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Thread: iron seams open

  1. #1
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    I have been working on blocks for a wall hanging and for some reason I started ironing the seams open, voila, they sure lay alot nicer when there are several in one block. :lol: :lol:

  2. #2
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    And for a wall hanging I would think it wouldn't matter at all.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    I just compared some of the other ones I did before and these open seams look so much better, no bulk.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I have been ironing seams open for a little while now, and I can tell you that doing it that way makes it so easy to stitch in the ditch when it comes to quilting. I reasoned that probably, the ironing to one side was because of hand sewn patches that weren't so strong. With modern machines, and the shorter stitches I tend to use, I reckon that my seams are not at all likely to part company in a hurry, especially as they are so difficult to remove if I make a mistake. There is also a lot less bulk in some places, compared to ironing to one side. The only draw back might be that you can't 'nestle' seams ironed in opposite directions when wanting to seam two sets of patches together. BUT even then, it's easy to pin the seams together when they are ironed open.

  5. #5
    bearpaw's Avatar
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    I'm glad you posted this. I just found this article ("opinion") a few weeks ago on equilters.com on why you should press your seams open when quilting.

    http://www.equilters.com/library/tec...SeamsOpen.html

    What do you think?

  6. #6
    a regular here cutebuns's Avatar
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    At one time they were pressed to one side so that the quilting on top would reinforse the hand stitching, since most of us use machines these days, though there are some that still do it by hand, the machine stitching is a lot stronger and it doesn't matter is you press to one side or open, the bulk changes so especially if you are working with smaller pieces it is easier when they are pressed open to spread the bulk more evenly. For the most part it is not personal prefference. depending on what I am working on, I do either.

  7. #7
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    I was always told to press to one side. The reasons were: 1. Stronger seams. (Which isn't a problem with today's machines.) 2. Makes it impossible to see the batting through the seams and keeps the batting from exitting the quilt.

    Hold your pressed open seams up to the window. If you see light showing through the seam, you may see the batting through it, also. This could become more visible with repeated washings.

    In this case, it's a wall hanging, so little or no washing involved and shouldn't be a problem.

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Pressing the seams to one side was also done to keep the batting in. At one time batting was just carded cotton laid on the backing, it wasn't bonded and needlepunched like it is now.

    I did a BOM that the instructions said for accuracy to press all seams open. Several of the blocks were rather complicated and it did help with the accuracy. That quilt is still at the quilters.

  9. #9
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    I've read what you all have said and that site too. This is so interesting. I'm going to try open seams next time! I always appreciate any advice about anything that can help make quilting easier and look better. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I press seams to one side for two reasons: 1) to prevent batting from showing through because I always use fabrics that are darker than the batting and 2) so I can nest my seams to make them match perfectly. There is minimal bulk with 40 to 50 wt piecing thread and accurate pressing. Anything that will be ditch quilted has to be pressed to one side as well, otherwise there is no ditch!

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