Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Help with pressing directions on diagonals

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    15

    Help with pressing directions on diagonals

    I have been quilting for two years. One of my biggest problems is deciding in which direction to press diagonals. For snowballing I have been pressing to the dark however working on a magazine pattern now and it is instructing me to press open. On this particular pattern (Wave Length from AP&Q June 2017) this diagonal seam never meets up with another and therefore no bulk issues. This seems wrong to me, what I am missing? Brings me to my wider question of HST and QST pressing. As a beginner I as choosing to make a lot of simple patterns with these blocks but usually don't need to buy a pattern as they are so basic. Therefore no pressing instructions. I have tried everything and no matter what I do I end up with a lot of bulk when joining blocks and rows.

    Any advice? Or could you direct me to a resource, online or otherwise. I have performed quite a few searches including on this site but haven't come up with anything useful.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Near Seattle, WA
    Posts
    505
    I started quilting on my own back in the 70s before there were rotary cutters and such. As a senior in high school, I was intimidated by the "little old quilting ladies" that I have since become. Back then the books/designs didn't give you many directions. Just pictures of a block or historical quilts with pictures in black and white...

    Anyway, I didn't know about pressing seams to the side for many years and happily pressed them open. They've been just fine open. I have a whole list of reasons, but basically I feel that with machine sewing pressing seams to the side is just a leftover artifact from hand sewing. Not to mention that we have irons now that plug in and don't have to heat on the wood stove.

    Although periodically I try and do what the quilt police say, I hate pressing to the side. A lot comes from what you are used to, I am more accurate pressing open. I never have to worry about what side to press to or how the blocks come together. I really really hate how it looks when you press white on white seams to the side, big heavy line that shows up. I machine quilt and feel the open seams quilt easier, less bunches of stuff. And really -- who has time or desire to clip out stitches so the seams can nest around each other. Well, obviously, a lot of you do, but not me!

  3. #3
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    34,421
    I only press open when I have lots of seams meeting in the middle like an eight point star. I found that quilting next to pressed open seams, they separate just enough for the batting to show. It really bugged me and I went back to pressing to the dark instead. I do the best I can and I try to to have a neat and flat back on my quilt top but don’t obsess about the seams directions.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    13,422
    I'm in agreement with Tartan. Also I often like to SITD to stabilize the quilt before more detailed quilting, and there is no ditch when the seams are pressed open.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The Deep South near Cajun Country, USA
    Posts
    3,733
    I press to the side mostly and to whatever color makes the most sense. If a pattern tells me specific pressing, I try to do it per the instructions. Sometimes, I have been known to turn a seam in the middle so that each end of the seam nests correctly. Once it is quilted, you cannot tell. Yes, I do quilt them on a long arm machine. I've become one of those people.....It's my quilt, I'll do it like I want. Get thee behind me Quilt Police!
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Outside St. Louis
    Posts
    33,330
    I press to the side, intersecting seams are much easier. A tiny 1/4" or scant is hard to press open.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    5,070
    I'm another open presser. I prefer it as there is less bulk. The only time I press to the side is when I am doing paper piecing. The open pressing thing is a left over from my garment-sewing start. But I find it far easier to match points when pressing open and, as you've discovered, there is much less bulk.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,634
    Blog Entries
    1
    I make it a habit to press to the dark just because there is less chance of it showing. The exception is when it would put the seams too close to another seam. An example would be if your snowballs are small, pressing towards them (even if they are the darker) would put that seam very close to the edge of the block. I almost never press seams open. I believe if can cause problems with batting and with strength. Even in an area with a lot of points, if they are all pressed in the same direction if should lay flat.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    12
    Hi Cattitude, I'm a new member here, hope you won't mind my chiming in. I looked at the quilt directions and I think I see what is confusing you. They have you sew a square to the end of a strip, stitching a diagonal line. Next they want you to turn over the corner of the square and press, but the wording says this:
    Sew on marked line. Trim excess, leaving 1⁄4" seam allowances. Press open to make Unit 1. The unit still should be 2-1⁄2 10-1⁄2" including seam allowances.


  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by L'il Chickadee View Post
    Hi Cattitude, I'm a new member here, hope you won't mind my chiming in. I looked at the quilt directions and I think I see what is confusing you. They have you sew a square to the end of a strip, stitching a diagonal line. Next they want you to turn over the corner of the square and press, but the wording says this:
    Sew on marked line. Trim excess, leaving 1⁄4" seam allowances. Press open to make Unit 1. The unit still should be 2-1⁄2 10-1⁄2" including seam allowances.

    I see what you are saying...this is not a seam pressing direction but rather just an instruction to flip over the snowball and press it? Thanks, I will have to learn to read instructions better!
    I ended up trying it both ways. Pressing to the side worked fine except when blocks are joined together and you have the two side pressed seams going in the same direction. that was a bit awkward and so I pressed the edge of the seam open only.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    12
    Yes, you're being instructed to open the snowball. Also, the diagrams show small arrows. Those arrows are telling you which direction to press your seam allowances. IMHO, the quilt industry has a long way to go in giving pattern directions. Press open could mean anything.
    I bought a pattern for a bag once, "Bow Tucks Purse" or something like that, read the entire set of directions three times, got a nice headache and no idea what they were talking about.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.