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Thread: Does setting your seams with an iron after sewing really make a difference?

  1. #1
    Super Member Carron's Avatar
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    Question Does setting your seams with an iron after sewing really make a difference?

    Do you set your just sewn seams with an iron?
    I am wondering what is the reason for that extra step.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    Personally I prefer to set my seams before pressing them in the appropriate direction it just makes it easier IMHO- It is my understanding that it shrinks the thread a bit thus reinforcing the seam (perhaps someone with more experience can clarify) It is just what I read to do and it is what I do.
    Lisa

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    setting your seams causes them to sink into the fabric and gives you more precise edges. the blocks will lay flatter- and be neater....also helps that 1/4" seam more (right on)
    if you don't bother to set your seam before pressing to one side or the other the excess can be 1/8"---and that 8 times equals a whole inch!
    so, if you are looking for precision- technical perfection- setting your seams is an important step
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I think the seams sit flatter if you set them first.

  5. #5
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    I always do. And I thought it was because it flattens the fabric at the seam, more likely to insure the block is the correct size. If you only press the seam in the way it is to go then a little curve of fabric can be rolled at the seam, making the block come up a smidgen too small. Did I exsplain this understandably??
    Shirls

  6. #6
    Super Member janetter's Avatar
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    I never did before just started recently and it really does make all the difference, especially now that I have started using starch prior to piecing. It really keep the fabric from "stretching"and moving if that even makes sense hahaha
    It all about the Journey!! Enjoy It

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    I think the seams sit flatter if you set them first.
    I agree. I think that it is worth it. Fons and Porter also recommend it.

  8. #8
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    Sorry for the double post. It was explained better by other anyway

    Hmmmm....it seems to have disappeared!
    Last edited by Shirls4sons; 11-15-2011 at 04:34 PM.
    Shirls

  9. #9
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I agree with all that has been said. It's just become a habit with me. Doesn't feel like an extra step. I notice if I skip it for some reason or another.

  10. #10
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i dont always do it but it does make a difference
    Nancy

  11. #11
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    I try hard to always do this. I swear it makes a difference. I strive to make every block as perfect as I can - so I do things like this hoping that it does make a difference.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  12. #12
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    Being a longarm quilter, I can always tell if the customer set the seam and then pressed or not. When the seam is set before pressing to one side, the "ditch" is always straighter and the fabrics lay much flatter. If you want a quilt top to look really nice after it has been quilted, always "set" the seams first. Otherwise, you may receive your quilt back with some minute pleats in the top.
    Crashnquilt


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  13. #13
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    I always set the seams. It makes it all fit together better and much neater.

  14. #14
    Super Member Jo M's Avatar
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    Same here - I always set the seams now and starch prior to piecing.

    I know exactly what you mean about the stretching, janetter.
    Quote Originally Posted by janetter View Post
    I never did before just started recently and it really does make all the difference, especially now that I have started using starch prior to piecing. It really keep the fabric from "stretching"and moving if that even makes sense hahaha
    Jo

  15. #15
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    After watching a Missouri Quilt Shop video I always set my seams, and feel happier with the end product. However, a word of warning -- it does make the seam harder to unpick! so check first that you have everything you want in the seam.

  16. #16
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I try to do it. It really makes the block look nicer.

    Quilting is my therapy

  17. #17
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Well - I have had one of my questions answered - and I didn't even know I wanted to ask it! lol I have just started to do this to see if it mattered...seems it does! Thanks

  18. #18
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I can only suggest you try it! I like it, but its easy enough to see for yourself!
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  19. #19
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Yes I set the seam and then press it open...of course noticing I didn't say the word 'iron'.

    SET - put iron on fabric pieces as they were sewn (think about ironing a shirt - you'd smooth it out before really ironing it)

    PRESS OPEN - open the seam and gently press the iron into the seam - don't iron it.

    I think each seam looks pretty when pressed. and I think it makes a difference in my blocks.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member lindagor's Avatar
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    I've noticed a difference when I do it.
    Linda in Mississippi

  21. #21
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    I agree with those that have said it ultimately makes your blocks flatter. I also press my seams open instead of a particular direction. This makes for an absolutely flat top which, for me, makes a difference in hand quilting.

  22. #22
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    "Butter and jelly"
    "Hammer and nail"
    "Needle and thread"
    ...."Sewing Machine AND IRON"
    Some things just go together!
    (If you sew, you BETTER iron-- IMO)

  23. #23
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    Yes, it makes the seams lie flatter.

  24. #24
    Super Member greaterexp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetter View Post
    I never did before just started recently and it really does make all the difference, especially now that I have started using starch prior to piecing. It really keep the fabric from "stretching"and moving if that even makes sense hahaha
    I too am a convert to setting seams. It has truly made a big difference in how my blocks come out. I hadn't heard of starching fabric before cutting and piecing until I found this site, and what with setting seams and starching, my blocks are so much more accurate now than before!

  25. #25
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    Always set the seams. I have a hard time remembering to press not iron, but I'm working on it. I can see the difference when I forget to press and start to iron. Sometimes the seam stretches.
    Sue

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