Pressing Matters

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Having longarmed for the public for several years, I’ve seen a lot of quilts, many with poorly pressed seams.

I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a new quilter. I often feel like I’m still a novice! There’s always more to learn.

But back to those seams. I don’t think new quilters understand how much those pesky things effect the overall finish of a quilt. Twisted seams make lines look crooked, and seams that aren’t pressed absolutely flat make the quilt take on that “homemade” look… versus the handcrafted look we’re all after.

Seams
Seams

A pressing plan helps a lot. While I don’t map out the entire quilt ahead of time, I do plan each block, sashing and rows so that all seams nest.

You might notice in the picture above, not all seams are pressed towards the dark side. While that’s a great starting point, personally I think pressing to eliminate bulk is more important.

Threads Galore
Threads Galore

Notice how much fraying is going on in the bottom half of this picture, versus the upper half? The bottom is a block, and I messed up nearly all of the blocks at the quilt retreat, and spent at least as much time ripping them out and fixing them as I did sewing them.

The upper half of the picture is the first border, which I did at home. This picture tells me that I probably shouldn’t sew in public!

Flat Seams
Flat Seams

My goal when I press my quilts, first the blocks, then the borders, is for the top to be as flat as possible, with nice crisp seams. I’m a fan of both steam and starch, whatever it takes!

This becomes especially important if the quilt will be custom quilted. It’s impossible for a longarm quilter to accurately stitch in the seams if they are twisted, and if the seams aren’t pressed flat, they can go wonky while being quilted as the hopping foot will push them along.

I managed to finish piecing the top today, yippee! I used my AccuQuilt Hunter’s Die to cut the blocks.

2019 Hunters Star QoV
2019 Hunters Star QoV

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means, we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something from a link we post (including links to amazon.com because we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.) Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything.

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. I always appreciate your insight into how and why you do things the way that you do. Your seams look well pressed, which I struggle with as I don’t usually use steam. After seeing how nice yours are, I may have to convert to steam for my final pressing. Love the borders on this quilt with the red accents in the corners.

    1. Thanks Chris. I always use steam, and a final press of each completed block and the birders is done with starch as well.

  2. It is so crisp looking, just super!

    1. My little portable Rowenta retreat iron really isn’t hot enough. I had to press all the blocks again when I got home.

  3. My iron just died! Which one do you prefer?

    1. I have had the yellow Olivia for about 5 years now. It has been a fabulous iron! I’d buy another in a heartbeat.

  4. Do you use a Go cutter or the Studio version?

    1. I have the Studio with the adaptor so I can use the GO! Dies also.

  5. Absolutely beautifully crisp quilt and I love that blue. Thanks for the tips also. Your internet friend in Jersey 🙂

    1. Thanks Maureen! Anything to make the quilting easier!

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