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Thread: Press open or to the dark or...?

  1. #11
    Junior Member Hemlock Tea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Houston, TX
    I started sewing clothing long before I began quilting, and most of the time seams are pressed open. When I started quilting, I was taught to press to the dark, but I found I liked the results better when I press open. I seem to be able to match seams better when they're open then when they're pressed in opposite directions. I try to press open as much as possible unless it'll show through on white fabric, and then I may trim the darker seam allowance a hair so it doesn't show. I feel that the quilting will "hold everything together", so I'm not too worried about weaker seams.

  2. #12
    Senior Member almond's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    So glad to hear a lot of you press seams open. My points are so much better when I press open. I do lots of mini's so opening the seams are a must for flatness and acuracy.

    I do agree that you must find your own comfort zone. Just try different ways.

  3. #13
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Holmen, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by Sally J View Post
    We all learned last night in our "open sew" that some piecing patterns just really work best if seams are pressed open. I'm going to try it, seems like it could really make a difference.
    I was extremely lucky when I took my 1st quilting class in that I had someone I consider an excellent teacher. She taught us to press our seams open. She felt like it made your blocks & therefore your whole top lay flatter & better. Her theory was that you should be as proud of the way your quilt looked on the backside was as you were of the front. Plus it was easier to hand quilt that way (like I said... this was eons ago when everything was hand quilted). Plus you don't have to calculate which way to press the seams so they'll lock or line up correctly. So I've always pressed my seams open. I keep my stitch length pretty short to keep the seam as strong as possible. The only drawback I've found is that is when I sawp blocks, mine are different than the others re the seams.
    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Harrisburg, OR
    I think I'll be going open on my next quilt. The nesting just isn't happening well for me on this one. Great point UNOut the quilting holding everything together, as well as to the side if using quilt in the ditch.


  5. #15
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Perth, Western Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by momto5 View Post
    What she said...
    Yep...flexibility and what works best.

  6. #16
    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Stagecoach, NV
    Good advice from all of you. I normally press to the dark .

  7. #17
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Mechanicsville, IA
    My sister-in-law said her grandmother was a big quilter and always pressed the seams open. I'm shortening my stitch length just a little more and going with open seams most of the time. I like Superior Thread's Masterpiece for piecing. It is fine enough not to add bulk to the seam but very strong.
    Cheryl Robinson
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  8. #18
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Piedmont Virginia in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns.
    "Back in the day" when I started quilting, polyester batting was all the rage, but it bearded when quilted.....that is, tiny bits of the batting occasionally pulled through seams and stitches like tiny tufts of beard. So, one way that could be 'somewhat' eliminated was by pressing seams closed, hence the press-to-the-dark dictate.

    Today's batts, even polyester, are better made and do not beard as much as they used to, whether hand or machine quilted.

    I tend to press to one side, out of habit as much as anything.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  9. #19
    Jim is offline
    Super Member Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Bardstown, Kentucky
    I do both depending on the project...some projects with multiple seams gathering at one junction I do both ...so whatever works best for you and your project...their is no set rules...thus no quilt police in existance here
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort :lol:

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