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Thread: Pressing Seams to the side or open???

  1. #26
    Thusnelda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grdmachris
    Another reason to press to the side is the batting will not migrate out of the seam. If you use poly batts they beard anyway and it is more of an opening to do this.
    This is one good reason to press to the side. The other one is if you SID for quilting. Then you have to press them to the side. Otherwise you can't stitch in the ditch.

  2. #27
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I interchange - depending on purpose, colours and bulk.

  3. #28
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    I like to press open because it makes the block flatter and more even. It can be hard to do with the quarter inch but it is worth the time and trouble.
    Quote Originally Posted by kwilter11
    The instructions for a scrappy quilt said to press the seams open. I'd never done it before, but it worked beautifully. I'm considering pressing them all open from now on (but it is a pain to to do) because I have a hard time getting my points to match when there's that big hump to go over.

  4. #29
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    It really depends on what you are sewing. I made pinwheel blocks this weekend and I pressed the HST to the dark, then after I had sewn two HST blocks together I pressed the middle seam open. Then I sewed the two halves together and pressed the seams open. It created a lot less bulk at the middle. You need to play with pressing your seam each way and decide for yourself which way works.

  5. #30
    Senior Member scrappy2's Avatar
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    [quote=PaperPrincess]I think it's a situation of the proper technique for the proper job. If you are doing straight seams that will meet, pressing to one side to 'lock' the seam when they meet works well. Pressing open or twirling intersections reduces bulk on pinwheels, stars etc.

    As far as the long arm quilters, the only thing I've heard is to always press the backing seams open, not necessarily all the piecing seams.

    Here's a good tutorial on pressing on this board:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-149984-1.htm[/quote


    I press seams so I can lock them like this tutorial :thumbup:

  6. #31
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    My Long Arm (HandiQuilter Fusion) "complains" about going over seams all the time-- but if, as one person here has suggested, the seam is less strong if ironed open, then I don't care what my Angel (the Fusion's name) says-- I'm going to keep ironing to one side!

    Just my two yen,
    Marcia

  7. #32
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Generally, I press to the side. I mainly press them open for backing. Agreed, that if there is a lot of bulk, consider pressing them open, but trimming will also work. However, if there is a need for SID and the seams are pressed open, the thread may be cut by the needle when SID.

  8. #33
    Senior Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laceybritt
    As a hand quilter I was taught to press to the side. I am making one now that I have been pressing the seams open as much as I can. Sometimes this creates too much bulk so I press that seam to the side.

    It does take longer and I will not do it on every block I make.

    My friend sells her quilts and she tells me she just presses and where ever they go they go lol!!

    As long as my quilt top is laying flat I'm happy.
    This is what Ginny Beyer does---but she is also a hand piecer.

  9. #34
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    When I started quilting, I pressed the blocks open, I read on here, that quite a few pressed to the side, so I started that. Did not like the outcome in the least. Went back to pressing them open. I also came up with a little trick. When joing seams, as I am doing with the log cabin I am now making. I finger press the seams and when joining, just stitching over the opened seam. When I press it's much easier on pressing the rest of the seam open

  10. #35
    Dkm
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    I always press open. I like the smooth look and feel. I was told to shorten the stitch length. It does require more pressing, but worth it.

  11. #36
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Pressing seams to the side results in a stronger seam than pressing them open. There are no quilt police. If you want to press them open, go for it. There are several nationally known quilters who do so. However, I will tell you that the seams near the top of the quilt, which get the most use, are also the ones more likely to show threads, so make sure you match the threads with the fabric rather than using a generic color, at least for that top row.

  12. #37
    Junior Member MrsWiggs's Avatar
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    Usually press to the side but recently made an "I spy" & not knowing how I would position the blox, I pressed all seams open.

  13. #38
    Senior Member Maresan's Avatar
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    I always press my seams open. It seems like its less bulk and it works for me.

  14. #39
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    I read somewhere that there is a risk of the batting bearding through the seam if pressed open. I press to the side and changing now would be hard.

  15. #40
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    I press to the side but I'm considering pressing them open.The bulk created at adjoining seams is hard to work with.

  16. #41
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    I press seams open because I could never get the joining seams to "nest". I like the way the finished blocks lay flat and I've had LA'rs tell me they find it easier to quilt.

  17. #42
    Super Member janetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    I think it's a situation of the proper technique for the proper job. If you are doing straight seams that will meet, pressing to one side to 'lock' the seam when they meet works well. Pressing open or twirling intersections reduces bulk on pinwheels, stars etc.

    As far as the long arm quilters, the only thing I've heard is to always press the backing seams open, not necessarily all the piecing seams.

    Here's a good tutorial on pressing on this board:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-149984-1.htm
    Now this is a fantastic Tut and really makes a ton of sense. Thanks for reposting, I never saw it the first time

  18. #43
    Super Member arizonagirl's Avatar
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    It just depends on the pattern that you are working on. I normally will press to one side. One of the biggest reasons for doing that from what I have heard before is that with open seams you may get bearding from the batting coming through. Also when doing SID you want to do that on the low side close to the seam and you don't have a low side with seams pressed open. Right now I am working on Eleanor Burns day and night pattern and you use both pressed to the side and open. The reason for pressing open some of the seams is so that when you put the whole star block together it helps for get the middle where all the seams meet up to lay flat and form a pinwheel like center for the seams.

  19. #44
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I am that lady that the LongArm quilter refered to... I have made many many quilts in my 40+ years of sewing and quilting.
    I press my seams open because I like a flat block. In all my years I have not had the seam fail because of it. I tried the press to the dark ..( after an severe encounter with a quilt police) but all to often it resulted in more seams with 4 layers of fabric , where it was impossible to press to the dark and not have this intersection of quadruple layers.... not the flat block I intended.... so I press open..... all the time! When I do quilt my own and use stitch in the ditch ... I also stitch right on the seam , having it open makes it easier to land that stitch right on the seam line.
    As for stress on a seam .. I have done my own little lab experiment and sewed a seam on scrap fabric with the same thread for both and pressed both ways ... and tugged directly on the seam ..... guess what ... no difference.
    Pressing to the dark , was favored by handquilters, so when they quilted on the light side there were not as many layers to stitch through. Many of the older hand quilted quilts had alot of echo quilting so it was much easier to stitch around the lighter background fabric to make the darker shape have more definition.
    As for bearding.. that was an issue prior to bonded fibers and the use of scrim in battings. Bearding can happen through the fabric , not only just the seam.
    Each quilter finds what works for them and appeals to their desired outcome. Find what works for you and makes you satisfied and proud you are a quilter.

  20. #45
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    pressing open is fine for most quilts but if you do stitch in the ditch, you can actually break the thread and weaken the seam. I love patterns that tell you which way to press so there isn't any bulk in the seams but so often I change things up and it doesn't always work.

  21. #46
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    It's a matter of choice. Most of the time I don't open the seam to press, however I have tried a pattern that called for press seam open and it was very helpful. I am a long armer and it does not bother my long arm at all.

  22. #47
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    "Seam strength ... is it such an issue now, with most of us machine stitching, with modern threads/fabrics and our ability to adjust stitch length? Perhaps it was more so when the quilts were hand stitched?"

    I have been sewing clothing for 40 years, and not once have I ever pressed a seam allowance to one side to make the seam stronger.

    I press seams open on about 90% of my quilts.

  23. #48
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    Depends on the pattern of the blk but mostly to the dark

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GwynR
    The way it was explained to me was if pressed open and a couple of stitches pop open you can see the batting and it unravels fast, when pressed to the side if they pop open they don't ravel open as fast and you don't see the batting. I did just do a strip quilt and my MIL pressed the seams open. I left the end to end seams because they are so short but repressed all the long seams to the side.
    Your explanation of why the seems should be pressed to one side makes more sense than any I have heard of yet. A good reason to continue to press to one side.

  25. #50
    Senior Member emlee51's Avatar
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    I think it is a matter of preference...if a lot of quilting is to be done on the quilt then a lot of the open seams will be sewn over again, and I would think that would hold it ok. Now, maybe a quilt that was going to be used/washed a lot would benefit from the seams to the side. There are no quilt police in my sewing room so depending on how I feel the day I sew/piece my quilt could experience a little of both!

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