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Thread: Seams pressed open or pressed to the dark fabric??

  1. #1
    Senior Member peacequiltingnana's Avatar
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    I've always been taught to press my seams toward the dark fabric. I'm currently working on a quilt where I'm pressing the seams open and it's really coming together nicely. Do any of you usually press your seams open? Is there a reason you shouldn't?

  2. #2
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    To the side is more stable and strong. that being said, I've heard of lots of quilters passing seams open

  3. #3
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    it is just sometimes having seam abut make them match better

  4. #4
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have been pressing them open for decades. Never had a seam "fail". Do what you like and works for you.

  5. #5
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    When pressed open there is more pressure on the thread in the seams. When pressed to one side there is a fabric layer that protects the piecing threads. Other than that, I don't think one way is more correct than the other. It depends on the pattern and how many seams will come together etc. that helps me make my decisions on this. Most frequently I can press to one side and I prefer that for adding the strength to the quilt it's self.

  6. #6
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    I press toward the dark on pieces and press open on binding.

  7. #7
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    Unless one of the fabrics is very light, I try to press so the seams nest together the best. But I quite often figure it wrong and have to repress seams to make them work :-D I have pressed seams open when it seems there will be a lot of bulk. I think it's totally up to you. :-D :-D

  8. #8
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alikat110
    To the side is more stable and strong. that being said, I've heard of lots of quilters passing seams open
    Recently there have been quite a few articles that say pressing to one side for strength was true with hand sewn seams, but more and more people are recommending that we do it whatever way feels good when machine piecing! :-D :-D

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I do both, which ever works best for the blocks :D:D:D

  10. #10
    Super Member mmonohon's Avatar
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    I usually do seams to the dark unless it causes too much bulk.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by peacequiltingnana
    I've always been taught to press my seams toward the dark fabric. I'm currently working on a quilt where I'm pressing the seams open and it's really coming together nicely. Do any of you usually press your seams open? Is there a reason you shouldn't?
    People who think handsewn seams are weak haven't ever worn a dress with a hand-picked zipper! Or checked out the interior of a bespoke (men's) suit jacket (almost completely handsewn with very little machine sewing except for the topstitching). Handsewn seams are plenty strong, particularly in an application where the layers of fabric will be quilted together, which is the classic way to stabilise anything.

    The only reason to press to one side that I've read that makes sense to me is that if your batting has a tendency towards bearding, the gaps between the stitches are always bigger than the gaps between the threads in the fabric.

    Since most battings of reasonable quality these days don't beard, I think seam allowances should be pressed whichever way makes sense in context.

  12. #12
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I have done both...but because I often work with fiddly shapes or odd fabrics open works better for me most of the time.

  13. #13
    MelodyWB's Avatar
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    I do both..depending on the quilt..do what works for the pattern !!

  14. #14
    Member monkicat's Avatar
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    I let the seems lie where they want to. Whatever work best for the pattern!

  15. #15
    Senior Member quilticing's Avatar
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    Pressing seams open helps keep those pesky dark threads under the dark piece.

  16. #16
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i usually press to the dark, but there are occasions that pressing open is more desired.

  17. #17
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    99% of the time I press them to the side; I was told the reason for this was that over time the batting can sometimes come up thru the seams when pressed open. I don't know if this is true w/the batting we use today but why push fate. There are times that seams don't want to lay flat when pressed to one side and you need to do them open. I only do this when all the steam in the world isn't going to make them lay flat.

  18. #18
    Senior Member SparkMonkey's Avatar
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    I usually press open simply because I prefer the way they lie. Also, I hand-quilt and if I need to quilt across a seam, I prefer fewer layers to quilt through. However, if the seam allowance is going to show through or if I really, really need that seam to nest snugly, I'll press to the side.

  19. #19
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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  20. #20
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    I usually press to the dark side. If a lot of seams come together, I will press open. I find that the intersections nest better if they are pressed to one side. I always felt that it made the seam stronger, and the batting wouldn't migrate through. I also used to back stitch at the beginning and end of a piece--I don't do that anymore, but it was hard to break the habit left over from years of garment sewing.
    Sue

  21. #21
    Senior Member peacequiltingnana's Avatar
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    Thanks - I missed those and/or am still learning how to search this board.

  22. #22
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    I have done both.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueangel
    I have done both.

    ditto. BrendaK

  24. #24
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    when I started quilting I pressed my seams open. After having read many posts about this subject I started pressing toward the dark side. My complaint about that is that where the fabrics join is not as flat as open.
    I am just starting on a queen sized log cabin. It has a lot of seams so I am pressing them open.
    I guess I would say, it's entirely up to you.

  25. #25
    Super Member Ann912's Avatar
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    I usually press to the dark, but have learned if making a quilt with half square triangles I need to press the seam open.

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