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Thread: Question -difficulty ironing out my seams

  1. #1
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    Question -difficulty ironing out my seams

    Hello,
    I am beginning to quilt for the first time and I have a question I'd like to post.
    I'm having difficulty ironing out my seams. Feeling confused about the directions they should go towards. If anybody can help out I would appreciate that. If anybody also knows of an online video to watch that would be wonderful.
    Allison
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 02-01-2013 at 10:21 AM. Reason: clarify title to reflect contents

  2. #2
    Super Member judy363905's Avatar
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    Allison,
    Have you seen the Craftsy Free Block of the month classes. This month they show the pressing tips for a flat block that will play nicely with other blocks. Check it out at Craftsy.com See February block.

    Hope this helps

    Judy in Phx, Az

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Usually you press your seams toward the darker fabric. If there are a lot of adjoining seams I press away from them. Sometimes it calls for opening up the seam and pressing that way.
    A lot of patterns will tell you which way to press.
    I press toward my bindings and my sashings. But usually toward the darker fabrics.


    My newest Grandson, Caleb Austin, was born May 29th. I am now Grandma to 4 precious babies. I am so blessed!!!!

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    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Oregon!
    Okay, first ~ quilters DO NOT iron, they press. I usually do what is called 'set the seam' which is I run my iron over the seam that I just sewed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sw5QJr2mGw Second ~ different patterns will suggest which direction you need to press to have the blocks 'meld' better. The old school was to always press to the dark, which is a general rule to have.

    There are many you tube sites that will help with all sorts of quilting questions. Good luck
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    I iron all of mine open. Problem solved.

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    I, too, set my sewn seams first then press open. Solves the problem of too many seams coming together and creating bulk; find it's much easier to match points as well.

  7. #7
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I didn't mention it, but I too "set" my seams before pressing.


    My newest Grandson, Caleb Austin, was born May 29th. I am now Grandma to 4 precious babies. I am so blessed!!!!

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    Thanks for this.

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    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Ah... now this is a good question for a newbe quilter. That is why so many new people buy patterns. They will instruct you on which way the seams are to be pressed. After a while, you will instinctivly know which way will be the best by the pattern you are sewing. The girls are right, Press don't iron. (Press , pick straight up, press.) No matter how long the seam is. Use a dry iron on a med-high heat. And for heaven's sake use a stable flat ironing surface.

    If you are in doubt, press to the side with the least amount of seams that intersect into it. They will always want to try and buckle back if there is much bulk there, so it will defeat your purpose pressing to make it do something that physically will want to correct by itself. Try to only press the seam part not the whole block.
    Pressing is a very important part of excellent piecing, so you are so clever to ask and to learn it right from the begining.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 02-01-2013 at 11:36 AM.
    RedGarnet222

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  10. #10
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Your suppose to press the seams??!!

    Just kidding, I usually go by what the pattern suggests. Go to the dark side.
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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    After you sew a seam, you press, not iron, the seam while it is closed, just like it was sewed. That sets the stitches. Then it depends on if you are joining the piece you are making to another piece. If you are, you probably want to press, not iron the Seam going in the opposite direction of the adjoining one so they nest. This is where you want to watch a couple of YouTube videos on 'Nesting your seams for quilting'. Otherwise, press, from the front, if you prefer, toward the darker fabric so the seam won't show through on the top side. There are no rules, just helpful hints. You don't have to do what I say, or anyone says. That's what's so cool about quilting.
    Last edited by jcrow; 02-01-2013 at 11:36 AM.
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    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    To the dark side I also set seams. I have pressed open and it works just fine.

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    Some quilters actually finger press or use a tool (such as a wooden blunt stick with a point for turning corners) used in paper creasing to press as they piece. It's useful at the machine when piecing small pieces of fabric. Of course, long seams would certainly need more and particularly when setting a block together, applying sashing, etc. Saw this on F & P show. What works for you, so try variuos things. I usually press to the dark but good judgement sh prevail.

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    I will look into that. Great thank you!

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    That is what I heard too. But, I"m make a scrappy nine patch quilt and the dark and light fabrics are placed everywhere. There is no special layout. That's why I was uncertain. Thank you for your response.

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    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammy Dwynn View Post
    Welcome to the board from Oregon!
    Okay, first ~ quilters DO NOT iron, they press. I usually do what is called 'set the seam' which is I run my iron over the seam that I just sewed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sw5QJr2mGw Second ~ different patterns will suggest which direction you need to press to have the blocks 'meld' better. The old school was to always press to the dark, which is a general rule to have.

    There are many you tube sites that will help with all sorts of quilting questions. Good luck
    I took a class from a national quilt teacher. She told us she doesn't prewash and she irons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grammy Dwynn View Post
    Welcome to the board from Oregon!
    Okay, first ~ quilters DO NOT iron, they press. I usually do what is called 'set the seam' which is I run my iron over the seam that I just sewed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sw5QJr2mGw Second ~ different patterns will suggest which direction you need to press to have the blocks 'meld' better. The old school was to always press to the dark, which is a general rule to have.

    There are many you tube sites that will help with all sorts of quilting questions. Good luck
    Couldn't agree more with this. Press to the dark as just a general rule. That said, as I hand quilt, I press them spread eagle! lol Only because it's easier to push the needle through. Pressing them out like that is said to weaken the seams, which I agree with but I don't think it would weaken them that much.

    Everyone does it differently. It just depends on what they like or what they're used to.

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    Thank you for the info here. I wasn't sure what was meany by setting the seams. I was also questioning if it matters if you press to one side or if you press open. I like to press my seams open because that is what you do when you sew clothing. I also like that it keeps the seams from being bulky. I pin as I quilt, again because I also sew clothing, so I can match up seams without having to nest the pieces.

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