Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53

Thread: Why not iron seams open?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kryssa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    208
    In my first quilting class I was told to iron seems in the direction of the darker fabric or toward the least bulk. But is there a real reason why I can't iron my seams open?

  2. #2
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Glenmoore, PA
    Posts
    7,761
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryssa
    In my first quilting class I was told to iron seems in the direction of the darker fabric or toward the least bulk. But is there a real reason why I can't iron my seams open?
    I'm not real experienced at quilting, but I guess it depends on what you're doing with the seam. If you're doing one of those star thingies, then open works best, less bulk, but if I am going to match blocks and want a perfect join, then I press seams to the dark, so that when I am matching the seams they just meld right together. Hope you understand that.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,383
    They tell you to press the seams toward the dark so when the batting is layered on the dark fabric does not show through( thanif you pressed toward the lighter fabric) . It is a pbit faster to press to one side rather than open.
    Personally I press open most of the time( quilting for over 35 years) . I like a really flat block.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Twilliebee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PEI, Canada
    Posts
    569
    Kryssa, there really isn't a reason not to iron your seams open anymore, and although I've read the reason they were customarily ironed to one side, I don't recall what it was. A number of quilters iron their seams open because they prefer the absolutely flat look it provides. Some also believe free motion quilting is easier with flat seams. I believe there is some concern that seams are more likely to get skewed when ironed open, and that intersections of blocks require more special handling. I've done both, but I'm not experienced enough to have much of an opinion either way. When I have a little extra time, I'll try to find the sites where I originally got this information and post the links. Have fun!

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Orbiting
    Posts
    1,442
    Quilters choice.

    Clothes have seams pressed open unless they have been serged.

    Although, if my light fabric is thin, I find it's best to press towards the dark.

    I think it's what ever works best for what you are piecing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    466
    One reason I was told many years back was that if you leave your seams open the batting can come through the seams during a wash. I wonder if todays batting would do that?

    A second reason is ease of butting up the seams. Matching your seams is so much easier.

    Of course ironing towards the dark is always a reason as well.

    I've heard some say a quilt lays flatter if you iron the seams open, but I was taught to iron them to one side, and I'm afraid of the quilt police, lol.

  7. #7
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South central Nebraska, US
    Posts
    5,579
    This history of the seam pressed to one side originated when quilts were hand stitched. Pressing to one side strengthened the seam. Now that most quilts are machine sewn that is no longer a necessity.

  8. #8
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    4,508
    Blog Entries
    3
    My thoughts on the pressing to one side (light to dark) ... when you sew two sets together, the points line up (nest) better when one goes one direction and the other another. Seams ironed to left, nestle to those ironed to the right... not sure this is coming out right.. but it sort of locks the seams and keeps the points aligned. Correct me if I am wrong. :)

  9. #9
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    23,032
    One reason to press a seam to one side instead of open:

    If the stitching failed, then there would not be a "gap"

  10. #10
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ridgefield WA
    Posts
    7,449
    Blog Entries
    41
    Also much easier to Stitch In the Ditch if pressed to one side. No hard & fast rule - whichever feels and looks best to you.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Salem Iowa
    Posts
    15,632
    Blog Entries
    51
    I have been quilting for 30 years and tho I know am more into miniatures I have done larger quilts in the past. I have always ironed my seams open. It is less bulk and I prefer the flatter look. I haven't had any problems with batting coming through.

  12. #12
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    near Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    5,867
    Blog Entries
    1
    Twilliebee: I love your avitar pic! 8-)

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bikini Bottom
    Posts
    5,746
    My idea behind it is that you do that to keep the batting from poking through and the fact that the quilt will stay together longer and has less of a chance for the seams to rip.


    Billy

  14. #14
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NC - USA
    Posts
    2,969
    I'm with twilliebee, it 'nests' more nicely. Most of the blocks I've made are done in rows first and when you align the rows to connect them, they just snug up nicely and lay flat once sewn and turned. I could never get them to line up rite until I learned to make my rows and press everything in one direction and then connect the rows leaving the second row turned opposite.....usually I count the stacks of rows I am ironing and the second, fifth, eighth, (etc) rows ironed opposite. Makes sense to me and probably only me. Again, I've never read it in the books.

    Blessings, Ruth

  15. #15
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5,281
    Carol Doak says that it puts too much pressure on the weakest part of the quilt----the thread.

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Greendale Twp: Midland, MI
    Posts
    216
    I always press seams open. I have tried the other way and didn't like the results.
    It can do away with a lot of bulk on certain designs.
    A hand stitched seam unless it is backstitched each stitch is just not as strong as a machine stitch.
    You can also see a depth perception to a block that has the seams pressed to just one side.

  17. #17
    Super Member Bluelady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Puyallup, WA
    Posts
    2,051
    It makes the quilt sturdier to press to one side. As one person said, it puts less stress on the weakest link, the thread.
    It's also (for me) quicker to press to one side. And I burn my finger tips less often..
    :-o

  18. #18
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire
    Posts
    4,269
    Every quilting teacher I've had advised pressing seams open.
    Blocks lie flatter and hand quilting is easier.

    I very rarely do though - am too lazy

  19. #19
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,170
    Try both and see which one you prefer. I've done both but I think from now
    onwards I will be pressing everything open. I was amazed how much flatter
    my seams were (with a wet finger) but the seams were flat, flat, flat...like
    glued. OK I starch my fabric before cutting so maybe the starch is
    reactivated there but I like it. :D

    Thanks Sharon for this tip. I was scared to use water but now I keep
    a little dish of water next to my ironing board and dip my finger before
    pressing each seam. :thumbup: I need to try this with a small sponge
    and see how it works.

  20. #20
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15,687
    Blog Entries
    1
    If you use the SID (Stitch-in-the-ditch) quilting, your quilting would secure only through the thinnest part - your stitches. I would not trust it to not come apart. However, I have pressed some blocks open when a lot of seams converged. I don't think it's an all or nothing approach.

  21. #21
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,224
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryssa
    In my first quilting class I was told to iron seems in the direction of the darker fabric or toward the least bulk. But is there a real reason why I can't iron my seams open?
    You can press them open, but there are some you really can't. Such as curves like the drunkard's path or grandma's fan is better to press to one side.

  22. #22
    insecurity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Security, co
    Posts
    58
    If it's going to be a quilt that will be used & washed alot, pressing to one side makes a stronger seam. Carol Doak is right-the thread is the weakest part;

  23. #23
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,866
    I press seams open on wall units. There is no stress on those seams. I entered a wall piece in state fair and had a comment about "excellent seam joining" The seams were pressed OPEN.

  24. #24
    thismomquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    here! :)
    Posts
    1,490
    I press the seams open every time.

  25. #25
    Dkm
    Dkm is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Frankfort, Ky.
    Posts
    761
    I always press my seams open. I also make my stitches smaller. The reason for that is...as you cut your blocks the stitching may want to pull out. I like this method because it always lays flat.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.