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Thread: Pressing Seams to the side or open???

  1. #11
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Some thoughts ....

    LAQ ... if there's a lot of bulk, yes they'd like them pressed whichever way will minimize the bulk. At least my LAQ does. She's showed me how with too much bulk in one point, it's hard for her to keep an even pattern and stitch across that. It doesn't matter so much which way, as it does for handquilting (see below)

    Handquilting ... flipped them directionally, and the quilting was done on the single layered area. Harder for them to quilt thru multi-layers. And was important to make sure all were flipped in same direction from one block to the other, to do consistent quilting.

    Seam strength ... is it such an issue now, with most of us machine stitching, with modern threads/fabrics and our ability to adjust stitch length? Perhaps it was more so when the quilts were hand stitched?

    Light to Dark ... the conventional way, to avoid dark shadows coming thru onto the lights.

    Which way to flip ... one teacher I've had says forget about light/dark ... see which way the block wants to send it. Sometimes it's more natural in one direction or the other. And too, the bulk minimization consideration comes in there too.

    I'll Look forward to reading further comments about these thoughts.

  2. #12
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Press to the side

  3. #13
    Super Member catrancher's Avatar
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    I only press open if bulk is a problem, like on pinwheels.

  4. #14
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Since I learned and did most of my sewing making garments, a pressed open seam was a natural. I never had problems matching seam lines where necessasry. When I stasrted making quits, I followed the rules about pressing to the side. For me this seemed to present more problems matching the seams, because no matter, I always seemed to end up with some blocks with the pressed seams going the same way at the joint. I have also noticed at times that while I thought I had the seam pressed flat. I sometimes had a little fold . Those little folds cause a problem if you get too many in a block. I am thinking I may go back to pressing seams open. I really don't understand the " stronger" issue at all. I have a pretty broad rear-end and my pressed open seams have held together darn good with the "pull" they get. LOL

  5. #15
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    The way it was explained to me was if pressed open and a couple of stitches pop open you can see the batting and it unravels fast, when pressed to the side if they pop open they don't ravel open as fast and you don't see the batting. I did just do a strip quilt and my MIL pressed the seams open. I left the end to end seams because they are so short but repressed all the long seams to the side.

  6. #16
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    When I started quilting, I pressed all of my seams open as that is what I had always done when making garments. I was quickly told by the "quilt police" that quilters don't do that. Now I press them whatever way is most sensible. My Janome 6500 does not like bulky seam intersections and veers off the seam line so pressing open sometimes brings much better results.

  7. #17
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    As a hand quilter I was taught to press to the side. I am making one now that I have been pressing the seams open as much as I can. Sometimes this creates too much bulk so I press that seam to the side.

    It does take longer and I will not do it on every block I make.

    My friend sells her quilts and she tells me she just presses and where ever they go they go lol!!

    As long as my quilt top is laying flat I'm happy.

  8. #18
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    I press mine to one side, usually to the darker fabric if I can. I pressed my seams open on my first Stack-n-Whack, but on the second, I didn't. The bulk at the intersection of the second top was not much of an issue. Some, but not much. And the centers on the second one were much easier to match. I think it really boils down to personal preference.

  9. #19
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    The only time you would press them open is when you piece the backing and on some star patterns where 6-8 points come together at one place. I'm working on a quilt with seams in the back and it REALLY causes the quilting machine to bump out of design when it hits them. :) (BTW - if you piece the backing, use 1/2" seams -- they lay flatter)

  10. #20
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I like to press them to the side so I can match the seams more easily. It might be easier to press them open for quilt where I don't have to match seams but I would have to break my habit of pressing to the side - not sure I can do that. :?

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