Front or Back?

What's Your Style

Welcome back! This is the third post in my series called What’s Your Style? Today’s question is about seams.

Common Guidelines

Seams, they are absolutely necessary but oh how they can create problems! When learning to sew we are taught how to press them. Here are some of the common suggestions:

  1. The first step in pressing a seam is to set the seam. Setting a seam simply means the seam is pressed closed. Pressing it closed aligns the stitches and makes the seam lay flat.
  2. If we are stitching together a light and a dark fabric the recommendation typically is to press the seam toward the dark.
  3. If we are nesting two different sections of a block together we are instructed to press one seam to the left and the other to the right.
  4. If we are having difficulty obtaining an accurate quarter inch seam, pressing your seams open may help.
  5. Bulk at intersections creates problems during the hand or machine quilting process.  Those raised bumps create areas that are impossible to quilt. To avoid this issue press your seams away from each other at the intersections. This results in a flatter quilt top and a happier quilter.

These are only a few of the suggestions that can help make life easier.

My Personal Preference

I am a real fussbudget! I like my seams to behave and lay nice and flat. To encourage these stubborn kids to behave I always set my seams first. From there, nine chances out of ten, I will typically press my seams open. I believe pressing them open achieves a more accurate block measurement as well as a much flatter seam. If I’m having difficulty getting my seam to stay open I have been known to either spritz it with water or a light mist of spray starch.

I do most of my pressing from the back. I believe I am more successful at keeping my seams all going in the desired direction when I use this method. Pressing from the back also creates a smoother finish on the right side because indentations from seam edges are less noticeable or pronounced.

Now It’s Your Turn

Today’s question has two parts:

  1. Do you press your seams from the right side or the back side of your fabric?
  2. What other guidelines do you apply when pressing your seams?

What are your thoughts? I know you have some so get busy and add your comments. 🙂 I’m dieing to read your answers.