leah Day - o somitate in lumea quiltuitului - despre suprafata de calcat tare si despre planseta lui Sharon. Rezum succint:
Una dintre cele mai importante unelte este planseta de calcat, dar din nefericire husele plansetelor comerciale nu garanteaza suficienta stabilitate pentru materialele care se calca. Daca materialul se misca atunci cand este apretat sau calcat, ceea ce se intampla pe o suprafata mai moale, nu vei putea sa apretezi si sa mentii firele tesaturii in forma pe care o doresti. Cam asa ceva. 

So, please, guys, do not make a soft pressing board. Or softer than necessary! Think about it: if you press the seam to one side - which is what most quilters do - you let it sink in the soft padding of the pressing board and you get something like what is called 'turn of cloth' for one part of the block. Or you get an imprint of the seam. 
You do not want that at all when you press your quilt blocks. You do not want the pressing uncontrolled if you are sewing.

Asa ca va rog din inima: nu faceti o planseta de calcat moale sau mai moale decat ar trebui. Ganditi-va ce se intampla daca veti calca un tiv in aceeasi parte.  Tivul si mai ales partea cea mai de jos, se va afunda in husa moale mai mult decat cele doua parti cuuste si veti obtine un fel de indoitura. Asta daca aveti tivul direct pe planseta. Daca aveti tivul deasupra, calcand peste el se va lasa peste material si veti avea urma tivului vizibila. Sper sa intelegeti ce vreau sa spun. 

Well, now something about my pressing board. 
Acum despre planseta mea.

1. I think that Sharon is right: a board with rounded corners is easier to pad and cover, than one with square corners, like Martha Stewart's. When I bought the board in the shop, I could not ask for rounded corners. The handyman would not cut the board with rounded corners - too much work for a couple of euros, the cost of the wood I bought.
That's why I asked him if he could cut the corners as below. Yes, he could. 

1. Cred ca Sharon are dreptate sa recomande colturile rotunjite, pentru ca e mai usor sa imbraci planseta cu canvas (vedeti in video de ce). Dar la magazinul de la care am cumparat lemnul se vindeu numai resturi de lemn, pe care le puteau taia la dimensiunile de care aveam nevoie, dar nu puteau taia rotund. Era prea multa munca pentru ei.
Asa ca i-am intrebat daca vor sa imi taie colturile ca mai jos. Da, asta se putea.

Rounded corners are better, but this is a good 'second best' design. Think about it, when you get the board in the shop.

Daca puteti cumpara o planseta cu colturile rotunjite sau daca aveti pe cineva care vrea sa faca asta pentru voi, rotunjiti colturile plansetei. Daca nu, faceti ca mine. 
Daca va veti uita la videoul cu Martha Stewart, veti vedea ca este mai complicat sa imbraci o planseta cu colturile la de 90 grade.

2. As I already said, I could not find fusible felt when I needed it. 
I used a canvas back cover with folded edges, which I glued to the padded board. 

2. Asa cum am mai spus, eu nu am gasit fetru pentru lipit pe dos. 
Nu gaseam decat bucati de 40 cm x 40 cm. Asa ca am imbracat spatele cu acelasi canvas pe care l-am folosit pentru fata plansetei.
Vedeti in poza de mai jos ca l-am indoit aproape pe marginea plansetei si l-am lipit. Cred ca am folosit lipici Güttermann pentru textile, care nu se spala.

3. I wanted a board stable on the table, because I use it not only to press, but also to cut (on a mat, of course, with a rotary cutter). I do not want the board to move when I am cutting. 
My solution was to glue kitchen shelves liners on the back of the board, over the canvas back cover.
These are the cheapest shelves liners I can find in the Netherlands.

3. Am vrut sa am o planseta care sa nu alunece pe masa pe care o voi pune (o pun uneori si pe planseta de calcat comerciala). 
Mai ales ca o folosesc si la taiat, adica pun pe ea planseta Olpha de taiat cu cutter. Evident ca nu vreau sa alunece cand apas cu cutterul si tai.
De aceea am lipit pe tot spatele plansetei un material plastic care se foloseste pe rafturile dulapurilor de bucatarie. Cel putin asa se numeste aici.

By the way, I use the smaller pieces for quilting, under my hands when I free motion quilting (Craftsy quilting lesson with Ann Petersen), because it helps me to grip the quilt better and I can move the quilt easier. 
In the picture above you can see that I put shelves liners under my sewing machine (corner left). This idea comes from the Bernina group

Acelasi material il folosesc si la quiltuit free motion, pentru ca nu suport manusile care au plastic in varful degetelor. Am vazut intr-un curs pe Craftsy ca le poti inlocui cu bucati din acest material, pe care le pui sub degetele cu care impingi quiltul.
In poza de mai sus vedeti ca am pus plasticul pentru dulapuri si sub masina de cusut, ca sa fie mai stabila (truc invatat pe grupul Bernina de la Yahoo).

In the picture below you can see how my cheap shelves liners look like. I think I used 2 rolls, 1 euro each.

In poza de mai jos vedeti mai de aproape cum arata materialul de care vorbesc. Cred ca am folosit doua suluri de aproximativ 1 euro bucata (de la magazinul Blokker, daca sunteti din Olanda).

 4. My board is hard and not very thick - 1/2" padded plus the thickness of the shelves liner. Just the board, one layer of cotton batting and two layers of cotton canvas. Keep it as thin and hard as you can.

4. Planseta mea nu este foarte groasa, are 1/2", adica 1,25 cm. Plus grosimea plasticului verde lipit pe dos.
Are numai un strat de vatelina si doua straturi de canvas (desupra si dedesubt).
E bine asa cum e, subtire si tare.

5. The best idea in Sharon's tutorial was to use not prewashed batting and not prewashed cotton canvas and to spritz the board wet and let it dry overnight. Because the cotton batting and cotton canvas shrunk, the cover on the board is tight and firm. And my pressing improved a lot! No more 'consumed seams' during the pressing.

5. Cea mai buna idee din tutorialul lui Sharon este sa folosesti materiale (vatelina si canvas) nedate la apa. Dupa ce termini de imbracat planseta, o stropesti cu un pulverizator de plante pana devine canvasul umed (umezeala ajunge si la vatelina). Lasati planseta peste noapte sa se usuce complet si veti vedea ca materialele intra putin la apa si se strang bine pe planseta. 
Chiar asta doriti sa obtineti: o suprafata intinsa si tare, care nu permite materialului de calcat sa se miste sau sa se ingroape in vatelina si alte straturi moi cu care e imbracta planseta de lemn. Sau sa iti lase urme de la calcat (tivuri imprimate unde nu trebuie).

I hope I convinced you to give Sharon's method a try and forget about Martha Steward's method.

Sper ca v-am convins sa incercati metoda lui Sharon si sa uitati cele scrise de Martha Stewart. Pe mine m-a ajutat mult aceasta planseta sa obtin blocuri de quilt asa cum voiam.