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

  1. #1
    Senior Member pineneedles4's Avatar
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    I have always pressed my seams to one side, usually the dark side unless it will create problems at intersecting seams. Now, lately I've read where people are pressing seams open when machine piecing. This would certainly create less bulk in most patterns when quilting. I read an entry on here where a long arm quilter praised the lady who pieced the top for pressing open all of her seams. I also read somewhere on the internet about someone explaining that seams were always pressed to one side because when people hand-piece, this would hide the stitches and make the seam stronger but it was not necessary when machine piecing.

    Have you ever pressed open the seams? Did you like the results on the finished quilt? What is your experience?

    Vanessa in Oklahoma

  2. #2
    Member kwilter11's Avatar
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    The instructions for a scrappy quilt said to press the seams open. I'd never done it before, but it worked beautifully. I'm considering pressing them all open from now on (but it is a pain to to do) because I have a hard time getting my points to match when there's that big hump to go over.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineneedles4
    Have you ever pressed open the seams? Did you like the results on the finished quilt? What is your experience?
    I'm very inexperienced, but I do remember reading in one of the quilting books I've read that seams pressed open are not as strong as seams pressed to one side. Just something to factor into your decision.

  4. #4
    Super Member rwquilts's Avatar
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    I have pressed seams open only when the bulkiness of the fabrics dictates it. I always try and press both seams to one side, but I have to admit while recently working on the FWQ and making 6 inch blocks, when I was sewing teeny tiny seams and many of them, pressing open seams was a great help to my block looking good. It's your quilt...you get to pick the rules? :):)

  5. #5
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    I press to one side so I can get he seams to match. It took me forever to be able to make it work that way. I would never be able to line seams up if I pressed open.
    Judy

  6. #6
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I think it's a situation of the proper technique for the proper job. If you are doing straight seams that will meet, pressing to one side to 'lock' the seam when they meet works well. Pressing open or twirling intersections reduces bulk on pinwheels, stars etc.

    As far as the long arm quilters, the only thing I've heard is to always press the backing seams open, not necessarily all the piecing seams.

    Here's a good tutorial on pressing on this board:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-149984-1.htm

  7. #7
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    I only press open if it'll really make a difference, cause it's a pain in the neck to do

  8. #8
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    I press them open when I need to reduce the bulk

  9. #9
    Super Member GABBYABBY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenelTX
    Quote Originally Posted by pineneedles4
    Have you ever pressed open the seams? Did you like the results on the finished quilt? What is your experience?
    I'm very inexperienced, but I do remember reading in one of the quilting books I've read that seams pressed open are not as strong as seams pressed to one side. Just something to factor into your decision.
    I agree.

  10. #10
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I always press it to the side for a stronger seam. With the 1/4 inch seam that every one seems to use these days I feel better about doing it that way.

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