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Thread: Setting a Seam

  1. #1
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    Setting a Seam

    Hello All,

    My question today is:

    Why do we set the seam? what does it buy you? I have done it both ways (setting and not setting) and have noticed NO difference in the piecing or ironing or quilt in general. I will say that I iron seams to one side or another, hardly ever sew them open. perhaps setting is more noticeable when you press them open?

    Can someone help explain this?

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    It is said that "setting the seam" allows the thread to sink into the fabric and gives you a flatter seam. I'm with you and don't really see a difference. I usually do it out of habit, but if I forget I don't go back a do it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I simply think getting the fabric warm helps it fold over easier. That's all.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
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  4. #4
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    I do set the seam before ironing my seam allowance to the dark side. I like the flatter look it gives my work. Do what works for you.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Sometimes I do set the seam ... and sometimes I don't .. depends on my mood. I don't think it makes all that much of difference.

  6. #6
    Senior Member PlanoDebbie's Avatar
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    I think setting a seam is most helpful when you are stitching HST's. I do try to always set my seams before opening up the block, but sometimes I forget. Anything stitched on a bias does seem to roll over much better when setting the seam first.

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I set my seams using a tailor's clapper and I twirl every joined seam. It does make a difference. My blocks lay flat like a piece of paper. It does take time but worth it when every block fits to each other perfectly. I seldom have to square up my blocks or quilt top.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 06-24-2013 at 05:42 PM.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Bella, I agree about twirling all the joining seams. That makes a huge difference for me especially when it comes to the quilting. Before I did that I'd hit those bumps and get weird looking quilting. I have not perfected how to get every seam to twirl but most will.

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    Sorry to be ignorant, but what do you mean by 'twirling'? It's not a term that I've come across before.

  10. #10
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I set my seams using a tailor's clapper and I twirl every joined seam. It does make a difference. My blocks lay flat like a piece of paper. It does take time but worth it when every block fits to each other perfectly. I seldom have to square up my blocks or quilt top.
    OOOH, I bet your quilts are an absolute dream to longarm!

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    Last edited by Teeler; 06-25-2013 at 04:44 AM.

  12. #12
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I set all my seams before I press them to one side. It 'sinks' the piecing thread into the fabric and results in much flatter/squarer/truer blocks when done. For me, it does make a big difference and is worth the time, but if you really can't tell any difference with yours, it may not be worth the bother.
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  13. #13
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ludlowquiltandsew View Post
    Sorry to be ignorant, but what do you mean by 'twirling'? It's not a term that I've come across before.
    here's a site with some instructions. I have seen a you tube video out there, but can't find it right now... http://crazyquilteronabike.blogspot....ing-seams.html .... I'm a self taught quilter and thought I invented this till I read up some and found it's a common practice!
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  14. #14
    Super Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    here's a site with some instructions. I have seen a you tube video out there, but can't find it right now... http://crazyquilteronabike.blogspot....ing-seams.html .... I'm a self taught quilter and thought I invented this till I read up some and found it's a common practice!
    LOL PaperPrincess, I thought the same thing until I saw Eleanor Burns do it!

  15. #15
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Bonnie Hunter had pictures and instructions on her blog how to piece the so the seams always twirl. All the longarmers I've used said my quilts were problem free. Too bad I can't say the same for most LA's I've used. LOL
    Got fabric?

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