Okay, I MUST admit that I laughed (and probably rolled my eyes) when someone first told me about The Strip Stick. They said it was to be used to help iron the seams when sewing strip sets together. I have to say, I can't remember really ever having a problem ironing the seams on my strip sets. THEN, I bought a Jaybird Hex N More Ruler and decided to make my daughter a quilt. It required that the seams be pressed open (for the particular pattern I chose.) I REALLY don't like to iron seams open. I'm not sure why, but at some point I had purchased one of The Strip Sticks. I had never opened the package. (I am a gadget girl; I can't resist a new tool or notion--especially if I get it on sale.) SO, I decided to try it for this job. IT WORKED GREAT!
Let me show you what it is and how it works. First, it looks like a half-round moulding (flat on the bottom and round on the top) covered with a bit of batting and muslin.
The way I use it is to place it on my ironing board with the flat side down. Lay the patchwork across the stick with the seam to be opened on top.
I open the seam and flatten it with the end of my fingernail to get it started. Then, I run the iron up the seam, wobbling the iron back and forth to open it. This results in the flattest seam I've ever seen, and it is really EASY to do.
When I started work on a quilt kit I purchased (at a price I couldn't pass up) from Craftsy, I realized there were A LOT of seams in the blocks, and all of the seams needed to be pressed open.
I knew The Strip Stick would help me open the seams, but I hadn't realized how important it would be in making this block. If you take a close look at the back of this block you will see there are a large number of seams, and they are REALLY close together.
As I was sewing the block together, I realized it was important to keep previously pressed seams in tact when I ironed each newly finished seam. The Strip Stick raised the seam up and away from the other seams leaving them undisturbed.
I went to a retreat recently and demonstrated how I used The Strip Stick. LOTS of people thought they would use one. They come in 9", 18", 22 1/2", and 45". I initially purchased an 18" stick. This is a great size for most blocks and for taking on retreats. It CAN be used to iron strip sets, but it is kind of a pain. The strip has to continually be moved to iron the complete length of the strip. Now that I realize how much I might use The Strip Stick, I am considering the purchase of a 45" length for use at home. Check your local quilt shop to see if they can order The Strip Stick. If you can't get it from a shop, you can order it HERE.
I do want to make it clear that I am not affiliated with the poeple who make or sell The Strip Stick. It is just a product I really like. Let me know what you think.