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Old 10-10-2022, 05:24 PM
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1 Why are the seams folded to one side and not pressed open? Is there an advantage or is this just preference? Momma never pressed them to the side but alway pressed open seams and I have also never pressed to one side as that was never something I was taught. I had never even seen this done until Momma watched one of Georgia Bonstil's shows in which she pressed to the side and Momma said 'she was crazier than a bed bug all seams are to be pressed open'. Subject dropped as Momma still pressed her seams open.

2 Would pressing them to the one side make the machine miss stitches because of the extra thickness? I have a Singer Heavy Duty 4423. I have 3 quilts that I need to get finished as quickly as possible so I'm thinking of quilting them on the machine,

3 Can I still do stitch-in-the-ditch when I quilt on the machine if the seams are pressed to one side?
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Old 10-10-2022, 05:50 PM
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I do both. It just depends. I think pressing to the side on 1/4" seam is easier and do it when I can. I have no trouble quilting over them. Its just one more layer than normal and my Juki handles a lot more than that without problem.

I've also learned that Momma wasn't always right.
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Old 10-10-2022, 06:03 PM
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It's thought that pressing seams to one side makes the seams stronger, as there is less stress on the thread holding them together. Stitching in the ditch shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 10-10-2022, 06:09 PM
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I do both. Ironing the seams open reduces bulk, particularly when your sewing blocks together. However, if I press the seam allowance towards the dark, the seams "nest" better and it can be easier to make the points match. That being said, you have to be very aware of how those seams meet so they don't get too bulky. Some people make ironing charts. I have recently embraced ironing my seams open because they turn out true to size after ironing. I think when I press to one side, I am actually stretching the fabric just a little and the blocks come out a little short.

At the end of the day, do what you think works best for you.
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Old 10-10-2022, 08:19 PM
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The main problem I find in pressing open is it can put strain on the thread stitching line. When I quilted beside the seam on black fabric, I could see a bit of the thread and quilt batt through the gap. There also isn’t much to stitch through if you want to stitch directly down the stitch line and if you accidentally hit a stitch, the seam will be compromised.
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Old 10-11-2022, 02:33 AM
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I usually press to the dark. It tends to hide the seam. If I am hand quilting, it easily "marks" a stitch line for me and it helps "puff" the block a bit. If I'm machine quilting, I prefer to not have the seam pressed open. If the needle hits the stitched line--which is the intent with stitch in the ditch--it can break that seam stitch, as Tartan mentioned.
As for pressing open weakening the seam--remember that we used to press the pants seam open! Of course, we sometimes double stitch from one notch to the other to strengthen that curve, too.
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Old 10-11-2022, 03:07 AM
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I usually press my seams open and have no issues. I come from a garment sewing background (decades ago, lol) and that was what you did. I find I can match points far easier on seams pressed open vs to the side.

As others have said - do what works best for you!
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Old 10-11-2022, 03:41 AM
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I used to press all seams open until I watched a video explaining seam strength. When pressing open, the thread is the weak link to holding the quilt together. When pressing to side, the fabric, which is stronger, is holding the quilt together. Made sense to me. Sooo, I developed a system for pressing seams using odds and evens (row number, etc.). Odd rows pressed to right, Even rows pressed to left. Some situations, however, call for open seams. I mostly SID, so no problems there.
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Old 10-11-2022, 04:55 AM
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SITD is best done when the seams are pressed to one side or the other. Then, you stitch just off the seam line on the "low" side. This gives the best look when finished. If I have to SITD on seams that are pressed open, I still choose one side or the other, and don't stitch down the actual seam line.
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Old 10-11-2022, 05:40 AM
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As to why they're pressed to one side, I've always heard it told that it made it stronger once you've quilted it as if pressed open the seams could come apart from stress. Also stitching in the ditch with opened seams I would think wouldn't make the pieces any strong and you may cut the threads as you're stitching so making it weak. I've never had issues quilting with 1 layer more going across the seams either but that's just my input.

There are some times when you find the instructions state to press open and I'm sure there is a perfectly good reason. When you have more than 2 seams, you might want to fan or twirl the seams to spread the seams out which I find so much better than a lump in the middle where they all join together. I salute the person that came up with that idea.
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