Do You Backstitch?


What's Your Style

This is the eleventh entry in my series called What’s Your Style? In our everyday lives, we all have our own way of doing things; quilters are no exception to this trait. Even though there are standardized techniques to follow, when creating items with fabric, many of us choose to do our own thing. This series explores those individual habits. Let’s see what today’s question is.

When stitching a seam on a sewing machine a quilter has the option to secure the seam both at the beginning and at the end by backstitching. The backstitching helps to keep the seam from opening up.

Today’s question is:

Do you backstitch your seams? Why or Why Not?

This is my response:

Being a longarm quilter I am acutely aware of the need for backstitching. When a quilt is loaded on a longarm quilt machine the top and bottom edges are secured in place using pins, clamps or a basting stitch. These techniques help to keep seams from opening up.

The seams on the left and right edges are not typically secured. In this instance it would be a great idea to make certain the seams have been backstitched. If the seams are not backstitched they have a tendency to pull apart. Another option is add a row of stitching a scant 1/4” in from the edge all the way around the quilt top and backing. This too will prevent seams from pulling apart.

For my own projects this is my methodology:

  1. If I’m stitching an item that I know will not be cut into smaller sections I usually backstitch both at the beginning and at the end of the seam.
  2. If I’m stitching a seam that will be exposed at the outer edge of my finished project I  will do backstitching.

Now it’s your turn to share your opinion by adding a comment.

  • Don’t be bashful!
  • Nobody will judge you!
  • The quilt police will not come knocking on your door. 🙂
  • Let’s have some FUN!

Thank YOU for participating in this fun survey!

P.S. Are there questions you would like to discuss in future editions of this series, if so, share them in a comment.

 

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Open, Left or Right


What's Your Style

This is the tenth entry in my series What’s Your Style? In our everyday lives, we all have our own way of doing things; quilters are no exception to this trait. Even though there are standardized techniques to follow, when creating items with fabric, many of us choose to do our own thing. This series explores those individual habits. Let’s see what today’s question is.

After stitching a seam some quilters set the seam with an iron. Setting the seam is a simple technique. The two pieces of fabric that were stitched together are then placed on a pressing surface, such as an ironing board. A warm iron is gently set on top of the closed seam then lifted. At this point the quilter must make a decision, which direction will she/he press the seam?

Open,

Left, or

Right

This is my response:

The direction I press my seams depends upon the item I am working with.

  1. If I’m working on a block that requires accurate piecing I typically press my seams open. I do this because I think they lay much flatter and as a result my block measurements are more accurate.
  2. If my seams need to be nested I press one to the left and the other to the right.
  3. If I’m creating an abstract art piece I press my seams in all different directions. The only goal is to avoid those bulky intersections that are a quilting nightmare.

Now it’s your turn to share your opinion by adding a comment.

  • Don’t be bashful!
  • Nobody will judge you!
  • The quilt police will not come knocking on your door. 🙂
  • Let’s have some FUN!

Thank YOU for participating in this fun survey!

P.S. Are there questions you would like to discuss in future editions of this series, if so, share them in a comment.

 

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Flip or No Flip


What's Your Style

We have been discussing aspects of sewing for several weeks now. How do you like the series so far?

The topic for today’s discussion is seams. Seams are created when two or more pieces of fabric are joined together. When rows of quilt blocks are stitched together a sandwich is made by laying the bottom row right side up, and the top row right side down. The two rows are then joined together with a line of stitching. After completing the stitching the new unit is removed from the machine. After removing the new unit I always look on the back side to see if my seams are laying in the proper direction. Sometimes a seam might flip and unfortunately end up facing the wrong way. That drives me bonkers! Argh! I wish they would all behave and stay in line. It’s almost like trying to hurd cats and we all know how successful that is. I almost always reach for my seam ripper and open up the seam to fix them.

So here is the question for today:

If you find that one or more of your seams has flipped do you remove the stitching and fix it?

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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.

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