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Utica, NY(Zone 4b)

Why...can't I iron my seams open on my quilt pieces? why must they go to one side or the other? How do you determine what side they should be iron towards? I have never done so much ironing before in my life as I have done on this disappear nine patch!! seams this way...seams that way...I was guessing the whole time...So do tell..if there is a secret to this mystery?!?

I'm a clothing sewer by trait so this tends to baffle me...


(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Usually press to the darker fabric side, or when two seams meet, iron one each way.
I'm doing a D9P now too and there are so many seams you just have to hope most of them work out.

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

Hello janemarierose! :)

If you press your seams open, the threads in the seam might be put under too great a stress and result in torn fabric or broken threads.

When you press neatly to the side, there is no seam being strained and pulled open - by the weight of the quilt hanging over the bed, for instance. Or even more so, the weight of a wet quilt in the washing machine or dryer.

Quilting over the top of these seams that are pressed to the side reinforces that join and holds it firm.

Careful pressing is critical to good clothing construction as you know. It's just as much or even more critical when quilting. Keeping patches correctly placed and shaped is vital to ending up with a square block that fits together properly with other square blocks. (or hex, or triangle or diamond, etc. :) )

As for the mystery - I know what you mean! A general rule is to press toward the fabric that hides the other fabric better - usually this will be the darkest fabric. But sometimes, it might be better to press toward the print even though it's lighter, because the print hides the solid better than the solid hides the print behind it. (does that make sense? I feel like I'm babbling, again! LOL!) It's whichever way hides the seam allowance best.

Sometimes a quilt designer will figure out a way to tell you which direction to press the seams in order that the seams will nest together and create a perfect junction when you get to the NEXT step.

I hope that helps. :) If you run into any troubles, there are some very good advisors, here with a lot more experience than I have. :)

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

You did a better job of that than I did. LOL

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Both of you explained it well, just in different ways! ^_^

I have a "WHY?" . . . (not to change the subject, but WHY is my question!) . . . WHY does Joann's not take paypal payments? Finally what I want is on sale, can get it for free shipping, but can't because they don't take paypal . . .

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Seems to me they are missing out. Not too smart on their part.

I like this WHY is a good thread.

This message was edited Nov 10, 2011 12:00 AM

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

There is a quilter out there somewhere that recommends pressing seams open, to even out the bulk when those areas are joined, but for the life of me I can't remember who it is. Supposed to make it easier to quilt over, without meeting a 'bump'. I thought it odd that everyone else presses both to the dark and that lady said to open the seams. I, too, used to sew clothes for years and the seams were pressed open, then when I got into this quilting, the rules said otherwise..

Nicole, I run into the same thing. I would rather use my PayPal acct for online purchases, but find that many online fabric sites don't offer it. I guess it's similar to some stores for a long time wouldn't take Discover.
My big question is "Why is it that when Joann's has a big sale, their prices go up? " LOL (it just seems that way to me, anyway)

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

I started writing and then had to run to Sonic to get dinner for the family (gosh, they want to eat!) and so a lot of time had passed between the time I started and the time I actually posted the message.

Then I saw silio's reply and I laughed to myself and wondered why I couldn't manage to answer without using up five hundred words.

My kids will tell you this. If you ask me how to write your name, I'll tell you how to manufacture the pen and paper. LOL!

I think it's from being the firstborn and helping to raise siblings - I learned early to explain, explain, explain..... and explain until they went to sleep! LOLOLOL!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

It helps to press open when a lot of seams come together, like the center of a star or kaliedoscope type block. These you usually clip the seam @1" out then open just that center point.

Which way to press.................... make the sections for 1 block. Take into consideration bulk, lt vs dark fabric, nesting the joining seams. Press those pieces then leave them upside down on the ironing board.
Refer to them every time you go to press the pieces.

Sometimes it is almost impossible to get an entire seam to go 1 way or another. So clip at the point where it refuses to cooperates & press each side trhe way it wants to go.

Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)

My biggist issue with seams is trying to get both ends if the seam to point the same way when the perpendicular seams are sewn. The seams on the top of the new seam being sewn, I can guide the correct direction, but the bottom ones often get flipped by the plate. I hate when the seams then can't be sewn fully flat. Truthfully, It doesn't seem to make a difference in the final product, but it's frustrating none the less.

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