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Thread: Difficulty with pressing when chain piecing

  1. #1
    Junior Member J.M.'s Avatar
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    Difficulty with pressing when chain piecing

    I've only just started quilting with my sewing machine, after doing it only by hand for years, and I am chain piecing a quilt top for the first time. There's a problem I keep running into, though. When pressing, I don't have a problem if I press towards the newly attached block in the row. But if I try to press the seam towards the bulk of the row, I run into trouble because the rows are all attached to each other and that makes it difficult.

    Does anyone have any tips to make it easier? Because right now I'm pulling things out of form while pressing and that's not supposed to happen, but constantly snipping the rows apart after I attach a new block takes the speed out of the whole chain piecing, not to mention make it likelier that I make a mistake in attaching blocks to the right row. So any help from experienced quilters that chain piece on the machine is welcome!
    Live and let live.

  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Couple of things you could do. 1. Pull each piece out from the machine a half inch or so as you're stitching to give it a little space from its neighbor. 2. Snip them apart & stack them, making sure you stack them in the same order each time (i.e. the left side of the quilt is always on the top of the stack).

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    generally when chain piecing the pieces are snipped apart before pressing them- that might help. if your pattern calls for them to be pressed while still attached to each other pull out a longer space between each one.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
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    When Bonnie Hunter "webs" her tops, she presses after the top is assembled. She finger presses as she goes while piecing.

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    I cut mine apart and stack them before pressing.

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    Maybe I'm wrong but I'm thinking something is being missed here. I'm reading as the problem occurs because the seams are going different directions due to being sewn together. The only way I can think of to resolve it is to press ALL seams open. I'm also thinking that clipping the seams will weaken it unless its going to be heavily quilted.

  7. #7
    Junior Member J.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crocee View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong but I'm thinking something is being missed here. I'm reading as the problem occurs because the seams are going different directions due to being sewn together. The only way I can think of to resolve it is to press ALL seams open. I'm also thinking that clipping the seams will weaken it unless its going to be heavily quilted.
    No, I'm not talking about that. I do indeed mean webbing a top like Bonnie Hunter does, as Tartan said.

    I might try pulling longer spaces between the pieces, like several of you have suggested. I'm not that crazy about fingerpressing, because it always leaves me with room in the seams that result in the size my blocks/tops being off, so if the longer spaces don't work I'll just clip it apart. A little more work, but as long as I pay attention it should work as well as chain piacing.

    Thanks for all the advice!
    Live and let live.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I snip apart the chained row, and press, than chain a new row
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D

  9. #9
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    I snip apart the chained row, and press, than chain a new row
    That's what I do also. I use post its to mark rows, etc.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  10. #10
    Junior Member J.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GailG View Post
    That's what I do also. I use post its to mark rows, etc.
    Oh, that's a great idea!
    Live and let live.

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