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Thread: Pressing seams

  1. #1
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    I was working on a quilting project tonight and was wondering???
    When you press the seam on blocks or piecing...which way do you press and do you use steam?
    Another thought I had is do you press the seams while making a block or after the block is finished and the joining to other blocks.
    Thanks,
    Kirsten

  2. #2
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Pressing seams is a problem for me too. Rule of thumb, press toward the darker fabric but not always. Flying geese it is best to press away from the point but not always. I press my seams if my next piece crosses that seam. I use steam but lots of people dont. Always press down not like ironing a piece of clothing. You dont want to streach your pieces.
    I like Eleanor Burns patterns cause she tells you which way to press your seams.
    You can also press seams open if you have doubts about which way to go.

  3. #3
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips...
    I have never taken a class or anything...but I do watch PBS with their quilting shows and then I also read the boards and stuff...and most of my sewing is trial and error.............hehe...
    So I just sew and sew and do what ever works best for the project...
    Thanks...hope to get more tips.
    Kirsten

  4. #4
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    KO24, if you use steam and your blocks are on the bias.......they will stretch. Try to use a dry iron and don't move the iron around, just set it over the seam.

    If you are a "steamer" then use the steam, but again, DON'T move the iron around. Just set it down, hold it a few seconds, then let the block completely cool to the touch before you try to move it or pick it up.

    I've skewed more blocks in using steam than I care to admit. Now I'm a true dry iron hound. I still let the blocks cool before I move them, but I don't get those funny little waves quite as much as I used to.

    Happy Quilting,
    Sharon

  5. #5
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    After ruining blocks with steam I find a quick spray with a light spray starch to work great. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    OK, no steam, I get that where the blocks get all squewy...
    But now I am lost with starch and sizing...???
    What & when...what is it????
    Thanks,
    K

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    KO24 It will say on the can spray starch or sizing, which ever it is.

  8. #8
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    I press every step of the way, I press my pieces together before sewing the seam...i press the sewn seam to set the stitches before opening the piece up.

    I always use steam when I press, but I just bring the iron down and lift it up, I don't slide the iron over the pieces/block. Seams go towards the dark, but there are some situations where it is has to go towards the light. :)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Aully's Avatar
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    Does steam not shrink the blocks? I have noticed while using the steam setting that my blocks change size and shape.

  10. #10
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    In my experience, if I wash the fabrics BEFORE cutting, a lot of these things (such as shrinkage) do not happen.

    I did find that when I soaked the blocks with starch or sizing, and ironed/pressed them while sopping wet, they did stretch - quite a bit.

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