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!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44

Thread: Open Seams or Closed Seams?????

  1. #1
    Hunnybunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    the beautiful mountains of VA
    Posts
    36
    I've heard all my life that when you sew you are suppose to press your seams open. Somehow I don't get the impression that is necessarily true for quilting. Is there a 'rule of thumb' for pressing seams open for quilting?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Outside St. Louis
    Posts
    29,637
    I always press mine towards the dark color or follow pattern directions. I am going to try pressing them open when they intersect and see if that takes out some of the thickness. I don't think there is a rule or anything. You can do them either way. I think it started when quilters handsewn the pieces together, to hide the stitches.

  3. #3
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,070
    Quote Originally Posted by Hunnybunny
    I've heard all my life that when you sew you are suppose to press your seams open. Somehow I don't get the impression that is necessarily true for quilting. Is there a 'rule of thumb' for pressing seams open for quilting?
    When you sew clothing seams open unless you have a serger but in quilting press your seams to the dark side of the fabric.

  4. #4
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,786
    I almost always press to one side. When I press them open I usually burn myself with the steam :-D. I also like being able to make the seams nest so I get great points.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I press open if I have lots of seams, press to the dark otherwise. No reason, just what I do.

  6. #6
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Central Indiana (USA)
    Posts
    30,663
    Blog Entries
    194
    Hi,

    I was taught to press to the dark.

    Karen

  7. #7
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Home town: Rehoboth, MA Now living in OK
    Posts
    7,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Jingleberry
    I always press mine towards the dark color or follow pattern directions. I am going to try pressing them open when they intersect and see if that takes out some of the thickness. I don't think there is a rule or anything. You can do them either way. I think it started when quilters handsewn the pieces together, to hide the stitches.
    I do it both ways.

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Posts
    59,088
    Blog Entries
    1
    Each block sorta tells me how I want to press the seams, do what works best for you :D:D:D

  9. #9
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East Oklahoma - pining for Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,426
    I try to press mine toward the darker fabric whenever I can.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    94
    Pressing seams closed strengthens the seam as there's less stress. Makes a difference over time and use. that's my two cents worth. now back to sewing!

  11. #11
    Honey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,684
    Quote Originally Posted by karielt
    Quote Originally Posted by Hunnybunny
    I've heard all my life that when you sew you are suppose to press your seams open. Somehow I don't get the impression that is necessarily true for quilting. Is there a 'rule of thumb' for pressing seams open for quilting?
    When you sew clothing seams open unless you have a serger but in quilting press your seams to the dark side of the fabric.
    That's the way I was taught to do it.

  12. #12
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ft. Myers, Florida
    Posts
    1,021
    I prefer mine pressed open. Many times when joining blocks, if seams are pressed to one side, the seams get sewn together and it causes too much bulk for me.

  13. #13
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    north east
    Posts
    8,527
    Blog Entries
    1
    For the most part, I press mine toward the dark side.

    If you're making a pinwheel, you need to press them all in the same direction (sort of like in a circle) to avoid a lot of bulk where all the pieces meet in the center.

    Some patterns say to press all seams open. Deb Tucker's Hunter's Star pattern says to press all seams open. This pattern creates an 8 pointed star and pressing the seams open in this pattern does help reduce bulk where the star points meet.

  14. #14
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    2,262
    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Each block sorta tells me how I want to press the seams, do what works best for you :D:D:D
    Before I throw in my 2 cents worth, the good news is that there are no "Quilt Police" :D

    I agree with [i]amma[i/]. I almost always press to one side. I try to press to the dark, but sometimes it does not always work out and is too bulky. The block tells me otherwise. I included two shots of a BOM that I am doing. The back shows most pressed to the dark but there are several intersections that I pressed to the light. You can see from the front that there are no show-able results from the pressing to the light. There are times that I press open when all else fails to reduce the bulk.

    Do it however it is comfortable for you and remember this is fun!

    Back
    Name:  Attachment-11350.jpe
Views: 56
Size:  60.8 KB

    Front
    Name:  Attachment-11351.jpe
Views: 68
Size:  65.9 KB

  15. #15
    retired teacher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    132
    when I press them open they sometimes unstitch themselves on the ends - a big pain if you are making a large quilt. If I am finishing a piece by handquilting I have been known to press open so I don't have to stitch through the thick parts

  16. #16
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    2,262
    Quote Originally Posted by life is sweet
    Pressing seams closed strengthens the seam as there's less stress. Makes a difference over time and use. that's my two cents worth. now back to sewing!
    Life is sweet asked about my seam intersections. The seam allowance is not cut. That is the "thing" that Eleanor Burns does where she actually opens the incoming seams inside the seam allowance and once open, you can have each seam going in a swirl around the intersection. It really cuts down on the bulk when you are doing stars like the one I posted earlier in this thread.

    Here is a closeup of one of them.

    Close Up of Swirled corner
    Name:  Attachment-11506.jpe
Views: 72
Size:  47.8 KB

  17. #17
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    north east
    Posts
    8,527
    Blog Entries
    1
    That's an excellent picture showing how seams should be pressed almost in a circular motion. This works great with pinwheels to avoid lots of bulk in the middle.

  18. #18
    Honey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,684
    A friend showed me how to do this, but I couldn't figure out how to describe it. Thanks.

  19. #19
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    2,262
    Quote Originally Posted by Honey
    A friend showed me how to do this, but I couldn't figure out how to describe it. Thanks.
    It is really cool and a great way to reduce bulk, but I was not sure that my explanation was clear - but I hope that others understand what I was trying to describe.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    94
    hi Betty, thanks for the explanation of the "swirled" seams. I'll try it in the morning. Or maybe tonight 'cause I'm anxious to try it out.

  21. #21
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outer Space
    Posts
    9,839
    I press open many times as the top lays flatter, but sometimes I press to the darker fabric too. It really depends on the pattern, intersections etc. The only "wrong" way is to press the seams to the light side where dark fabric shows through. Then, it looks bad.

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    95
    I do both, usually in the same quilt, depending on the seam. Coming to quilting from garment sewing, it felt a little weird and cheaty to press seams to the side at first, but it is definitely a time saver. I will say that I think open seams usually look nicer and lie flatter, but sometimes I am in a hurry. ;)

  23. #23

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    556
    I just did a poll about this very topic on a long arm chat site. We discovered many blue ribbon winners now press open. In the past, they pressed to the dark side whenever possible. Now they do what is best for the quilt and reduces bulk.

    Our machines, thread and fabrics are so much better and stronger than the handquilting of decades ago, and it's no longer a matter of strength. Quilts all hold up fine either way. Pressing open allows for a flatter quilt, with flatter seam lines, easier piecing/matching and nicer quilting in many respects. There are no quilt police - even though most of us (me included!) were taught we would go to jail if we did anything other than 'press to the dark'. It just doesn't hold true anymore :)

    And so, I do whatever is best for the quilt. There are no rules...just myths :) It's all good :)

  24. #24
    Senior Member aliaslaceygreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    South Chesterfield, Virginia
    Posts
    727
    I do whatever strikes my fancy, to be honest....
    I never did understand the 'strength' point of to one side, considering for the most part, my clothes have a lot more stress put on them than a quilted object and they are pressed open...

  25. #25
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    north east
    Posts
    8,527
    Blog Entries
    1
    In garment sewing you use 5/8" seam allowance, in quilting you use 1/4" seam allowance.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

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.