Not a pressing problem

Posted By on February 14, 2009

The room was abuzz and all the workshop attendees wanted one. This was not the first time members of the group had adapted products to meet quilters needs. Several of the group had small folding tables, even tv trays which were used as ironing boards. The tables were complete with small Hobbico custom sealing irons, the perfect size for workshop travel bags. But this day they were all interested in Anne’s innovation, the strip stick.


Rather than tell you about it, I’ve asked Anne a few questions.

 What is your quilting background?  I have been sewing most of my life.  I have been a member of the local quilt guild for several years and am currently working on my fifth quilt. Since I’ve been interested in quilting for at least ten years, I’ve learned a lot from other quilters and have taken quite a few classes.

How did you happen to design the strip stick?  I had signed up for a workshop and needed to make a strata consisting of at least 60 one & one-half inch fabric strips 45″ long.  I only had 3 days left before the workshop and my friends said that they had been working on theirs for more than a week and that there was no way I was going to be able to finish in time.  I realized that the majority of time was spent pressing open all the seams that were so close together.  I have used different kinds of pressing hams over the years for sewing clothing, so I envisioned a long rod of some sort to elevate the seam being pressed.  I asked my husband to cut me a piece of wood to my specifications then I made a smooth, padded cover for it and the rest is history.  I finished my strip set in approximately 11 hours! 

Please explain how to use the strip stick.  Lay the stick on the ironing surface, such as an ironing board.  Place the seam you desire to press on the top of the stick.  Either press the seam open or to one side, depending on the project.  When using the 45″ stick, a selvage-to-selvage seam can be ironed in one pass of the iron, saving an extraordinary amount of time. We send an instructional DVD with the orders when the customer has not seen it in use.

Can the strip stick be adapted for other uses?  Yes.  Some of my customers have said that the 18″ strip stick was great for pressing a quilt block with many intersecting seams, such as the one-block wonder. Many of my customers are using it almost exclusively when pressing quilt blocks.  The 45″ stick is great for pressing long rows of blocks and quilt borders.  You will find that the seams will be very straight–no more wavy seams!  It can also be used for pressing long seams in clothing, such as pant legs, long skirts or sleeves.

Does the strip stick come in various sizes? The Strip Stick comes in a 45″ and 18″ size.  We also have a 45″ Strip Stick that folds in half.  This model is good to use when travelling; however, the cover may not take the stress of continually opening/closing for a long period of time.  So I do not recommend this model for heavy usage.  Also the cost is greater for this model because it takes double the time to make it.

  On our Babb Enterprises website: 

Thanks Anne.

I have both the 18″ and 45″ strip stick and love them! Visit Babb Enterprises for photos.


2 Responses to “Not a pressing problem”

  1. Karol says:

    what is new about this??? We garment sewers have been using the ‘seam stick’ for years to press open garment seams without having them show on the right side. Large dowel stick cut in half. Works on quilts seams too. I’ve been a garment sewer and quilter for nearly 60 years

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