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Thread: Setting seams with an iron

  1. #1
    Senior Member JanieW's Avatar
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    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?

  2. #2
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I am not sure why it works, but I agree that it does. I also tend to press my fabrics when I align them to sew them together. It helps to prevent shifting. I believe it holds better than pins, unless I have to align seams.

  3. #3
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I didn't know about this until recently either; sure does make a difference. And I was pressing seams from the back because I thought it would work better...who knew? (Well apparently a lot of people knew, just not me!) :lol:

  4. #4
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    The rationale is that it helps sink the thread into the fabric, instead of just sitting on top.

  5. #5
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Can someone please explain how you set the seams?

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    Member Mamawcj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    Can someone please explain how you set the seams?
    Press the seam while it is still closed, then press it open. I also have started starching my seams when I press them open. It seems to make them lay flatter.

  7. #7
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamawcj
    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    Can someone please explain how you set the seams?
    Press the seam while it is still closed, then press it open. I also have started starching my seams when I press them open. It seems to make them lay flatter.
    Thank you!!

  8. #8
    Super Member quilt queen 2's Avatar
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    I "set" my seams now and find it really does make a difference a teacher at a course told us to do this many years ago she said you need to "sink the thread" to press sharper seams.I couldn't see the point of extra work then but now I do!She was a remarkable teacher and taught us so much.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I set and use a tailor's clapper to make the seam flat. You won't know the difference until you use one. I also use the Steady Betty. My blocks are perfectly flat and the cut fabric pieces are never distorted by pressing. Little details make a big difference.

  10. #10
    Super Member PegD's Avatar
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    I was wondering the samething. I'm glad you finally asked.

  11. #11
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    I agree with Maria

  12. #12
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    what's a steady betty?

  13. #13
    designingdms's Avatar
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    I have found that setting the seams does work better, but what is a steady Betty?

  14. #14
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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  15. #15
    Senior Member JanieW's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Sinking the stitches into the fabric by pressing makes sense. Now I just have to get into the habit.

    Steady betty is not in my budget, but I find if I put a terry towel on the ironing board before I press the seams, that it grabs the fabric a tiny bit and the pressing is more efficient.

    I'm sure the steady betty would be better, but this is working for me. My accuracy is greatly improved.

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I bought the Steady Betty at JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon. I never pay full price for quilting items.

    There 40% off online coupon code good until Oct 30 is HPE303
    Steady Betty sizes:

    http://www.joann.com/joann/search/se...questid=214462

  17. #17
    Super Member klgreene's Avatar
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    I just recently started setting my seams too. Maybe they didn't do it years and years ago. But it does help and makes the seams lay flatter.

  18. #18
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i use steam a lot.

  19. #19
    Dix
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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 do it because the gal that taught our class said to do it. It just makes a much neater seam when you press then to the right or left to nestle into the next row at the seam.

  20. #20
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I have pressed my seams first as well, and I found that it indeed, did make a difference.

  21. #21
    Dee
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    Thanks for the info.

  22. #22
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    I am not exactly sure, but I think that when setting seams, the heat allows the fabric pore to open and the thread knot becomes embedded in the fabric as is cools and tightens again. Should make for a more secure seam. I almost always set seams before pressing.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Tilladare's Avatar
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    Think of it like blocking a knitted sweater.

  24. #24

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    Not sure what a Tailor's clapper or a Steady Betty is, and where can you get these items?
    Janet

  25. #25

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    I find when I set the seams first, the heat from that first press helps the seamline to press out flat when you press the seam allowances to one side (usually the dark side).

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