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Thread: Why..

  1. #1
    Spring's Avatar
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    Why are the seams pressed to the side rather then pressed open like in garment construction?
    I did it but Im loosing sleep as to why.

    Also am I correct in my thinking that each row should be pressed opposite direction?

  2. #2
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    it is a personal preference, the seams are easier to match up if each one is pressed in the oppisite direction. if i can i try to press to the darker fabric so that it doesn't show thru.

  3. #3
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    I press my seams towards the darker fabric so the seams won't show through the lighter ones but can't tell you why it's all pressed to one side. I would imagine it's easier to keep track of those seams if they are on one side when pressing. I know that it helps me keep track of which side my seams are pressed when I flip the fabric over to press the front of my quilting.

  4. #4
    deema's Avatar
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    I press open. I like it better that way. I also read an article a while back about why traditional reasons for pressing to one side do not apply in machine piecing. I wish I could remember where...

    At any rate, it's really a preference thing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member momymom's Avatar
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    The seams are pressed in opposing directions to reduce bulk. In some blocks, you have many seams meeting in the center, pressing them in a "swirl" reduces the bulk, and reduces the chances of a hard bump in the top of your quilt. It also helps to match seams, and hide seams by pressing to the dark.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I was told that in the beginning it was done to reduce bulk and add strength to the seam. I know that my LQS now teaches people to press open, so I am not sure. I find that it is easier to press a 1/4" seam to the side, rather than to press them open.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Mostly because we do things the way our ancestors did. They pressed seams all to one side to keep the batting in. Batting wasn't bonded or needle punched, it was just carded cotton laid on the backing. Plus hand sewn seams have little tiny gaps in the stitching if they're pressed open.

    Carded cotton is sort of combed between two wide flat brush type things. They pull all the cotton fibers in one direction.

  8. #8
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    Since I started glue basting I find myself pressing open more often than not. Seems to work better for me.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Actually, way back in 1980, I was taught to press to one side to prevent the polyester batting fibers that were in use then from "migrating" through seams to the front. It's one of the reasons I detest poly batting and rarely if ever use it now. I also don't care for the "slick" feel of it in my quilts.

    Also, all the other reasons mentioned here.


    Jan in VA

  10. #10
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I was told that way back when everything was sewn by hand it would strengthen the seams if they were pressed to one side - if they were open they gave away easier . now not as important with machines as they have stronger seams . That is what I was told anyways

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