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Thread: Opened and closed....

  1. #1
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Seams that is.

    I have read when you are going to quilt in the ditch, the seams should be pressed to the dark side and the fabric will be a lot stronger when you do your ditch. Makes sense. But...

    While doing triangles and other smaller pieces, it seems the seams over to one side cause distortion to the piece. Ask me how I know (288 1/2 triangle squares).

    So what is your theory, do you open all your seams, seams only in the middle of a block, or do you press to one side?

    tim in san jose

  2. #2
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    I press most of my seams open due to that wonkiness you sometimes get if they are pressed to one side and then stitched together...it takes me as much time to press them open as it does to figure out which way to press each seam so that they work together instead of against each other!

    However, that being said, IF and only IF I know for a fact that it isn't going to but up against another seam...I will save some time by pressing to one side!

    HST's (half square triangles) I almost ALWAYs press open... it just saves a headache later on....they take alot of time but to me its worth it in the long run!

  3. #3
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I agree it depends on the design and the colors. I woud not put a dark toward a light. Usually if you have a good pattern design they take into account the next seam so you don't end up with a "thick bunch"..
    If you are quilting by hand it is much easier if you open the seams.
    Happy Quilting

  4. #4
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    yes, Ruthie...thats another thing...how you plan to quilt it... I am pretty much still "stuck in the ditch" and if the seams are to one side or another it leaves a little hump...JMHO.... if I ever perfect my free motion quilting (HA!) it may work better then also...and even tho I don't do hand quilting, I can sure see where it would be better if they were pressed open! Good Point!!! Glad you brought that up!

  5. #5
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Well, I am a machine quilter and the little 'hump' doesn't bother me when I put the ditch seams to one side. Something about feeling in the middle of the night the pattern that you worked on, even though you can't see it. I am more concerned with keeping the pattern straight when doing small piecings.
    It does seem like the joint is stronger if the fabric goes over to one side and you quilt along that edge.

    tim in san jose

  6. #6
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I try hard to open all my seams, also, however the steam iron is getting to me. I still have to use my big old iron, I haven't purchased one of the smaller head irons, yet and bnot sure when I will. It's hard to buy all the fabric I want. But I digress,

    There are times, even when I pin the seams open and join them that one edge or the other will jump in the wrong direction and I sure don't take out all the seam when it's a whole block. I just steam it more and longer and keep on goin' I think it makes the joints (seams) stronger if I go ot one side or other, but in planning, I normally plan open for a flat look.

    Just mho.
    Sharon

  7. #7
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    well I press open for all the above reasons and why does a quilt seam need to be stronger? what kind of stress is it under? especially after it's quilted? when i make garments I press the sleeves toward the garment and sew again for strength but not my quilts

  8. #8
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    You make a very good point, Kathy. I would think that the only reason it needs to be stronger is if it goes to a young child that may not be as lovingly careful with them, or if someone is going to be washing it a lot, like the baby quilts we've all created for our loved ones??

    Sharon

  9. #9
    Senior Member triciasquilts's Avatar
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    I rarely press my seams open. It seems when you do that, you can actually see your stitching. I've watched other quilters do that and have seen their seams when looking at their quilts. I highly recommend pressing one way or the other.

    Do you press from the bottom or top? I always press from top. You can keep your pieces from stretching in any way when you press on top.
    I try to press to the darkest but if thats not the way my fabric wants to go, I will press the way it needs to go. I hope that makes sense!!!!!LOL

    I quilt about 14 hours every day, so its just kind of automatic to me!!!

    Tricia

  10. #10
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Dearest Pals and Buddies of Mine ...

    Love ya both to pieces, but disagree enough to say it here. :?

    If you hope a quilt will be passed down as an heirloom then strength of everything matters quite a bit. ever try to repair a 40 year old quilt that wasn't stitched together well in the first place? lots of not fun.

    i almost never press open becaue i want as few seam allowances to show as possible. if bumps in the road present a significant problem when ditch stitching, i sometimes use a zipper foot so i can get reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel close without having to go over the bump. i'll switch feet right in the middle of a line of stitching if i have to. but that's just me. i'll bet 1,000 people will read this and think i need to be locked up for it. LOL

    Each quilter should feel free to use the method she or he feels achieves the best balance between appearance, ease to quilt, and long-term durability. it's in the constitution, i think. somewhere in the fine print of the 1st Ammendment. :wink:

  11. #11
    Senior Member triciasquilts's Avatar
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    Patrice, I totally agree!!!! I also do quilt restoration and one of the biggest problems is poor seams. I almost always have to take them apart piece by piece and have always noticed the seams are pressed open. Doesn't make for a very strong seam when done like this.
    I always try to do whatever I can to go over those bumps too, but find that if I plan and do it right, its very rare that I have these!!!
    Thanks for you input.

    Tricia

  12. #12
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    Dearest Pals and Buddies of Mine ...

    Love ya both to pieces, but disagree enough to say it here. :?

    If you hope a quilt will be passed down as an heirloom then strength of everything matters quite a bit. ever try to repair a 40 year old quilt that wasn't stitched together well in the first place? lots of not fun.

    i almost never press open becaue i want as few seam allowances to show as possible. if bumps in the road present a significant problem when ditch stitching, i sometimes use a zipper foot so i can get reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel close without having to go over the bump. i'll switch feet right in the middle of a line of stitching if i have to. but that's just me. i'll bet 1,000 people will read this and think i need to be locked up for it. LOL

    Each quilter should feel free to use the method she or he feels achieves the best balance between appearance, ease to quilt, and long-term durability. it's in the constitution, i think. somewhere in the fine print of the 1st Ammendment. :wink:
    ok I'll go for the last paragraph...to each his/her own

  13. #13
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Oh good grief, I'm going to find out where these quilt police are and when will they be here to catch me up?

    I sincerely believe everyone does the best they can with what they have. I HAVE had to try to reconstruct, it's never fun to reconstruct anything.

    But get those marshals out after me, k?

  14. #14
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    come to my house. i'll not only hide you, i'll feed you too. :-)

  15. #15
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Sharon...you are too funny! LOL and I wouldn't worry about those darn police! they really don't exist! I happen to agree with you...I like the flat look to it when they are pressed open and I don't worry about it showing at all... but as said earlier...to each their own! LOL.... so I DID say earlier that it depends on the pattern and I couldn't at that time recall which ones but today I worked on a rail fence...and guess what? thats one where it doesn't matter so I DID press them to one side!

  16. #16
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    you bad, bad girl you.

    :lol:

  17. #17
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Country Quilter, you've burst my bubble! I really had hopes of having help on moving and sandwiching a couple of quilts. Now I have to do them all by myself! Shoot fire, I was really looking forward to those police coming. Who doesn't need more muscle when working on some of these quilts?

    Hey Patrice, you better watch out, I'll take you up on the hiding out and feeding me one of these days.

    :shock:

  18. #18
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    any time, GF, any time ...

    :-)

  19. #19
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    hey everybody............. party at patrice's house

  20. #20
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    BYOB and c'mon over!!!

    :mrgreen:

  21. #21
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    whoops, i thought it was BYOQ...my bad

  22. #22
    Norah's Avatar
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    Sounds like we all got a bad case of cabin fever. Everyone gets crazy in February. In taking y'alls advice, I am hiding in the sewing room, listening to Credence with the required goodies, have a bottle, and trying to sew on my quilt. I can't even decide what to do next. But, boy, am I relaxed. Okay, I'm starting to worry about all of you.
    Back to reality, I've had to redo some of my seams in a few years when pressed open, and I can see the stitches in the seam too much when open.....so closed for me. Most of the experts I've read said to press them closed. I guess they know something, or they wouldn't be experts.
    But, who am I? I mean really, who am I?

  23. #23
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    aren't you that redhead who works in the bar at the airport?

  24. #24
    Norah's Avatar
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    Patrice, you're a trip. :lol:

  25. #25
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Gosh, Patrice, I thought she was the blonde in the convertible driving back and forth over the bridge...........the biggg bridge!

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