Friday, September 25, 2015

Pressing Quilt Seams for Perfect Points

Block of the Month Sneak Peak
Which size are you going to make?
You can even make a version using all five sizes.
Look at those perfect points!

Have you admired quilts with perfect points and corners wished yours could be so nice?  One trick to be more precise is press your seams to help you out.

Since I started quilting, I've been pressing all my quilt seams open for two reasons. The first is just habit - I'd been sewing for many years before I started quilting and learned to press seams open for dressmaking, tailoring and home decorating.  The second reason is that I do my own quilting on a home sewing machine and humps formed by thick layers of seam allowance can interfere with smooth quilting.  Pressing seams open keeps them flat and easier to quilt over.  But matching seams and getting perfect points when seams are pressed open can be more difficult and usually involves a lot more fussy pinning or glue basting.

I'm participating in our Year of Half-Square Triangles BOM to learn new techniques and improve my piecing skills.  So I'm going to try to master the art of press seams to one side.  I asked Diane, our BOM pattern designer, for a lesson and think I'm getting the hang of it.  You want to press all seams so that when you sew the next intersection, the seems go in opposite directions allowing them to lock in place.  Some patterns will give seam pressing directions, but if your pattern doesn't you want to plan how to press.  Diane showed me how she draws arrows on the pattern to indicate seam direction.  

Our next post on Block #1 will have more about pressing seams on this project.

by Amy Aderman

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