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Thread: Setting seams with an iron

  1. #26
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    When in 4-h and home eco we were taught to press the seams first, too. 1960's

  2. #27
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    Thank you soooooomuch for that code. I immediately order the Steady Betty and got 40% off. Where do you get the codes?

  3. #28
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
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    I set seams but never thought of why, just that I have always done it that way. I think the first quilt teacher I had told me to do it and I didn't think to question as it worked.

  4. #29
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanieW
    I've been quilting for quite a few years. Until recently I was unaware of the practice of setting the seam with your iron before you press the seam to one side.

    I don't know why we are supposed to do it, but I am convinced that I am having more luck with accuracy since I started setting my seams.

    Anyone know the rationale to setting the seam?
    _________________________________
    Yes, setting the seam flattens the thread you just sewed with, and allows the fold to be sharper.

  5. #30
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanieW
    I've been quilting for quite a few years. Until recently I was unaware of the practice of setting the seam with your iron before you press the seam to one side.

    I don't know why we are supposed to do it, but I am convinced that I am having more luck with accuracy since I started setting my seams.

    Anyone know the rationale to setting the seam?
    I learned this from Alex Anderson's "Simply Quilts" program. It does help. Remember press, don't iron! Pressing is just up and down, not sliding the iron.

  6. #31
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    I was still in the dark. Found this - hope it helps others.

    Pressing to Set Seams
    An Easy Way to Make Accurate Quilt Blocks
    About.com Guide
    See More About:pressing basicsquilt block constructionBefore you press a seam allowance to one side, put your iron down on it flat, just as it was sewn. Don't move the iron back and forth--let its weight do the work for you. This step "sets" the seam, flattening puckers that occurred when it was sewn.

  7. #32
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    Also found this: Setting a seam
    The first pressing of the seam as it comes from the sewing machine to lock threads together, smooth out puckers, and even out minor thread tension differences before pressing the seam open or to one side.

    Thank you for this topic. I learned somethin' today.

  8. #33
    Senior Member JanieW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaraSewing
    Also found this: Setting a seam
    The first pressing of the seam as it comes from the sewing machine to lock threads together, smooth out puckers, and even out minor thread tension differences before pressing the seam open or to one side.

    Thank you for this topic. I learned somethin' today.
    SaraSewing, thank you for this reply. I learned something today, too! :-D

    Thanks also for everyone else you chimed in.

  9. #34
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    Ironing the seam first sorta' sets the stitches down into the fabric. If you have ripped out a seam which you ironed that way, you probably noticed that the stitches were harder to pick up with the ripper because they were buried.

  10. #35
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    Hello everyone! My name is Sheila and I live in Alabama. My grandmother taught me to quilt 30+ years ago. She was a little "rustic" and made her patterns out of brown paper grocery bags. Things have changed alot and I have learned so many tips since those days. Initially I never ironed a seam and wow!....is there a big advantage to doing so but I need clarification please. Do you press the seam to one side THEN open it up & press to lay flat? I always just pressed to one side but would like to know which way is better. Thanks!

  11. #36
    Super Member wildyard's Avatar
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    Now I fully understand the Steady Betty. Time to work on the Tailor's Clapper. LOL

  12. #37
    Super Member wildyard's Avatar
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    so the tailor's clapper is like a wooden press for your seam. OK. I do have a seam stick, so I think I will just try using that for now. Sticks are free, lol. I got mine out of the yard. DH sanded it nice and smoothe for me and it works great. Smiles and Hugs,

  13. #38
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    Fons & Porter recommend this method - since they've been quilting a LOT longer than I have, I tried their method and use it whenever I remember. It's the little things that make a difference, but it takes so much longer!

  14. #39
    Super Member greaterexp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smtdrt01
    Hello everyone! My name is Sheila and I live in Alabama. My grandmother taught me to quilt 30+ years ago. She was a little "rustic" and made her patterns out of brown paper grocery bags. Things have changed alot and I have learned so many tips since those days. Initially I never ironed a seam and wow!....is there a big advantage to doing so but I need clarification please. Do you press the seam to one side THEN open it up & press to lay flat? I always just pressed to one side but would like to know which way is better. Thanks!
    Yes, please clarify. I, too, am not sure I understand how the seam lies when you first press it. I've just always pressed to one side. Are you pressing it open first, then to one side? Sorry that I'm thick-headed!

  15. #40
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I've made over 100 quilts and comforters, have tried setting seams and don't think it makes a difference. Sometimes I do sometimes I don't. I can't tell the difference.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by greaterexp
    Quote Originally Posted by smtdrt01
    Hello everyone! My name is Sheila and I live in Alabama. My grandmother taught me to quilt 30+ years ago. She was a little "rustic" and made her patterns out of brown paper grocery bags. Things have changed alot and I have learned so many tips since those days. Initially I never ironed a seam and wow!....is there a big advantage to doing so but I need clarification please. Do you press the seam to one side THEN open it up & press to lay flat? I always just pressed to one side but would like to know which way is better. Thanks!
    Yes, please clarify. I, too, am not sure I understand how the seam lies when you first press it. I've just always pressed to one side. Are you pressing it open first, then to one side? Sorry that I'm thick-headed!
    You place the seam on your board unopened and press (not iron) it flat as it come off the machine. Then you press it to one side which is usually the dark side. You don't open the seam at all. Clear as mud?

  17. #42
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    Can someone please explain how you set the seams?
    On a block that the seam will be pressed to the dark, place the stitched block with the dark on top. Apply the iron over the seam and hold for a couple of seconds. The seam is set. Then lift the dark piece and slide the iron without stretching the fabric to press the seam (It will be the right side of the seam.) flat. You can do this with the light piece on top and the seam will be pressed to the light.

  18. #43
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    I looked at the link for the steady betty,but I'm not sure exactly wht or how the steady betty works?? Is it a hard surface like a pressing sheet?? Sorry for being dense, but don't get it.

    thanks

  19. #44
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picklelady
    I looked at the link for the steady betty,but I'm not sure exactly wht or how the steady betty works?? Is it a hard surface like a pressing sheet?? Sorry for being dense, but don't get it.

    thanks
    Dont apologize--I don't understand it either, but I was embarrassed to ask.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanieW
    I've been quilting for quite a few years. Until recently I was unaware of the practice of setting the seam with your iron before you press the seam to one side.

    I don't know why we are supposed to do it, but I am convinced that I am having more luck with accuracy since I started setting my seams.

    Anyone know the rationale to setting the seam?
    When I took my first quilting class a nuber of years ago, that's how we were taught...to set the seams before pressing to the side, so that's all I've ever done.

  21. #46

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    I always set the seams.

  22. #47
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanieW
    I've been quilting for quite a few years. Until recently I was unaware of the practice of setting the seam with your iron before you press the seam to one side.

    I don't know why we are supposed to do it, but I am convinced that I am having more luck with accuracy since I started setting my seams.

    Anyone know the rationale to setting the seam?
    I am thinking that most of us are working with fabric that is not pre-washed .... and, even if it is, the principle is the same.
    When you stitch through fabric, you are usually leaving a sizeable hole, even though you are using a smaller sized needle. The result of pulling thread through the hole to create the stitch also puts tension on the sides of that hole.
    So, you take the iron, put hot steam to it, and in effect, it makes the fabric pull together tighter, and possibly makes the stitches pull closer through the layers.
    Finger pressing will also accomplish good results.

  23. #48

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    I always pre wash fabric.I`ve heard that pressing closed seam (Setting)smooths out any gathering that may have occured during stitching.

  24. #49
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I always set the seam first. Not sure where I learned about it, but it does make a difference.

  25. #50
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    I just found this explanation online , "Before you press a seam allowance to one side, put your iron down on it flat, just as it was sewn. Don't move the iron back and forth--let its weight do the work for you. This step "sets" the seam, flattening puckers that occurred when it was sewn."

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