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Thread: Disappearing 4 Patch, pressing issues

  1. #1
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    Disappearing 4 Patch, pressing issues

    Hello! I'm back into quilting after veering off into the land of knitting for a while. I'm putting together a disappearing 4 patch, where I'm turning every other block 90 degrees. I've pressed all the blocks the same, so now I've got joins where the seams are going in the same direction. What's the best way to put this together? I guess I can re-press all the offending seams in the opposite direction. Should I do all the re-pressing in advance? Or re-press as I go?

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    Gasp, when I made that quilt I pressed all of my seams open. I know that's supposed to be a big no no in quilting but it's what works best for me at times.

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    I wouldn't bother repressing... I would just sew them as they are. Sometimes it happens, and it's not the end of the world.

    I just finished a quilt top where because of how it was constructed, seams went every which way. Sometimes they locked, other times they were in the same direction. It would have been almost impossible to plan so that they would match, and repressing wasn't an option because some were sewn down elsewhere in the block. I just went with it, and it turned out fine; once it was assembled I couldn't even tell from the front.

    PS: Welcome back to quilting!

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    Senior Member loisf's Avatar
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    If you know the layout of your blocks, pressing them in advance would be quicker. You can also just leave them as is. In my experience, there are some patterns where having alternating seams is impossible.

    And Mom, pressing seams open is totally acceptable. I've made many patterns, especially modern quilt patterns, where the instructions call for pressing seams open. It's a matter of choice, and I think it's certainly better than having two seam allowances going the same direction. It does take a lot longer, which is why I avoid it if possible.

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    Thanks everyone. I think I'll try re-pressing in advance. It might not be as bad as I think, as the blocks can be flipped 180 degrees if necessary. But also, I won't worry if I end up with seam allowances going in the same direction. (even though the thought grates on me!) I also just finished a small quilt where my final seams I pressed open. That is not easy. Especially when you forget to turn off the steam. Ouch!

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    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't worry if some are sewn down. To get a good looking intersection. I flip the end of the seam so they nest, pin and then flip the way they were pressed. That works for me.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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    Super Member MarionsQuilts's Avatar
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    When I am doing complicated blocks (lots of seams) I always press them open. Much easier when starting to join all those seams together.

    If it's just a simple block, I press all to one side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarionsQuilts View Post
    When I am doing complicated blocks (lots of seams) I always press them open. Much easier when starting to join all those seams together.

    If it's just a simple block, I press all to one side.
    This is what I do too

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    If you are making a quilt for competition...redo all the pressing. If you are making a utility quilt...just get the dang thing flat.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

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    So half the seam allowance goes one way and half the other way? Sounds reasonable.

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    I'm making a "Link" border with Boston Blocks. I was having terrible trouble with all the seams lying the same way. Somehow I figured out that if I press that first seam with one large triangle and two small triangles back onto itself, not facing away like it wants to go, my problem was solved almost completely.

    The first strip I made, I twisted all the seams. There are just too many seams coming together at one spot to leave them like they were. After I pressed that well, it looked great from the front. And I don't care what a judge might think.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  12. #12
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Blocks with a lot of seams, I press open. If the seams do go the same way I flip one and press it flat, I don't snip it.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    I am having this issue with the Bonnie Hunteren Provence the 2017 Mystery so I appreciate Jennifer23's comment as well as pressing them open but I always burn my fingers. Still learning what works each time.
    Charlie DiSante

  14. #14
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charleen DiSante View Post
    I am having this issue with the Bonnie Hunteren Provence the 2017 Mystery so I appreciate Jennifer23's comment as well as pressing them open but I always burn my fingers. Still learning what works each time.

    I use a wooden iron to open the seam after I sew the seam then press with the hot iron after the block is finished. Saves time and my fingers.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  15. #15
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    When I do four patches, I sew two sets of 2 squares together so they'll nest when I'm ready to sew them together. Once they're joined to form the 4 patch, I flip to the back, remove the couple of stitches where the nested 2 patches are joined from the edge down to the seam. You can then manipulate them so all the seams swirl clockwise (our counterclockwise), then it doesn't matter how you turn them. The seams will always nest, as long as all your 4 patches swirl in the same direction. And the center will lay flat.
    If I'm too busy to quilt, something else has to go.

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    Yeah, that "Press to the dark side" adage doesn't always work either. And I have never had a dark seam allowance show through once the quilt is all done, so I just do what works for me. I flip seams over halfway down pretty often, so I can "thumb swirl" the point of convergence.

  17. #17
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    I use a wooden iron to open the seam after I sew the seam then press with the hot iron after the block is finished. Saves time and my fingers.
    Good idea. Thanks.
    Charlie DiSante

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