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Hello Everyone,

Wow, Wow, Wow... Since my first post on this subject of pressing the seams open or to one side, it has generated a TON of chatter and quite a debatable topic. I read every single comment and appreciate all the input. So I thought it would be great to revisit and talk about some of the views on this issue.

For the most part, we all press seams to one side and were taught to do this from our first quilting class or lesson. I know that is how I was taught almost 18 years ago. And by far, that is how I continue to press, with a few exceptions.

I thought I would show you the back of my silk twister quilt. As you can see, ALL the seams were pressed to one side. This is a quilt where there was little in the way of seams crossing paths, so not a whole lot of bulk.

A lot of talk was brought up about quilting when the seams are pressed to one side versus open. In this scenario, it is quite easy to accomplish a stitch in the ditch and the seams maintain their integrity.

However, stitching in the ditch when the seams are pressed open may not serve as the best quilting alternative. Mostly because you are not quilting the fabric but the thread holding the seam together.

So when you do press the seams open to reduce the bulk, the quilting design should be over the surface of the fabric and not in the ditch. This way you will insure that the quilt will wash and wear well for years to come.

Here is an example of me using a combination of both pressing to one side and open. The quilting will be over the surface of the fabric. But you can see in this example there are many seams meeting all up at the center, therefore this block now lays quite flat as they are pressed open. This (for me being a long arm quilter) is a dream.

Just a close up of the seams in both direction.

More seams pressed open. As said in the previous post about pressing seams open on strip sets, it does help in relieving the wonkiness that could occur. I would not advice to stitch in the ditch, definitely quilt over the surface.

One other thought had come up about the seams being pressed open was that the batting might come through over time. From my experience, having done this on several quilts and have washed them over and over again, the batting has never come through. But I suppose that could differ with quilts depending on the batting that you might use.

In the above photo, you can see a combination of open seams and seams pressed to one side. The reason for this is that in paper piecing, you generally will press to one side. When I joined the four quadrants I opened the side seams.

A last thought on pressing of seams open, in garment making this is how we were always taught... press those seams open. Now we wear our clothing and there is lots of stress on those seams all the time. So it is my belief that the strength of the seam is not that different from pressing it to one side. Just my humble opinion.

I hope that this post helps give some more insight into this subject matter. Click here for the previous post on this subject. So go forth and press on!!

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Until Next Time...
Jackie Kunkel
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Meet Jackie

Jackie Kunkel

I am a quilter, online quilt shop owner, Nationally Certified Judy Niemeyer Instructor and Certified Shop, designer, author, podcaster, mother, and wife. I have been quilting since 1993 years and in business since August, 2000. I love networking and having fun doing anything quilty! Learn More…

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