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Thread: Which way to press...

  1. #1
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    Smile Which way to press...

    I was just wondering if anyone could tell me the dis-advantage of pressing my seams open, rather than to one side. I am working on Checkboxes from Love of Quilting and I am having trouble lining up my seams. In the past, I have pressed my seams open and have had better luck but everything I read says I should press to the side. Any in-put would be greatly appreciated.

    Still Learning

  2. #2
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    From what I've learned from this board, it is more about quilter preference. Pressing seams open allows for less bulk than to one side. Apparently, although I'm not sure if this is really the case, if you press to one side, there is less stress on the seam. I prefer to press seams open because it is easier to match up seams, but when making a log cabin, it was easier to press them to one side. I would suggest you do what works best for you and makes the quilt easier to piece together.

  3. #3
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    Heres what i read in a magazine.
    Pressing to one side made the seams stronger when hand stitching. It didnt seperate the fabrics.
    other than that, not much except that the dark doesnt show thru the right.

  4. #4
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    It is your preference, no matter what a pattern says! I can match seams much better pressed open, since I started sewing on garments. When I first started to quilt, I tried pressing to one side but would wind up with seams every which way on the back!

  5. #5
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    Thank You all for the in-put. I think I am going to go back to pressing my seams open. It just drives me crazy when my seams are off...... I Love This Board!

  6. #6
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    One other thing to consider is how you will be quilting. If you plan on doing stitch-in-the-ditch, it's better not to press open. If you SID on a seam that's pressed open, you will only be stitching through the thread of the seam. Whereas if you have pressed to one side, you're stitching through a layer of fabric.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have been quilting for many decades and have almost without exception pressed open. Choose the methods that suit you. I doubt anyone told any of the famous painters they used the wrong brush stroke.

  8. #8
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    I also press most of my seams open...once it's quilted who knows but you??? It's your creation do what you want...that's my motto anyway!!!

  9. #9
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    There clearly is no right answer. I believe Leah day said to press open if you are doing SID although I may be wrong about that. I used to only press open but I discovered that if I pressed in the right direction, it was so much easier for me to lock the seams together and match the pieces perfectly. I would try both ways on some scraps.

  10. #10
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    AndiR , I didn't think about that. Thank You, Very good point.
    I'm not SID on this quilt, but the next one I have planned I am doing SID.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    I always press to the dark so it doesnt show through to the light. I have always hand quilted and this is what I was taught. I'm beginning to learn how to machine quilt. I still press to the dark when possible for the same reason..

  12. #12
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    I agree that it's a personal preference, however I have a couple of reasons for pressing to the side, all of which have probably been mentioned above. First, the seam is definitely stronger. It's also much easier to get your seam intersections to come out perfectly when the seams are pressed to the side in opposite directions. Because of the little ridge created by pressing to the side, there is a definite point at which the seams lock or nest. If you pin on both sides, the intersection will be perfect. Finally, and I think most importantly, if you are stitching in the ditch when quilting, you absolutely need to press to the side, partly because then you have a definite "ditch" in which to stitch, but also because if you stitch in the ditch and the seams have been pressed open, you will basically be stitching on thread not fabric, which will eventually weaken the seam.
    -Chris-
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  13. #13
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have done it both ways. I guess it is up to you.

  14. #14
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Personel preference but I select depending on project. Some blocks ie kaleidoscope see to go together better with open seams. Others really do need one way. Personally I mainly do one way as I was taught this way but also it is a stronger seam and the nest together easily . So my answer read the pattern you are doing and decide.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  15. #15
    Senior Member Donnamarie's Avatar
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    I have been quilting for 30 years and have always pressed my seams to the side, usually the darker fabric. Depending on what block you are making, you should always try to press to one side and the other piece should be ironed in the other direction so the seams nestle up and fit perfectly. Sometimes you have to lie out the block in rows to see exactly which way you want to iron so the seams nestle to each other.

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