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

  1. #1
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    Press open or to the dark or...?

    I've read all kinds of conflicting opinions on this. When I first started quilting 10 years ago it was firmly press to the dark. Now I read both.

    Opinions? What do you do? Pressing open would give so much more crisp a finish, but it seems like it would be weaker?

  2. #2
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    it depends on the pattern/seam i am working on- if i want my seams to 'nest' i press so they will- often this does mean toward the dark-but not always- if dealing with lots of bulk- pressing open at times is the better way to go-
    there are no -- hard rules---you press the way it works for what you are working on- some patterns tell you which way is best for your pattern- sometimes you have to figure out for yourself what is the best.---no reason for any 'conflict'
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
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    Great advice.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I press to the dark when the seam will show through on a light color fabric and I have a dark to press to, but other then that I press open. My blocks sew together to be the perfect size and are flat when I press the seams open.
    Got fabric?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sally J's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    it depends on the pattern/seam i am working on- if i want my seams to 'nest' i press so they will- often this does mean toward the dark-but not always- if dealing with lots of bulk- pressing open at times is the better way to go-
    there are no -- hard rules---you press the way it works for what you are working on- some patterns tell you which way is best for your pattern- sometimes you have to figure out for yourself what is the best.---no reason for any 'conflict'
    What she said...
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  7. #7
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    I usually press to the dark fabric. I press open if a lot of seams come together in one point. The reason I don't press most of my seams open is if I decide to stitch in the ditch, there is nothing by the thread to stitch over. I am always afraid that I'll break a stitch with my needle as I quilt. Do what works for you.

  8. #8
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    I was taught "press to the dark" but when you start setting the blocks together, some of those "dark" seams have to go toward the light (or be pressed open) because they will not nest nicely and may cause a larger than life bump in the seam... this can also be difficult to quilt over whether you are hand quilting or machine quilting.

  9. #9
    Super Member joyce888's Avatar
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    When piecing blocks I like to press seams open. When I add sashing or borders I press the seams to the inside making the sashing or border stand out.
    Joyce

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    it depends on the pattern/seam i am working on- if i want my seams to 'nest' i press so they will- often this does mean toward the dark-but not always- if dealing with lots of bulk- pressing open at times is the better way to go-
    there are no -- hard rules---you press the way it works for what you are working on- some patterns tell you which way is best for your pattern- sometimes you have to figure out for yourself what is the best.---no reason for any 'conflict'
    I, too, agree with this completely. That said, I am a mostly self-taught quilter coming from a home dec/garment sewing background. I quickly got frustrated that seams did not 'nest' nicely when following the 'dark' rule of thumb that I started pressing open almost exclusively. I hand quilt. Open works much better for me when quilting and I've yet to hear of anyone that I've given a quilt to having an issue with seams not holding up. I go back to the garment background. Most garment seams are/were pressed open and they didn't seem to have issues.

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