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Thread: Why..

  1. #26
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    I was told that in the beginning it was done to reduce bulk and add strength to the seam. I know that my LQS now teaches people to press open, so I am not sure. I find that it is easier to press a 1/4" seam to the side, rather than to press them open.
    This is what I heard also. It adds strength to the seam - My mantra while pressing seams - "Press to the dark". Edie

  2. #27
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spring
    Why are the seams pressed to the side rather then pressed open like in garment construction?
    I did it but Im loosing sleep as to why.

    Also am I correct in my thinking that each row should be pressed opposite direction?
    The pressed open seams are more vulnerable. To the side gives better results, we press open seams in garment construction to keep the seam allowance from telescoping through, in quilts this is not an issue.

  3. #28
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    I press to side. I do not know why anyone would try to press a 1/4 in seam open! It is harder than pressing to side. Also was taught that this reduces bulk, make seam stronger. Correct about just sewing on thread when SID if seams pressed open.

  4. #29
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
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    Mostly to keep the seams from showing under the lighter fabric, although I have pressed open on occasion. I think its mostly personal preference.

  5. #30
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spring
    Why are the seams pressed to the side rather then pressed open like in garment construction?
    I did it but Im loosing sleep as to why.

    Also am I correct in my thinking that each row should be pressed opposite direction?
    I think seams are pressed to one side because it's quicker. And they are NOT always pressed to the darker side. Sometimes being pressed to the lighter side facilitates construction more easliy. I find seams that are pressed in opposite directions are easier to match than seams that are pressed open, just because they seem to have a natural "edge" when the 2 seams butt up together. But either way is perfectly acceptable - whatever your preference is!

  6. #31
    Crickett Sweet's Avatar
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    to the side - no backstitching required. Stronger seams

  7. #32
    Senior Member Bobbinchick's Avatar
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    Some times it depends on the pattern you are working with. Some call for the seam to be pressed to the dark, others say to the light, and things like dresden plates are pressed open so there won't be too much bulk when you sew the wedges together.
    Please don't fuss over it, just do it the way that is comfortable for you. Good luck, Huggies, fay

  8. #33
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    grammyp

    That is what I was told by my Grandma also. And Granny knows best. When making a civil war wall hanging I did press the seams open and they do lay much flatter. It is at the quilters now can't wait to see if she says anything about how it was to quilt.

    Suzy

  9. #34
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    I really don't think it makes much difference if you are machine piecing. I usually will press to one side if I'm doing 4 or 9 patches, but if I'm doing something like a hexagon (One Block Wonders) or any type of kaleidoscope or star block where 6 or more points come together, I will press open to reduce some of the bulk at the point. And with todays fabrics, if you are using a good quality quilting cotton, I really don't think it matters if you press to the dark or light. The seam is only 1/4 inch, and unless the fabric is really thin, most people wouldn't even notice if your seam was showing under the light fabric.

    Best word of advice... try it both ways, with different blocks ( 4 Patch, Kaleidoscope or hexagon) and see which way you like best, and do what works for YOU!!!!

  10. #35
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spring
    Why are the seams pressed to the side rather then pressed open like in garment construction?
    I did it but Im loosing sleep as to why.

    Also am I correct in my thinking that each row should be pressed opposite direction?
    I learned to quilt in the 80's when polyester battings were the norm and seams to one side were taught to keep the batting from creeping through. It also makes a stronger seam for wear.
    I haven't used polyester batting in years, but I still press to one side - it's just easier than pressing a little 1/4" seam open. I do press star centers or other complex blocks open to reduce bulk. I've always taught my quilt classes that way - and to press rows in opp. directions, they will nest and corners match more easily. :)

  11. #36
    Senior Member tryitall's Avatar
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    Just today I received my Quilting magazine. It had an insert with quilter's tips. This was one of the topics. Everyone has their own way. Some liked pressing to the side and some liked pressing open, and some pressed toward the dark fabric. Do whatever feels right to you.

  12. #37
    Member PattyJean's Avatar
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    Either way is acceptable and more classes are using the press open method. Pressing to one side is really helpful when you are sewing rows or blocks together as you can butt the 2 seams pressed in different directions to help you get a perfect corner match.

  13. #38
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammyp
    My grandmother said it was so the batting didn't poke out through the stitches. Don't know if that is the original purpose for pressing to the side, but it works for me.
    Yes, that was the original purpose, but also for a stronger seam once quilted. I have some older quilts that the stitching has started coming apart, but you can't see the batting poking through because the maker pressed to the side, and I am able to whip stitch the seam back together easily.

    It's personal preference. Sometimes I press open on a small item to reduce the bulk at the seams.

  14. #39
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I sew the way I was taught to sew clothing. I was trained as a professional seamstress. I will press open and to the side depending.

  15. #40
    Super Member ksea's Avatar
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    I saw a video of Alex Anderson and she said to press to one side so the stitches won't show

  16. #41
    Super Member desertrose's Avatar
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    I agree with momymom about reducing the bulk when all seams converge in the center of a dresden type circle and the pressed to the dark side to prevent slowing through. The prefernce is your's becasue there are no quilt police to arrest you. LOL

    Andie

  17. #42
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    I think the idea to press the seams to one side is held over from days with quilters hand pieced, and that made the seam stronger. But with the wonderful machines we have today, and the stitches are secure, to press open evens out the bulk.

  18. #43
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    I think this is one of those wash/don't wash type of discussions. Do it the way you want. I do have doubts about pressing open when you quilt QID, you will catch no fabric. I also like the idea of making the seam as strong as possible. I do press open the stem of a Y seam. In ready made the seams that have a lot of stress are usually reinforced some way.

  19. #44
    Senior Member pinebeltquilter's Avatar
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    I was told that if you pressed yoour seam to the side instead of open, it could withstand more stress. Also, on your backing it is better if you have to sew 2 pieces together to make it wide enough, you should put a solid piece in the middle and split the other one and sew to each side because most of the stress happens in the middle. I don't know if this is actually true, but that is why I do it. :thumbup:

  20. #45
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    If you press all the seams open, then stitch on the machine, a certain number (lots) will flip over to one side anyway. Also, if you are able to 'nest' your seams, you get crisp points. However, if you want to press them open, go ahead. It's your quilt, and there is always more than one way to do everything. Make it easy on yourself.

  21. #46
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    It's just ever so much easier to press to one side. And always press seam so that they nest when rows are sewn together. Try pressing 1/4 inch seams open and you'll burn your fingers. And they won't come out straight.

    Hugs,
    Cynthia

  22. #47
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spring
    Why are the seams pressed to the side rather then pressed open like in garment construction?
    I did it but Im loosing sleep as to why.

    Also am I correct in my thinking that each row should be pressed opposite direction?
    If you are matching the seams with another piece, you iron one row in one direction and the next row in another direction and then they butt up against each other without the need for pinning. You have less bulk , because one side of the join flops over to the right and the other flops to the left. Of course, sometimes,you do press the seams open - especially if you want less bulk. This method is especially useful when making stars where up to 16 pieces can come together in the centre (as in the Giant Dahlia Quilt). You press them open so that the centre will sit flatly.

  23. #48
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    Also because our ancestors pieced by hand and it did make the seam stronger because there was less stress on the stitiching.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Mostly because we do things the way our ancestors did. They pressed seams all to one side to keep the batting in. Batting wasn't bonded or needle punched, it was just carded cotton laid on the backing. Plus hand sewn seams have little tiny gaps in the stitching if they're pressed open.

    Carded cotton is sort of combed between two wide flat brush type things. They pull all the cotton fibers in one direction.

  24. #49

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    I just read today that the seams are pressed to the darker material, unless they just want to be pressed the other direction. The reason is so that the batting does not come through the stitches to the front of the quilt during construction and use. Sounds sensible to me. Was reading an old quilting basics book while I was siting for 4 hours with an alzhimers patient. Do this every Thursday so his wife gets a break. The book was the first one I ever bought, "Quilters Complete Guide", by Fons and Porter. Very good information.

  25. #50

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    I just read today that the seams are pressed to the darker material, unless they just want to be pressed the other direction. The reason is so that the batting does not come through the stitches to the front of the quilt during construction and use. Sounds sensible to me. Was reading an old quilting basics book while I was siting for 4 hours with an alzhimers patient. Do this every Thursday so his wife gets a break. The book was the first one I ever bought, "Quilters Complete Guide", by Fons and Porter. Very good information.

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