Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pressing Issues

I had a little experiment going yesterday while working on my 9-patch squares. I usually press all my seems open - I like how neat and flat the blocks turn out. But, being pretty new to the exactness of quilting, I often get corners like this:

Lame, shifty squares. I pin, follow the presser foot, try to rotary cut perfectly - nothing seems to help 100% of the time if I have to match up more than one seam across. But see how nice and smooth those seams are? So I tried a couple of blocks pressing the seams to one side or the other, then nested them.

Ooohh, pretty corner. But look at that huge cliff on top of the orange dots!

That awesome dotty fabric was sent to me by my new internet-friend, Chen. Happy, Fun mail!

I did a few more pressing to the side and all ended up nicely aligned, but lumpy. Sitting back and thinking on which thing would annoy me less, as well as what would show less once quilted.

I decided to go with side pressing - but opening up the final seam, since they are all going to be sashed and not directly joined. As I go along with more experience, I may change my mind, but this seams (couldn't resist the pun) best for now.

And also, thanks for all the nice comments about my finally-hung quilt! I think I may make a few specifically for hanging. They make the wall look so happy.


Goddess in Progress said...

Isn't it funny, I think we all do things the way we were first taught. My very first quilting class always taught me to press to the side, not open (she might have said something about stronger seams, but I couldn't be 100% sure). So I've always done it that way!

And my corners are still not always perfection, but it sure does help.

Isa said...

I’ve been having the exact same problem. I also press my seams open for the same reason as you, I think they look nicer, but maybe I should try and experiment with it too.
Thank you for sharing, this is why I love blog land so much, I learn so many helpful things.

One Flew Over said...

I love the look of these 9 patch squares, that orange fabric is so sweet.

I have the same problem with my squares meeting up and I press all seams to the side.

It may not always look perfect but for me, its more about the actual creating and the sense of achievement I get from making something.

kangaroo said...

as a self-taught quilter i never even used to pick up an iron while piecing. then i went through the same experiment; i love the look of a pressed open quilt top back, but if there is a darker print i typically press toward it now. is there a right way? i really don't think so. LOVE those oranges and greens together, by the way.

Mushyhed said...

I also press my seams to the side and I have problems getting my seams to match sometimes. I read somewhere online that if you press your seams open, you can get a more accurate piecing. I guess theres no "no fail" way to do it :)
I LOVE what you did with the orange dotted fabric. Soo Cute. Actually, I love all your 9 patches. It's going to be a cute quilt!!

Barbara Myltschenko said...

Okay seriously, thank goodness I'm not the only person out there that this happens to. We should start an entire support group for this issue. I just hope that no one notices them as much as I do!