Hot off the press!

Recently I added something new to my quilting tool arsenal which has literally changed my quilting life. And when I find a new product that works so well it literally changes the process of how I create and my quilting results for the better, I have to share. 

Let me introduce you to a the Elna Press 850. 

Presses aren’t new; they’ve been around for decades but were mostly used for pressing clothes and linens. The first time I was introduced to this press was earlier this year when John Ryan, Director of Business Development for Janome-America, Inc., brought one into the classroom where I was teaching at Road2CA. Honestly, my initial thought was, “What’s the difference whether you use a regular iron or a press? They do essentially the same thing.”

I’ve been requesting these presses be available in my classes for students to use whenever possible. The results they get are amazing, which leads to an even better classroom experience for everyone.

Holy hot honey biscuits! Once I witnessed firsthand the incredible results the students were getting when they used the press on the blocks they were making in class, I knew I had to have one in my studio. After I received my own press and started using it, I saw immediate results and the improvement in the overall pressing of all my pieced units and blocks was beyond amazing. I had no idea a press could improve the quality of my quilt tops that much

This press has amazing features.

  • The Elna Press 850 has variable heat settings and the heat and pressure per square inch is powerful and consistent across the entire pressing surface. Yet, you can press delicate fabrics such as silk and sturdy fabrics such as cottons, wool and linen.

  • The press won’t scorch or leave those annoying “shiny” areas across seams you get sometimes with a conventional iron. 
  • You can’t make a mistake in the amount of time you leave the top engaged because it “beeps” to let you know when to raise the handle. 

  • This model comes with a VapoJet which gently mists your fabrics as needed and is easily removed when you don’t need it.

  • There is a narrow bar that gently lifts into place for pressing areas such as when you want to press your seams open or small, pieced units. Oh yes — it actually works beautifully for pressing shirt sleeves, should you want to do that, too. (Incidentally, I’ve made my husband very happy because now I actually enjoy pressing his crisp dress shirts for work and I don’t procrastinate pressing them anymore.)

The padded pressing bar is perfect for smaller units and long seams…..

….and the press locks into place on top of the pressing bar for fabulous results!

  • There are bright built-in LED lights with a separate on/off switch.

The LED lights shine brightly on the pressing surface — just where you need it!

  • It comes with an extra pressing cushion and smaller sleeve bar for even more precision when it comes to pressing small units.

Incidentally, the Elna Press 850 won an award for “Best New Product” at an international industry event earlier this year! 

Perfect for piecing and fusible applique methods!

I’ve been having such a great time using this press, I decided to tackle designing and making a large quilt comprised mostly of machine fusible machine applique techniques. I’ve honestly never achieved such terrific results using fusible web before. 

And here’s a great tip. To help keep your pressing surface pristine when working with fusible web, use a “Perfect Press Sheet” (available from Janome dealers or online) or any silicone baking sheet on top or underneath your fusible project. It protects the press and your fabric, plus it actually radiates the heat even more. It’s also perfect when you need an absolutely crisp crease in your dress slacks or garments. 

This fabulous press won’t completely replace the need for a conventional iron. I still use an iron for pressing certain pieced units, techniques, or pressing yards and yards of freshly washed fabric. But I follow-up those initial steps with my Elna press for the ultimate results. I don’t know how I lived without it for so long!

Don’t you think it was lovely of the good folks at Elna/Janome to make the press match my studio in my signature periwinkle color? (Just a lucky coincidence, but a girl can pretend, right?)

There are four models in the Elna line-up: The Elnapress 150 / 250 / 450 / and 850, so there is sure to be one to fit your budget and needs. May I suggest you put this on the top of your wish-list for Santa this year? Or, it would certainly make a great birthday present to yourself. (You deserve it!) You can find these at your local Janome dealer or even online. But I strongly suggest you check with your local dealer first because they are offering fantastic specials on these models you simply won’t find online. Or, CLICK HERE

Time for me to get back to my pressing. I never thought I’d say those words with such enthusiasm (wink!)

  1. Sounds like I have something to put on my wish list for my 80th Birthday.

  2. Oh Kimberly, I love the “Holy, hot honey biscuits”!! And I’d love one of these presses, but I bought a continuous steam iron last year and I’m not sure hubby would be altogether happy if I bought another hot, steamy thingamabob! ?

  3. Your posts are just ads now.

    • Dear M;
      Thank you for your comment; it struck me to my core. I am sorry you think my posts are just “ads” now; I always strive to be completely authentic with everything I write and whatever I post. As the spokesperson for Janome, an honor I cherish because of their faith in me and my abilities, I have the privilege to try many new products which are on loan for me to use for a brief time before I must return them to the company. These products are not given to me and I make no money on commission for selling them. I share these products honestly and with genuine enthusiasm with my blog readers because if they truly make my quilting life easier and more fun, why wouldn’t I want to share this information with everyone?
      It is true that my blog posts have been more focused lately on specific products and highlighting Janome dealers. This is something I took on myself because these are dedicated and hardworking folks who strive tirelessly to make the lives of their customers better every single day. It is a privilege to bring their businesses to light when I visit them during my travels. This is something I do on my own time and my own dime; Janome does not compensate me for these shop visits. I enjoy lifting people up – to make them feel special. And in my own way, that’s what I’m doing with these posts. I’ve been traveling so much lately to lecture and teach that I haven’t been home long enough to post many additional blogs however, that is something I hope to do more of in the coming weeks and months. So I do hope you’ll check back here again for more quilty and family things. You’ll often find me posting on social media about quilts, cats, sunsets, and the good things in life. I will strive to incorporate these lovely life things here on the blog more often, too.

      • Keep it up,Kimberly! I love living vicariously through you!

      • I personally love your blog posts! A lot of times I’ve wondered about a certain product and really appreciate your honest opinion to help me make up my mind. Whether reviewing a product or posting about your family, travels or quilts, I have enjoyed each and every one of your posts!!

  4. Hi Kimberley. I’ve had my Elna Press for almost 40 years. It has the same accessories, water-spray, heat control for all types of fabric and a buzzer that lets you know when to release. Automatic off switch too. Was a single mom, now retired and used it all the time. Also for pressing quilt blocks and applique. Love it.

  5. Thank you so much for making it so easy to find this post. I’ve been talking about these pressing systems with friends but didn’t know anyone who had one. I saw your article in the AQ magazine and was hoping I could find out which one you liked. It’s always nice to get first hand recommendations. This will definitely be on my Christmas list ?. You are a such a joyful person ?

    • Karen – Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I appreciate your kind words more than I can say! I hope Santa brings YOU a press under your Christmas tree this year!

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