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Which way to press?

Which way to press?

Old 02-02-2010, 11:49 AM
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I was wondering if it really matters which way to press? I've read different books at different times for the same pattern and some say to always press to the middle, some say to always press to the outside and some say to press the seam open! Any thoughts?
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:51 AM
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Every time this comes up, you find out no one agrees. Since so many people on this board make beautiful quilts, yet have totally different opinions on how to press seams, I've decided that everyone just has to do what works for them. Try it each way and see what you like.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:56 AM
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I really think it is a matter of personal preference. Sometimes a seam doesn't want to lay the way you want it to and you have to go with the flow. One rule of thumb I do follow is never press a dark toward a very light, it will show thru. Sometimes here pressing open is best.

The reason traditional quilting was always pressed to one side was the strengthen the seam when hand stitching was the only way to make a quilt. With today's fine sewing machines and tinier stitches strength isn't so much a factor any more. However, that said, if you make a quilt that is going to be dragged around by a child outside and in maybe pressing to one side might be the only option.

Hope I was clear enough, I trend to ramble!!
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:59 AM
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I usually check if the pattern directions advise. For example when it says to press to the dark fabric, it's to set it up for that the seam to be opposite of the piece it will be sewn to and both can lie flat.

Another thing I do is always press each row in one direction, then the next row in the opposite so again, seams are flat.

Somebody help me out here... I can't explain it for her.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:03 PM
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If you press each row a different direction, it helps to nest the seams and you get flatter seams that way and it can also help with lining up your matching interesections.
However, when you have multiple seams coming together in one spot, it helps to have them circle around in the block, and to press open the two halves, putting half of the bulk on both sides. (Kaleidoscopes, NYB, some other PP blocks, etc)
After I make a couple of blocks, I look at the backs and decide if they are too bulky and what I can do pressing to remove some of it.
Each project is different and all of us approach this subject differently :D:D:D
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:08 PM
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I use which ever method works best for the project I'm using. Since I started out making clothes, pressing the seams open is my favorite method, I almost always paper piece so it doesn't become an issue until I'm joining the blocks or sections of blocks.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:09 PM
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It depends on the pattern. Some seams need to be open because of bulk, other times it's just personal choice.

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Old 02-02-2010, 12:53 PM
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I'm with DItter on this one. If possible, I go toward the dark side (in more ways than pressing sometimes - lol). When the pieces need to nest, I press each row to opposite sides to make nesting easier. When I have a lot of seams meeting, I try to press so they lay in a pinwheel fashion. ...and sometimes, I press open. Go figure.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:34 PM
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I press mine to the darkest fabrics side. Most of the times anyway. :lol:
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:39 PM
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I press to the dark whenever I can. Sometimes though, that cannot be helped and it ends up going where it wants to.
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