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Thread: Pressing as you sew...

  1. #1
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    HI, I am in love with Jo Morton's cabin corners quilt pattern. It uses 5" squares of either log cabin or courthouse steps. There is a lot of sewing, pressing and squaring up as you go around the block.

    Recently two shop owners have told me that they do not press as they sew. The reason each has stated is that it is wasting time and that you avoid stretching your fabric out of shape. They find their blocks come out more accurate.

    I have just begun to do and find that I complete blocks faster and I am closer to my desired block size when finished. Each owner told me that you simply lay the seam which way it should go and sew it in place.

    What do you do?

    Press and sew

    OR

    sew and sew?

  2. #2
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    sew and sew!
    but i do have a little table to the side of me, that i can press on if i need to.

  3. #3
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Thank you... you make 3 now that have used this method.

    It will save me sew much time!

  4. #4
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    Each owner told me that you simply lay the seam which way it should go and sew it in place.


    I just had a light bulb moment!

    Rita

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i do both, sometimes sew and sew/ sometimes press seams...just depends. i have found when making logcabins it is better to not; press every time; i do have a (wooden) pressing tool which i will use often when i need a little more than just my fingers but don't need to get up to the big iron, it works great. but often finger pressing is enough during construction then the block gets a good press when it's done

  6. #6
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    There is a difference in 'ironing' and 'pressing'. If you 'iron', you will stretch your fabric out of shape. You need to just press....lift.....press.....lift. The back and forth motion of 'ironing' is what messes up your shape.
    Carol B

  7. #7
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    I am much happier with my work since I have started pressing my seams as I piece and as I assemble the quilt.

    SewExtreme, a question for you please. Were the shop owners saying they don't press on any of the quilt patterns or they don't press on a specific pattern or patterns?
    Ckcowl, you mention you have found it is better not to press on the log cabins.
    I think this is an interesting point that might explain frustration with one pattern versus another pattern. /Regards, Dorothy

  8. #8
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    It depends on the quilt pattern. I recently did a French Braid and I pressed each piece after sewing (the instructions in the book told me I must press!). Much of the time I don't because it makes it very difficult to make corrections if seams have been pressed with a hot iron. So, usually, I just finger press or use the little wooden pressing tool until I'm sure everything fits together exactly right. The downside to that is the monster pressing job I have when I'm finished the quilt so I need to train myself to press the quilt top in sections before I get them all sewn together.

  9. #9
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I guess I'm lazy, because I don't press when I sew a block together normally. Really depends on what I'm doing. Now I do press to one side before I put my rows together so seams match up easier.

  10. #10
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I always have pressed as I sew, but maybe I will try sew & sew on something small I am making for myself. I do have a small table top ironing board and use my travel iron on my seams, so I do not have to get up to use my big ironing board. Interesting.

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I PRESS and sew - I like the way it looks! :)

    Guess you have to find out what works best for you and the outcome of the quilt blocks.

  12. #12
    Honey's Avatar
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    The way it was explained to me is that there is a difference between pressing and ironing. When you press, you do one section and then lift up the iron and put it down on the next section. You don't slide the iron like you do with ironing. That way you don't stretch your fabric. She said that is why it is called pressing. You place your iron, press down, lift and place your iron on the next section, press down and so on. I hope that helps and doesn't confuse you. I always press as I go because it gives you a crisper seem to work with and is just so much easier than a seem that is not pressed. Also, it helps your seems and corners come together better.

  13. #13
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have always pressed as I sew but I sew assembly line style so I will sew many units then take all the units and press. I will often be completing several blocks at the same time.

  14. #14
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    I sew then press, but I'll usually work on more than 1 block at a time, so I sew a few blocks, then press.

  15. #15
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Most of the time I have just sew and sew , but I stick to basic squares .

  16. #16
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I have a triangle (of sorts) set up in my sewing room. I place a travel ironing board on my hamper basket (since I am in my laundry room/sewing room), then my cutting table is low and right behind me, so I can sit and cut. On the other side is my sewing table. I strip piece, turn and press, (square up if needed on my cutting table), then turn around and sew again. My chair is a roll-around, so I don't have to get up out of my chair once to finish an entire block (or more).

  17. #17
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have done both over the years. I recently did the push it that way and sew over it with my Tan and Brown Log Cabin. I found that they do not always face the way I wanted, but I am not too particular when I am just making it for me.

  18. #18
    Super Member athenagwis's Avatar
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    I work in a very small space, so I have my sewing machine set up on a table that also functions as my ironing surface. There is a small space (probably 7-8 inches) in front of my machine where I can easily press a seam open, then I have a larger space to the right where I can iron the whole block when done. I like this set up because it makes it easy to press as I go, which I do. But if I had to actually get up to press, I probably wouldn’t quite honestly. Way too much moving around for me!

    Cheers!
    Rachel

  19. #19
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ritamaew
    Each owner told me that you simply lay the seam which way it should go and sew it in place.


    I just had a light bulb moment!

    Rita
    Rita, I know what you mean! When the first owner told me that, I repeated my question a few times. :lol:

  20. #20
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Dorothy: both said whole quilt they don't press. They each make gorgeous quilts!

    ctack2: I agree on the method difference of pressing/ironing. I was pressing and still having problems.

    ckkowl: I agree

  21. #21
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezie
    It depends on the quilt pattern. I recently did a French Braid and I pressed each piece after sewing (the instructions in the book told me I must press!). Much of the time I don't because it makes it very difficult to make corrections if seams have been pressed with a hot iron. So, usually, I just finger press or use the little wooden pressing tool until I'm sure everything fits together exactly right. The downside to that is the monster pressing job I have when I'm finished the quilt so I need to train myself to press the quilt top in sections before I get them all sewn together.
    Good point. We are so conditioned to press that this idea seemed quite foreign to me and against the 'rules'. I plan to press after completing each block, so I would be putting pressed blocks together.

  22. #22
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    feline fanatic & pocoellie: Yes, I also do assembly sewing. Sure cuts time and trips to the ironing board. thanks :thumbup:

  23. #23
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Thank you sewcrafty, beachlady and quilting here. I appreciate your posts. :-P

  24. #24
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyMarie
    I have a triangle (of sorts) set up in my sewing room. I place a travel ironing board on my hamper basket (since I am in my laundry room/sewing room), then my cutting table is low and right behind me, so I can sit and cut. On the other side is my sewing table. I strip piece, turn and press, (square up if needed on my cutting table), then turn around and sew again. My chair is a roll-around, so I don't have to get up out of my chair once to finish an entire block (or more).
    Thank you. You have a great set up. Love your little cow.

    Also thank you Rachel.

    At my sewing machine I have tables to my left and right and a swivel chair. I agree.. getting up each time, especially on log cabins or courthouse blocks would be way too much moving around. ;-)

  25. #25
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    This is another reason I like to use starch, I can finger press a lot of seams and they stay nicely enough that a quick press at the end is all that may be necessary :D:D:D

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