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  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default Pressing Matters!?

    I've been quilting for a little over 10 years and the one issue that I have always dealt with is pressing the bulk. I do patterns out of magazines a lot or free off line. There are a lot of patterns that give you direction on how to press each block and row and so forth. On an easy quilt like four patches I have a system of pressing the opposite ways so the seam nest.
    When you get into the more complicated blocks like bear claw, jacobs ladder, stars and so on....does anyone have any kind of rule of thumb?
    Sometimes I will press open but wow that's time consuming, and I found points don't match up as well as when you nest seams. I thought about not pressing at all til the block is done as well for those blocks, if you think about it if you hand sew a block you never stop to press seams. I'm finishing up my bear claw this week and like in cross stitch I like my back to look as good as my front and its really not but it's fine, just thought I'd throw this question out there. I bolded my actual question. TIA

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    Generally I try to press to the dark side. Sometimes you get a lot of bulk. I will also pick out the last 3 threads after the intersection sometimes if it is too bulky.
    Blankets wrap you in warmth, quilts wrap you in love

    Marilyn......

  3. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    I try to press to the dark side too. Sometimes with the pointy bits it makes a huge lump and it's easier if I press it the other way.
    Shhhh! Don't tell, but sometimes, I even flip the seam direction part way through one seam!
    The quilt police are gonna love that one! I say ! If it makes the quilt lie flat, then I'm OK with it.

    I have seen some folks who swirl the intersections to reduce the bulk. My poor pea-pickin' brain just does NOT get how to make that happen. I don't get the paper-piecing technique either, so it's probably just me.
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  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    Yes I tried the swirl as well, I don't get it either. Glad I'm not the only one!
    Last edited by Momofmonsters5; March 13th, 2013 at 04:25 AM.

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    Unfortunately, it's not always possible to nest seams . I just pin the seams together carefully and I don't pull the pin out until I'm almost on top of it. When I pin I make sure it's going through both seams. I push the pin in vertically and then carefully finish pushing the point into the fabric so I don't disturb the alignment. If you get a spot that just won't match up consider this. Remove the stitches an inch or so on either side of the seams that aren't lining up. Line them up again. Start sewing right before the seam and stop right after. Check it. Then go back and sew the rest of the seam. That way any shifting in the fabric caused by the feed dogs won't affect the join of those pesky seams. That should help resolve those problem areas. To avoid having to pick out a bunch of seams. Start out by doing a few and see how it's going. If it looks like you'll be having problems along the way I highly recommend trying this. It may take a few extra minutes to sew over those seams first but it may save lots of cursing and frustration and give you more accurate joins.
    Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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  7. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    If you don't plan to SID it is perfectly fine to press the seams open.

    Harriet Hargrave recommends making a few test blocks to try possible pressing options.

    If many seams meet in the center, there is also a method to open up the seam JUST to the point and swirl the center seams. It decreases the bulk and does not weaken the seam.

    My motto: If it's bulky beat it into submission with lots of steam. lol
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric
    Martina (aka MadQuilter in other forums)

  8. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    Lol the steam comment! Thanks ladies I do all of those things well not the swirl, glad to hear bulky seams are just part of quilting and sometimes they are just going to be bulky

  9. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    Picking the last three stiches or so at the intersection is a technique I've seen Eleanor Burns us time and time again, you might look on Youtube and watch a few of her videos as to that technique. She swears by it. Especially for stars.

    Pressing to the dark is a standard, but it doesn't always mean that there will be no bulk. Not that I have found. Especially if your patterns has you sewing darks to darks later after the first press.

  10. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    I'm confused by this Eleanor Burns technique...
    Can anyone enlighten me?
    I really need to get off the exclamation point.
    It may give people the idea that I'm bright and cheerful all the time....

  11. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Pressing Matters!?

    Here is one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tIx...kCSRA&index=40 the swirl part starts at about 3:45 or so. Very cool! I bought this day and night book after seeing Madampolo's quilt. Got to finish some other projects and then want to start this one!
    Lisa

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