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Thread: Open pressed seams

  1. #21
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    I also press open. That's from clothes sewing days!

    To prevent burnt fingers I use a wooden iron which is half of a wooden clip clothespin. Open it up and run it down the seam. Voila! Pressed open. I do use iron for long seams.

    As to whether a quilt will last: Clothes that I made for children 20-30 years ago are still hanging around with no popped seams. And those kind of seams undergo a lot of stress. A quilt that has extra protection (the quilting part!) would certainly last at least as long!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieR View Post
    Confession: I've tried several times to press my seams open, and it always ends in burnt fingers and frustration. What am I doing wrong? I've watched people do it online before but my seams just don't ever seem to want to open.
    Either finger press first or get a pressing tool to help hold the seams open while pressing. I first press all my seams as sewn. Then finger press open the seam. Then flip the sewn pieces over and press again on the right side of the pieces.

  3. #23
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I love this idea!!! I have some clothespins and that is what I am going to do...Thank-you!
    Quote Originally Posted by sewmary View Post
    I also press open. That's from clothes sewing days!

    To prevent burnt fingers I use a wooden iron which is half of a wooden clip clothespin. Open it up and run it down the seam. Voila! Pressed open. I do use iron for long seams.

    As to whether a quilt will last: Clothes that I made for children 20-30 years ago are still hanging around with no popped seams. And those kind of seams undergo a lot of stress. A quilt that has extra protection (the quilting part!) would certainly last at least as long!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfletcher View Post
    This surprised me. I am also a LAQ and if you need to SID, the seams are better pressed to one side. If you press them open, then the SID is just sewing across thread & not fabric on the top. If you are doing an overall, it probably doesn't matter. I actually have never had a problem with needles breaking.
    I'm a LAQ also and if you press seams open there is no ditch so you can't do SID at all.

    As a piecer, I would think pressing seams to the side would make a stronger seam. While machine stitching is stronger than hand stitching, you would still have strain on the seams(especially with a bed quilt) where thread breakage could happen over time IMHO.

    If you press your seams open wouldn't it be easier if you made wider seams? Of course, you would lose inches overall in your project.
    Last edited by selm; 01-17-2013 at 08:35 AM.
    Sally

  5. #25
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    Some thing I press open, other to one side, each project is different. The pressing rule we have follwed for so many years is more flexible that we thought.
    Quilt outside of the box!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieR View Post
    Confession: I've tried several times to press my seams open, and it always ends in burnt fingers and frustration. What am I doing wrong? I've watched people do it online before but my seams just don't ever seem to want to open.
    Take two quarter round pieces of wood and use wood glue to hold them together. Place the pieces together so you get the flatest surface possible on top. Use clamps to hold the pieces together until they dry then sand smooth. Lay seam centered over the wood piece and use DRY iron. They sell a padded version of this but it's pricey and padding is unnecessary.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    I do press mine open when I have a lot of pieces coming together. For me (and yes it may only be me) I have an easier time matching when I press to one side. I have never had issue of breaking a needle when quilting with seams pressed to the side.

    I also lower my stitch length to at least 2, most of the new machines come up at 2.5 (not sure how many stitches to the inch that is). I think the other thing is that SID was not meant to be in the seam line but a little to the left or to the right of it. Most older quilts I have noticed have the quilting stitches either just to one side of the seam or a 1/4 to the side of the seam.
    I think the theory behind ironing seam to one side is/was adding strength to that seam.....as mentioned above, SID should be done just to the edge of that seam-on the double seam allowance side, not right in the ditch-that could break that joining thread.....if done right, seams all going to the side in a multi pieced block, there should not be Bulk.....I always pinwheel my seam meetings on the back....even on pinwheel/kalideoscope block, if all going in same direction, the center will fan out smoothly....
    If a LA will not accept a top unless the seams are opened, she would not be my choice.......and needle breaking is not caused my seams, her needle is either too thin or she is going to quickly and causing the needle to snap. Just from personal experience

  8. #28
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    I think ironing to one side rather than open makes (not sure how to describe it) a "tighter" seam. If a seam is ironed open and stretched tight, there can almost be a gap between the two pieces of fabric, but if the seam is pressed to one side, it is "sealed" up. Also, there is the stitch-in-the-ditch issue. There is no "ditch" when you press a seam open. I also like the accuracy gained by butting seams (pressed in opposite directions) against each other which you do not have if you press a seam open. I have pressed select seams open on a few quilts I've made, but it is vary rare. But as they say, there are no quilt police. Whatever works for you.
    Thimble and Thread

  9. #29
    Super Member jeaninmaine's Avatar
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    For generations, the rear seam on mens pants were pressed open without too many problems. When I was taught to quilt, seams were always pressed open. I have had fabric wear through but never had a problem with the seams.

  10. #30
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    I started out making clothes and other items where the seams were pressed open. Then my first quilt instructor said "press to the dark", which I generally do, however, when you are piecing a block with many pieces, it's better to press your seams open to reduce bulk. You can finger press or use the wooden iron - a favorite of Eleanor Burns, and then if you need to use the iron go ahead, but I've found that the wooden iron works pretty well. The "rules" do constantly change, but use what works best for you and you'll have good results.

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