Book Review: Press for Success
Author: Myrna Giesbrecht
Title: Press for Success: Secrets of Precise and Speedy
Publisher: That Patchwork Place, 1996
52 pages; $12.95
(This book may be ordered, at a discount, from Amazon.com
in association with Planet Patchwork)
Reviewed by Addy Harkavy
Press for Success: Secrets of Precise and Speedy
Quiltmaking, from the Joy of Quilting series by
That Patchwork Place, deserves a permanent place on every
quilter's reference shelf. Myrna Giesbrecht, who's written three
other well received quilting books, has done a fine job of
demystifying pressing while providing information that can help
any quilter do a professional job on virtually any pressing
Giesbrecht's introduction takes us from a description of seams
and seam allowances to differentiating pressing from ironing --
an important distinction. She moves on to dispel six pressing
fallacies that have plagued the quilting world ever since I can
remember. Her reassuring refutations of dogma help lay the
foundations for planned pressing.
Press for Success is full of great
descriptions, tips, easy-to-follow instructions, and helpful
schematics. Giesbrecht's upbeat tone and articate presentation
are sure to inspire confidence in even the most timid beginner.
Topics include: Pressing equipment, iron care, pressing as you
go, prewashing/storing, pressing yardage, pressing seams, what to
do w/ seam allowances, speed piecing and pressing, pressing plans
(and this is one of the most useful parts of the book!), finger
The pressing plan concept is well developed and explained and
covers most types of situations any will encounter from bias
edges, straight-line designs, curved edges, diamonds and
hexagons, segmented blocks and, yes, designs in which many seams
meet at the center. Her section on understanding pressing plans
makes it easy to develop a plan for any contingency quilters
might encounter. The general explanation -- on page 16 -- is so
good that it's worth photocopying and posting above an ironing
board or on a sewing room bulletin board.
Another section, entitled "Understanding Traffic
Patterns" is invaluable in developing a pressing plan and in
helping blocks and entire quilts to "read" as intended.
This is particularly helpful in understanding the block setting
and borders section.
A gallery section shows fronts and backs of quilts, and a
section on pressing plan exercises and solutions puts the rest of
the book into useful context.
Press for Success is a book not to
miss whether you're making four-patches, saw-tooth borders,
tumbling blocks, eight-point stars, or sashed blocks, whether you
are a beginning or advanced quilter, or whether you're looking
for good books for your reference shelf.
(c)Copyright 1996 by Addy Harkavy. All rights