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Opened and closed....

Opened and closed....

Old 02-20-2007, 09:35 AM
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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
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:39 AM
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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!
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:06 AM
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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
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:11 AM
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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!
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:42 AM
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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
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:40 PM
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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
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:52 AM
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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
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:44 AM
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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
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:02 AM
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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
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:30 AM
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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:
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