For those that have followed my last few quilt alongs, you will notice that I am a big advocate of pressing my seams open. So I thought I would let you know why.
For starters, it makes my blocks lie really, really flat. I used to rush though the quiltmaking process, ending up with less than ideal workmanship. Over the last couple of years, I’ve started slowing things down and have noticed how utilizing good techniques really improves the quality of my work.
Additionally, since I’m writing more pattern instructions and tutorials, I need to be able to take clear pictures with easy to follow diagrams. Quite honestly, it’s such a pain figuring out which way to press the seams ahead of time so they can abutt correctly. Pressing seams flat solves that problem, too!
I think it is an old wives’ tale (or perhaps old quilter’s tale?) that seams always need to be pressed to the light side of the fabric. Yes, the conventional wisdom is that it makes for easier hand quilting, if all you are doing is quilting 1/4″ away from the ditch. But since I machine quilt
the heck out of everything, this is no longer a concern. Moreover, it’s pretty darn bulky to quilt through extra layers of fabric where the overlapping seams intersect.
Trust me, I’ve broken quite a few needles when trying to free motion quilt through an area where bulky seams were pressed to the side. Fortunately, when quilting the lines in my quilt above, I had pressed every stinking seam open so quilting was a breeze and the seam lines blended together.
Also, I’ve gotten into the habit of opening the seams first with a wooden seam roller, then going back over them with a hot dry iron. It works for me!