I really enjoyed our last “discussion” about pressing seams to the side vs. pressing seams open. Thank you for participating and making my first “Let’s Talk” session a great success!
I hope I didn’t come across as the quilt police; that was definitely not my intention. I do have a strong opinion about pressing seams, but it’s not a judgement against anyone who doesn’t do things my way. Whatever works for you is the best way!
In general, most of the quilters who commented, press their seams to the side unless it’s a really complex, bulky seam in which they will press that one open.
After reading all of the comments, I found some additional pearls of wisdom that I’d like to share:
- If you’re going to be free motion quilting, those bulky seam intersections can really mess with your “perfect” feather or circle. It can make it difficult to maintain a smooth motion while quilting. So pressing open helps alleviate that.
- If you know ahead of time that you’ll be stitching in the ditch, consider pressing to the side.
- Pressing seams open helps some people with accuracy in their piecing.
- If you’re piecing a really small block (think Farmer’s Wife) or miniature quilt, they might finish nicer by pressing seams open.
- If you’re pressing to the side and experiencing “bulk” issues, try using a thinner bobbin thread to help the seams lay flat.
- When pressing seams open, your stitches can unravel at the beginning or end of the seam. Shorten your stitch length.
- Some patterns don’t give pressing instructions. If you press everything open, you don’t have to
thinkguess so much!
- On bulky seam intersections, try using a small rubber mallet or hammer and give it a whack! (But be gentle)!
I also did a little more research and found a few good articles that you might find helpful:
- Pressing Like a Pro @ All People Quilt. This covers 10 great pressing tips. Short and sweet!
- How to Press Quilt Seams @ Stitch This! Good, general guidelines and a few tips.
- When You Should Press Your Seams Open by Mabry Benson. She is a very strong proponent of pressing your seams open.
I’ll probably do a “Let’s Talk” post once a month. I haven’t decided on the next topic, but I might take on the subject of sewing machines. I’d love to hear what your favorite machine is!