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Thread: Hand piecing question: Do I press the seams?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    I am hand piecing. Do I press the seams after it has been sewn? If so do I press it open (half to each side) or all to one side. Or do I wait until the block is done and then press the seams to one side or the other depending on the color (towards the darker side)?

    If there is no right or wrong answer here - tell me what you do and why? My block is Windmill 2 (mostly triangles)


  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central FL
    It would depend on the pattern and colors - if you have a lot of points coming together, it is less bulky to press them open. The general rule I follow is to press to the darker side. This is so when you stitch in the ditch, you are locking the fabrics down again and they are less likely to come apart.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Tricia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    North East Texas
    I am not sure about hand piecing but with machibe we "Butt the seams"
    Oneseam goes one way and the other seam goes the other. I look ahead and plan how I will do the seams in any project I work with. If you butt the seams you can feel it when they go together correctly


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Gulf Coast, FL
    Lately I have found that while I'm sewing pieces I will run my finger nail over the seam forcing the fabric the to the darker side. This means I don't have to keep dealing with the iron, and my seams lock together quite nicely. I've been doing much better with points since I started doing this. :D

  5. #5
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Mission, BC
    I do that too elizabeth...best trick i ever learned in home-ec, which was uhmmm, eons ago for me lol. Call it finger pressing, do it with my thumb nail, i finger press a block as i go along, and when the whole block is finished i press it, easy :)

  6. #6
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Blog Entries
    When I am hand piecing, I sew kinda "around" the seam..well, I mean I don't sew it down either direction. It can kinda "float" back there until I get ready to do my final ironing before I sandwich the quilt. That way, I have more flexibility and I am not trying to sew through so many layers. It hurts my fingers. I sew up to the seam, take 1 stitch on one side of the seam, pass the thread through the seam on the back, then 1 stitch to lock it on the other side, then off I go again!

    Clear as mud right?

  7. #7
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central PA
    When I'm hand piecing, I always press to one side. I never press the seams open.

  8. #8
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Blog Entries
    when hand stitiching, i use the same method sandpat described. not only because there are fewer layers to poke the needle through. when i'm done, i find i can press any way i choose. the stitching has not made that choice for me already. i almost always end up pressing to one side, and i press in the direction that will both highlight the piecing and make hand quilting easier.

    when i'm machine piecing and plan to machine quilt, i press my seams open more and more often lately. it's easier for me to get nice sharp points and to line up intersections.

    different methods work for different quilters. experiment until you find the methods that work best for YOU. :wink:

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