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 30

Thread: Pressing seams open or not?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Helen6869's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SW Georgia
    Posts
    384

    Question Pressing seams open or not?

    I am noticing a lot of tutorials and even on Love of Quilting show the other week that teachers are suggesting pressing the seams open on quilt blocks. What is the consensus on this from you quilters here? How do you press and what are your reasons for doing so? Just trying to decide if I need to change a long-standing habit! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    12,419
    I only press the seams open if there is a good reason to, and I find that there seldom is. I think the seam is stronger if pressed to one side, and it's impossible to SITD if pressed open (because there is no ditch). I often SITD to stabilize before doing other quilting.

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    4,909
    I agree with Dunster - I think the seams are easier to nest if pressed to one side also.

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    here
    Posts
    737
    Depends entirely on the pattern. Some work best pressed open, so I do. If it works better one side or the other, I do that too. The quilting will hold it all together, either way.

  5. #5
    Senior Member minibarn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    637
    Currently I press to one side, but if I make another quilt for hand quilting I intend to press the seams open as I think it will be easier to quilt through. So, I guess for me it's a question of how I plan to finish the quilt as to how I will press.

  6. #6
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,699
    I would only press open if necessary. If the seam breaks batting will be exposed and also lends itself to bearding problems
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  7. #7
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,855
    I usually press to the side as seams pressed open can stretch during the quilting and I can see the stitches. You also cannot stitch in the ditch an open seams because you are stitching down the stitches and can break them. I press open the last seam when connecting 2 halves of an 8 point star or similar to reduce bulk in the center. I also press open if I am doing a recut block such as Disappearing Hourglass because the block has to be very accurate to resew back together.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    4,621
    I almost always press open. I've never been able to properly 'nest' seams that are pressed to one side - they always seem to slip no matter how many pins I use! I'm also a hand quilter and do find that it's easier to quilt with the seams pressed open. And, as Tartan says, when you have a block with lots of seams joining together, the block is much flatter when those seams are pressed open.

  9. #9
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    8,104
    Usually open. I don't like the hassle of remembering which way to press each seam and then it crosses anyway. I've never had a problem with batting poking through. I use a short stitch length about 2.
    I love my life!

  10. #10
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    8,819
    Loads of factors. I usually press to one side. But advocates of pressing open insist there are no issues and their quilt tops lay nice and flat.

    But it presents an issue if you want to SITD as Dunster pointed out. There is no ditch with open seams so you will have to ditch a thread width over so you are actually quilting on fabric not a seam.

    Judi Madsen of Green Fairy quilts and Margaret Solomen Gunn of Quilts of Love, both amazing, award winning longarmers have written blogs on why they don't like seams pressed open (mostly for the ditching aspect). But they deal with these quilts anyway.

    It really boils down to personal preference and another factor to consider is bulk. For example when several seams meet in the center, like a pinwheel block, kaleidoscope block, LeMoyne Star, split Mariners compass to name a few, I will not stitch into my seam allowance in the center so I can swirl that part open. When joining these types of units, I will often start at the center and stitch out to the edges.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    in the sticks of PA
    Posts
    934
    I like most people learned to press to the dark side however after watching Shar Jorgensen she always did open seams then after making one of the quilts she made on the show I absolutely understood the whole open seams because of the bulk. So it depends on what I am making.
    Maria
    Always be true to yourself!

  12. #12
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Corpus Christi, Tx.
    Posts
    15,885
    Blog Entries
    3
    I have pressed open on a couple small sample quilts but do a zigzag stitch down the seams so they aren't exactly a sitd but still connect both seams. I prefer seams to one side.

  13. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mountians
    Posts
    4,333
    Blog Entries
    17
    I press to the dark side, and swirl the merging points. But I have pressed open when the pattern calls (elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest and other patterns are pressed open because of so many small pieces)......but then I had to do an allover quilt pattern because I could not do a stitch in the ditch

  14. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Ballwin, MO
    Posts
    1,753
    I much prefer seams pressed to the side, for the reasons mentioned, and also because they seem to stay in place better on the back of the quilt. I also prefer the look of seams pressed to the side on the back. I do follow directions with modern quilt patterns and press open when specified, and I'll press open when it seems to make more sense. Right now I'm doing a border with overlapping squares, and it made sense to press the seams open where the like fabrics came together.
    Lisa

  15. #15
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Glendale AZ
    Posts
    1,517
    I almost said I ALWAYS press to one side. Then I remembered I just started piecing the big block on Bonnie Hunter's En Provence. I am pressing the longer seams open because there are SO many layers! It is such a busy pattern, I think I will do an all-over quilting design anyway. No need for ditches for SID. I guess I better learn not to say ALWAYS and NEVER...I will prove myself wrong!
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  16. #16
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    SW Washington USA
    Posts
    2,242
    I press open if I don't want anything specific on the block to stand out.
    What ever piece you press onto will then catch the eye when finished.

  17. #17
    Senior Member AVFD215's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    363
    I normally press the seams to the dark side. If the directions I use, or it make sense, I press open.
    Normally, the only seam pressed open is in the binding. I think that is better there.

  18. #18
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    here
    Posts
    737
    Quote Originally Posted by minibarn View Post
    Currently I press to one side, but if I make another quilt for hand quilting I intend to press the seams open as I think it will be easier to quilt through. So, I guess for me it's a question of how I plan to finish the quilt as to how I will press.
    I hand quilt too. It IS easier.

  19. #19
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5,696
    In my opinion, pressing open the seam might cause the thread to break with hard use or frequent laundering. I have always pressed the seam to one side.

  20. #20
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Harrison, MI
    Posts
    8,513
    I always press to one side unless I have a bunch of seams coming together making it bulky. Then I'll press them open but that is about the only time I press them open. I don't think there is a right or wrong way though. Just whatever you like & works for you.

  21. #21
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    St. Louis suburbs
    Posts
    5,197
    I was taught to press seams to one side but I am really getting tired of seams that don't match up. I'm exploring ways to press the seams so I don't burn myself, which I have done many times. Call me a klutz, whatever.

  22. #22
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Herndon, VA
    Posts
    1,017
    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    Usually open. I don't like the hassle of remembering which way to press each seam and then it crosses anyway. I've never had a problem with batting poking through. I use a short stitch length about 2.
    This is how I do it too.

  23. #23
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East Oklahoma - pining for Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,131
    When I started quilting (1992) I knew nothing and pressed in just any direction. Some while later I did read somewhere to press to the dark, so that is what I try to do unless instructions for a particular pattern say to do something else.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  24. #24
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Heart of Colorado's majestic mountains!
    Posts
    3,806
    Many good points mentioned here for pressing to one side. I most always do that. I do think feline fanatic's last paragraph is very useful for those situations where lots of seams come together. Works great for me.

  25. #25
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,072
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rarely if ever is it necessary to press a seam open. It is more stable if pressed to one side. I try to do everything I can to make my quilts last thru tugging, pulling, use (and misuse) and just, in general, life.

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.