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Thread: Seams pressed open

  1. #1
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Seams pressed open

    I made my first quilt in 2010 (a queen size). Hand pieced and hand quilted. It was a scrappy quilt with 9 pieces in each 9" square. Since I used to make all my clothes, I stitched each square from edge to edge and I pressed my seams flat. When I quilted, I quilted 1/8 inch from seam around every piece. During the process, I learned that I was supposed to stitch from seam allowance to seam allowance and press my seams flat. I did this on my next 2 quilts neither of which has looked as nice or stitched as nice as the first one. I've just started a quilt for my DGD and I'm stitching pieces from edge to edge and pressing seams flat. I've washed my first quilt (which is on our bed) several times and have had no problems with the seams coming apart. So............

  2. #2
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    The way you did the first quilt was just fine. Go with what worked for you and looked good.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    so...was there a question involved?
    there are no hard-set rules when it comes to quilting- there are no quilt police- you can do it any way you want-in any manner that works for you-
    sometimes it is recommended to press seams to one side so you can easily nest adjacent pieces & get good points/joins- but people manage to do it with their seams pressed open too- it is your project- your hobby- do it the way you like and enjoy the process---don't concern yourself with how (barb down the street) does it
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
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    I almost always press to the dark side; I only press the seams open when otherwise I'd have bunching of fabric

  5. #5
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I like to press seams open because it makes for easier quilting.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I've done it both ways depending on what I'm doing. I was watching Fons & Porter recently and Marianne talked about how she always presses to the dark but that everyone has their own way of doing things - so not that I needed her permission, but, am going to do what works for me.

  7. #7
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlm5419 View Post
    I like to press seams open because it makes for easier quilting.
    That's true. Plus it makes matching seams easier. And you never have to worry with those pressing diagrams or pressing direction problems.
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  8. #8
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    I come from a garment sewing background as well. I tried going to the 'dark side' in quilting and quickly evolved to pressing all my seams open whenever possible. I, too, find it makes a much flatter and easier to (hand) quilt project. Go with what works for YOU.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I press open ! and have had many an encounter with the "quilt police" ... insisting it less than exceptable method.
    It's up to each quilter to decide what gives them the results they intended.

  10. #10
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    I have read where it is acceptable to do either but I just don't have the patience to press open.

  11. #11
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    i press my seams open

  12. #12
    Member jeemmerling621's Avatar
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    I press my seams open when working with very small pieces, and to the darkest fabric for everything else. I have never felt the need to ask for permission to do what works for me, and neither should you .

  13. #13
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    I have started pressing all my seams open. My sister-in-law said that is the way her grandmother always did it and she was a prolific quilter. I make my stitch length pretty short and treat ends of the pieces carefully when matching seams. I like the way the seams match much better. I do think you need to match the thread to the fabric a little closer.
    Last edited by Silver Needle; 07-03-2012 at 04:35 PM.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  14. #14
    Senior Member abc123retired's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burchquilts View Post
    That's true. Plus it makes matching seams easier. And you never have to worry with those pressing diagrams or pressing direction problems.
    That's the way I do it and I use glue to help me match and sew. Since I never have to worry about which way to press, I think it goes just as fast as sandwiching those seams. Besides, my needles and sewing machine like it better that way. And I can design as I go without undoing anything.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo View Post
    I almost always press to the dark side; I only press the seams open when otherwise I'd have bunching of fabric
    This is how I do it, too.

    I think that whatever works for you, that's the "right" way to do it. (Until you find a better way, so don't stop experimenting!)

  16. #16
    Super Member Arleners's Avatar
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    I believe the press the seam allowance to the side goes way back to when quilts were hand pieced. This gave stability to the seams. As batting and thread improves, and most seams are machine pieced, the option to press the seam allowance open is more appropriate.
    Arlene

  17. #17
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arleners View Post
    I believe the press the seam allowance to the side goes way back to when quilts were hand pieced. This gave stability to the seams. As batting and thread improves, and most seams are machine pieced, the option to press the seam allowance open is more appropriate.
    I understand that pressing the seams open is done for machine piecing but I'm HAND piecing and it still seems to work better for me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
    I come from a garment sewing background as well. I tried going to the 'dark side' in quilting and quickly evolved to pressing all my seams open whenever possible. I, too, find it makes a much flatter and easier to (hand) quilt project. Go with what works for YOU.
    Thanks, NJ Quilters! I've already decided that pressing seams open for hand piecing and quilting is the way to go for me. No need to worry about Quilt Police because I'm not going to tell them where I live!

  19. #19
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    There are a couple of situations where pressing the seams open are an issue. If you're planning to stitch in the ditch - you will be stitching only over the threads that connect the top together, not very secure. If you use a batting that is not made from long fibers (less expensive) there is a tendency, over time, for those short fibers to work their way up & out, bearding, to make the quilt appear fuzzy. Otherwise - go for it!
    Ellie
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  20. #20
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter'sNook View Post
    There are a couple of situations where pressing the seams open are an issue. If you're planning to stitch in the ditch - you will be stitching only over the threads that connect the top together, not very secure. If you use a batting that is not made from long fibers (less expensive) there is a tendency, over time, for those short fibers to work their way up & out, bearding, to make the quilt appear fuzzy. Otherwise - go for it!
    I'm going to be quilting 1/8" from seam so I'll be quilting through the open pressed fabric on each side of seam. I think that should make the seams secure. What do you think? I'll also be using Quilters Dream Request for the batting.

  21. #21
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I have done it both ways also, I say do what works for you!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  22. #22
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    I too like to press my seams open and yes, I will press to the side for nesting, but if I want it flat and lots of seams coming together, I will definitely press open. Do what you like.

  23. #23
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I love reading quilting books and recently I have read in several new ones that the authors press the seams open. I tried it and honestly, pressing those little scant 1/4 seams open burnt my fingers. I did not like it. I think it works good, just too hard to do. There are no quilt police on this board. If you want to enter your quilts in a contest, then there might be, I don't know.

  24. #24
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    I press my seams to the side. Dark or which ever side will help the seams "lock" I do not understand why one would press the seams open. It is easier to press to the side. I find it very hard to press a 1/4" seam open with out burning my fingers.

  25. #25
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    I've done it both ways also, just as I do with clothing. I find 1/4" seams harder to press open than 5/8" seams, but sometimes it's the best way. Most of the clothes I make for my grandkids get serged seams, so of course they don't get pressed open either.
    Shirley in Arizona

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