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Pressing Seams

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Diane Morgan posted on Tue, Oct 19 2010 11:48 AM

I've been watching a lot of online videos and I've noticed some quilters press their seams open. It would seem that it would make for a flatter top. Does anyone have any pros and cons for open seams vs pressing to one side?

North of Boston MA

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Hi lady di and welcome to QCA.

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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gini replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 11:50 PM

lady di, welcome.   we're pretty nosy, can you tell us a  little about you and your quilting     gini

gini in north idaho

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Jan replied on Mon, Nov 15 2010 1:30 PM

I find it depends on what I'm doing.  If I'm going to have multiple seams come together, then I do it open.  If I'm just matching two seams, I press them to one side and then when the seams come together, there is the same amount on both sides. This seems to make my matching easier.  Also, it matters if there is a very light fabric.  You don't want the dark fabric to show through, so you would press to the dark side.

Jan in Ohio

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I think this is a choice.  For machine quilting,it does appear that it makes for a flatter top.  For hand quilting, which I still prefer, I like the seems pressed to one side.

Marion

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Charlotte Hickman replied on Mon, Nov 15 2010 3:20 PM | Locked

I say ditto to this!  Pressing seams to the side so they lock together works great and helps with "stitch in the ditch.".  The one exception is when several seams come together at a certain point, like a Lemoyne star..  Also, the little 4 patch idea is great to reduce bulk- just be careful not to pull out too many stitches.

Charlotte

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I press to one side unless it just won't work.  I have split the seam allowance (i.e., clipped the seam allowance to a few threads away from the stitching like is done in curved seaming to provide ease.)  and pressed open just at the bulk intersection.  That way I have a weak inch or less instead of a whole weak seam.  When I do this, I reinforce the seam at that point with extra stitching next to the seam before clipping.  Sometimes I just press open the portion and then fold it back over past the bulk.  It depends on the circumstance.  I do not prefer pressing open for all the reasons stated by all the others already. 

linny t

Linny T

 

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Hi Diane,

The only time I press with the seams open is when many seams are coming together at one area.  Like in making a pinwheel block. It does make for a flatter quilt top and also is nicer when you machine quilt it. Hope this helps......

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 15 2010 6:53 PM

quilterjudy, welcome     gini

gini in north idaho

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I find it depends on the block and the bulkiness of the seams.  Today pressed both open and to one side on an Arrowhead block I made for the first time and it lays nice and flat.

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well said! I do the same.

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Hi Diane,

I press depending on the way the pattern comes together, and the way it will be quilted. If I am doing a large number of blocks in the same manner, I figure out the best way to press so that when I line up 2 blocks to put together the seams are ironed to the side in the opposite direction. It is much easier to match seams and corners because you can 'push' the seams together for pinning. I know it sounds funny, but it works!

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Diane,

I usually like to press seams to one side, because then they butt together really nice. But, sometimes, I do press seams open to reduce bulk.

~Hopppy quilting~
Froggie

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I like Kaye Woods technique.

Press the seam flat first, the press the 1/4 " portion to the side you want, dark or light.   Jean Zeiler

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