Together or to the Side - Getting Technical

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I've been wondering on how to press seams lately. I know it doesn't sound like something to keep you up at night, but it does have me wondering. It looks like I'm not the only one. Please excuse me while I get technical.

I've been taught to press to one side and have been doing just that for years. However, when I took my star quilt quilt to be quilted it was pointed out to me that there were a few areas where you could see the darker prints showing through the lighter ones. Since the next quilt is using a white that is quite unforgiving when it comes to darker prints, I thought I should consider changing my ways.

The first block has them split. The advantages being

*The seams are less bulky
*There is never a dark print behind the light ones

The second one has them to one side. The advantages being

*Bias seams are pressed across not along – hence less stretching
*By alternating the direction at junctions, the seams can “nest together” when sewing – helpful when making points meet
*The dark fabric is always partially masked by the light one when pressing to the light side.

The second block has the stars of lighter red showing through, slightly. This would have happened with both options

It appears that the biggest problem is the ends of half square triangles, as you can see in the first block. I end up with dark fabric showing behind the lighter in both options, however in the second one, I've taken the time to cut the half squares square at the corners again after pressing.

The options stack up pretty evenly, but for the sake of pressing to one side being quicker and resulting in less burns to this amateurs finger tips I'll be sticking with pressing to one side for now.

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  1. you are so right about the time and burnt fingers - it was definitely a case of oooh! oooh! ooooh! for me - and it takes WAY longer. I will keep doing it for some projects - certainly stars and pinwheel blocks. But will also cheerfully press to one side if that's right at the time.

  2. I was also thought to press to one side while quilting. For garment sewing my mom was pushing me to press open.
    Well, since I am sewing quilts now I press my seems to one side, usually the darker one.
    However, I just finished a quilt with bunch of half square triangles and bulky seems were my enemy. I am considering opening mine from now on.


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