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  1. #1
    Binding Belle

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    May 2016
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    Default How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    I've been making a herringbone quilt MSQC style, which means the blocks have bias edges all around. The HSTs I pressed to the dark side, but all the other seams (i.e. to join the blocks are top) are pressed open to reduce bulk. Maybe it's the nature of the bias beast, but those seams keep wanting to flop around and ruffle up as I join the major sections of the top together. In one of my most fussy quilting moments ever, I enacted a plan: use a fine-tipped bottle of elmer's glue and baste down all the vertical seams in the top. These are the longest and the most likely to misbehave. It works, but it takes a long, long time. But those seams are staying put until I baste the quilt sandwich together!

    Sewing blocks together into a top is one of the most awkward parts of quilting for me next to basting, since you're handling so much bulk and you don't have the control you do with small pieces. This is where things start to go awry for me. How do you protect all the meticulous pressing that went into your blocks when you put together the top? Is it usually not worth the bother to fret over seams staying put/pressed?

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    I'm pretty fussy. If I have a lot of HSTs, I sometimes press them open. Or if I press to the dark side, and there are several seams coming together at one spot, I use the Clover Pen to relax the fabrics. I put just a drop of liquid on the seams & press it with the iron. When all else fails, use a wooden or rubber mallet.

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  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    Yup, me too...very fussy about the seams laying flat. I discovered that my machine has a little lip between the machine and the extension table that would cause my seams to flip as I was sewing.
    I also use starch if there's a lot of intense matching required. The starch really makes the fabric stiff and it will keep a crease.

  5. #4
    The Guild President

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    Jan 2017
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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    Another fussy pants here about seams and the back of the quilt. I use starch on the back too and press into place. There have been the occasional twist in a seam allowance but those are ironed flat. Pinwheel points are twirled to decrease bulk.

    Glue works well and was a feature topic at the LQS event last month.

  6. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    Hi

    I too is fussy with flat seams. I use starch when pressing and that seams to do the trick.
    It gets stiff and lay down very flat. I press all my seams open.


    God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The stash to make a quilt to help me cope,
    A quilt to give to comfort those I love in times of hurt, fear and uncertainty.
    And the courage to keep on sewing when life itself seems held together by a single thread of hope.

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  8. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    I want my seams to be flat. I press with a little steam and that usually does the trick. I haven't pounded mine with a rubber mallet yet.

  9. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Apr 2014
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    South of Dayton, OH
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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    I find that if you have a lot of bias in the pattern it is best to starch the fabric before cutting.
    No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
    Aesop

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  11. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    Fussy pants here too about flat seams, especially if I'm going to quilt myself. When fabric is cut on the bias, I starch it and handle as little as possible not to stretch. I use an awl, when guiding the seams through the machine.

    Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

    Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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  13. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    The aspect of all seams laying flat used to make me bonkers. No matter how many times I would iron, I would have one that would flip. And then I realized what I was doing wrong, lol. I started finger pressing all my seams bias edge or not. I would stitch my entire block finger pressing the whole time. Then moving to the ironing board and only pressing from the top side. I learned before cutting any fabric, if I starch it first, then finger pressing is almost as good as running the iron on each seam. Then I got a wool pressing mat. Because of all the fabric work leading up to the whole block being ironed, the pressing mat would allow everything to be extremely flat. You could also put a towel on your ironing board for better pressing (not ironing) results. Always press from the front, and your flipped bias seams should go away.
    Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

    https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

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  15. #10
    The Guild President

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    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: How fussy are you about your seams staying flat?

    Not fussy. I thank heaven there are no quilt police!

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