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Thread: Why..

  1. #1
    Spring's Avatar
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    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?

  2. #2
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    it is a personal preference, the seams are easier to match up if each one is pressed in the oppisite direction. if i can i try to press to the darker fabric so that it doesn't show thru.

  3. #3
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    I press my seams towards the darker fabric so the seams won't show through the lighter ones but can't tell you why it's all pressed to one side. I would imagine it's easier to keep track of those seams if they are on one side when pressing. I know that it helps me keep track of which side my seams are pressed when I flip the fabric over to press the front of my quilting.

  4. #4
    deema's Avatar
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    I press open. I like it better that way. I also read an article a while back about why traditional reasons for pressing to one side do not apply in machine piecing. I wish I could remember where...

    At any rate, it's really a preference thing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member momymom's Avatar
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    The seams are pressed in opposing directions to reduce bulk. In some blocks, you have many seams meeting in the center, pressing them in a "swirl" reduces the bulk, and reduces the chances of a hard bump in the top of your quilt. It also helps to match seams, and hide seams by pressing to the dark.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    Since I started glue basting I find myself pressing open more often than not. Seems to work better for me.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Actually, way back in 1980, I was taught to press to one side to prevent the polyester batting fibers that were in use then from "migrating" through seams to the front. It's one of the reasons I detest poly batting and rarely if ever use it now. I also don't care for the "slick" feel of it in my quilts.

    Also, all the other reasons mentioned here.


    Jan in VA

  10. #10
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I was told that way back when everything was sewn by hand it would strengthen the seams if they were pressed to one side - if they were open they gave away easier . now not as important with machines as they have stronger seams . That is what I was told anyways

  11. #11
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    If you have too much stress on a seam, it can split..if the seam allowances are pressed open like in sewing and the seam splits, you have a hole and can see the batting. If the allowances are pressed to the side as in quilting and the seam splits, you don't notice the batting since there is a layer of fabric below.

  12. #12
    Junior Member chiaraquilts's Avatar
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    I found this article http://www.straw.com/equilters/libra...SeamsOpen.html and it changed my mind about pressing seams open. I have always (20+ years!!!) struggled with getting seams to match and this method has worked well for me - I too was taught to press seams to one side, but I am getting better results with pressing them open.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dani's Avatar
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    Because of the "lock stitch" that sewing machines make it is not necessary to press to one side. Do as you prefer...neither way is wrong.

  14. #14
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I was taught to press them to one side, but it seems to be whatever you prefer. No quilt police here.

  15. #15
    Super Member granny_59's Avatar
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    If you press open and you quilt in the ditch you only would be sewing over the thread.........makes most sence to me to iron to darker side. It also helps nesting seams together for sharp points.

  16. #16
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I iron my seams to the side it makes a stronger seam.

  17. #17
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have been sewing quilts for over thirty plus years . I have almost always pressed my seams open. I have never had any issues with wear and tear. I like the look of a flat seam. It really helps to make some seams disappear, especially after its been quilted. My Long Arm person loves to do my quilts as there are no bumps the machine moves easliy over the entire quilt. I like it better when free motion for the same reason.

  18. #18
    Spring's Avatar
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    I was given a quilt kit this morning and tried pressing the seams to the side and had amazing results. I am wondering how my machine is going to feel about the bulk while quilting it.

    Thanks for all the information.

  19. #19
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    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.

  20. #20
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I prefer to press open wherever I can.

  21. #21
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RkayD
    Since I started glue basting I find myself pressing open more often than not. Seems to work better for me.
    Care to share your method? I use glue basting for binding but I've never
    done a whole quilt. Can you do a large quilt? How much glue do you put
    and per how many square inch?

  22. #22
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    When I have pressed seams open, I find that those seams tend to show stress and even break when people sit or lie on the quilts.
    I press to one side for that reason, and also to let matching seams nest into one another for better accuracy.
    .

  23. #23
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiaraquilts
    I found this article http://www.straw.com/equilters/libra...SeamsOpen.html and it changed my mind about pressing seams open. I have always (20+ years!!!) struggled with getting seams to match and this method has worked well for me - I too was taught to press seams to one side, but I am getting better results with pressing them open.
    Thank you for this link! When piecing a scrappy, its really nice to know!

  24. #24
    Super Member mmonohon's Avatar
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    I like it so I can butt the seams together and match better. But it is a personal preference.

  25. #25
    Senior Member tweetee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    I was told that way back when everything was sewn by hand it would strengthen the seams if they were pressed to one side - if they were open they gave away easier . now not as important with machines as they have stronger seams . That is what I was told anyways
    Thats what I was told too. depends in the project I am doing weather I press to one side, or open.

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