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twinsister2 05-20-2020 12:18 PM

Lesson needed here
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My friend gave me this simple 9 patch to quilt and every seam on it was pressed open.... needless to say, all the seams are on the weak side... some separated as I quilted and I had to do a little bit of mending... the lesson on pressing to one side will be passed on to her!

Tartan 05-20-2020 12:27 PM

Some people swear by pressing open. I did it on one quilt and did not care for the seam opening enough to see the stitches when I quilted. They did close up after washing the quilt but I press to the side whenever possible.

Iceblossom 05-20-2020 12:39 PM

Editing in this first paragraph because I forgot to say what a nice job you did and what a good friend you are!

I press open and have for some 40 years. When pressing open you do need a smaller stitch length, which you also need for our strip piecing/cutting techniques.

Almost all machines have their default stitch as much too wide/long for quilting, you should never be able to pull any stitches easily out from a seam. A slight V at the end is acceptable but still not ideal.

I realize I'm running in the opposite direction of the pack, but I have reasons for pressing open. It can work very well, but not with big stitches!

tallchick 05-20-2020 12:45 PM

I always press open, but I always shorten my stitch length and have never had a issue when I quilt them in my longarm. Perhaps remind her to shorten her stitch length if she prefers to press her seams open.

Jingle 05-20-2020 03:39 PM

I press to the side. Seems to work out the best. If lots of bulk I press main seams open. Seems like a pain to me.

granky 05-20-2020 03:44 PM

I prefer pressing to the side...to each his own....

ladyinpurple135 05-20-2020 07:36 PM

I have done both - pressing to the side and pressing seams open. As others have said, you need to reduce the size if your stitches in both instances. Sewing machines are set for 2.5mm stitches - try sewing at 2.0mm. Also, I’ve had professional quilters say that they prefer pressing seams open to eliminate the slight bump when quilting over seams. The more seams in the quilt blocks, the harder it can be to quilt well. There shouldn’t be seams that pull apart anywhere. Maybe the tension is slightly off or the stitches are too big for piecing. If you have block seams at end at the edge and you’re not adding borders, thise ending seams should be backstitched to keep them from separating. Way back in my dinosaur days of learning to quilt, we did everything by hand and we always did a back stitch at the end of sewing. With machines this isn’t being taught anymore. I hate backstitching but I try to use it when a seam isn’t being crossed by another piece.

Thanks for listening,
Sandy in Mooresville, NC

Vasilisa 05-20-2020 10:35 PM

A lot has been said on the seams, I just wish to add that the quilt looks very nice and homey!

Jordan 05-21-2020 07:05 AM

Nice 9 patch and nice quilting. I know some people like to press their seams open but I myself feel that it does weaken the seams. However, if there is going to be a lot of bulk at the intersections then I think pressing open seams does help to eliminate bulk.

juliasb 05-21-2020 07:09 AM

When I first started quilting I had no clue about even pressing my seams. Then I watched QIAD on public tv and saw Eleanor Burns pressing to the side so I followed her lead. There were many times because of the bulk that I would open and iron down. It wasn't until this thread that I now understand the reason for pressing to the one side, which I do routinely. Thanks for the lesson that someone who has been quilting for more than 30 years had no clue why I pressed to one side I just did it .

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