Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Tips - Pressing

Today's tip is talking about pressing.   Today I was over at Linked In following some of the conversations going on.  There was one discussion on pressing and one discussion on whether to use starch, sizing or Best Press.

First:   I press the seam to set it before pressing it over.

Second:  I press to the dark, unless you need to press it the opposite direction to make the seams nest.
On pinwheel and four patch blocks, I spin the center intersection to make it lay flat.

Third:  I use Best Press or a bottle of water for pressing.  I have had an occasional problem with Best Press leaving a yellow mark because my iron it too hot.  So when in doubt, I use a little spray of just water.  I also use steam in my iron.  I like sharp, crisp seams.

Fourth:  I experimented with pressing seams open below in my pictures.  I maybe more of a believer in pressing more seams open to distribute bulk.  The blocks I am going to show in the pictures are extremely flat. 

In February our guild had a speaker who was very vocal about pressing seams open.  My sewing sister, also has begun pressing her seams open.  She made her king size Celtic Solstice (Bonnie Hunter's 2013 Holiday Mystery) pressing all seams open.  So I have decided to try it.
So here is the block I have been working on for BOM Quilt Doodle Designs.com.
Here is the back.  On each row I pressed the seams so they would nest with the next row.  But when I sewed the rows together, I pressed the seams open.  I had used Best Press on all the fabrics when pressing the fabric before cutting each block.  Therefore, as I piecing all the blocks held their shape and the seams were crisp.
Here are my blocks for the 2014 Country Threads BOM Feb.

I pressed every seam open.  This block is 12 1/2"
 This is the small block for Feb. 2014 BOM for Country Threads.
This block is 6 1/2".  Both the large block and the small block lay extremely flat.  This will make quilting on these blocks a dream.
I have had several quilts on my longarm machine lately that had big bumps from the intersections of seams.  This is hard on the needle, thread and the hopping foot can get caught and do damage.  So I decided that I would start experimenting on my own quilt blocks so I can make suggestions when I teach and to my quilting customers.
I also am very pleased with the result of pressing my fabrics with Best Press before cutting.  Then the Best Press works to hold the shapes of pieces, makes for sharp folds and blocks turn out the correct size along with staying square.
Today I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River.
Yours in quilting,


  1. Lots of great information! I press in various ways depending on the quilt and about half the time I press my seams open. Thanks for sharing! Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

    1. Thanks Connie. Glad to hear we all use different pressing methods. Its fun to see fellow quilters have open minds because we are always learning from each other. Love that we can share our ideas via the internet.

  2. Hi Terry Johnson,
    I'm Terri Johnson. Found you listed as a comment on Val's blog and had to come "see" you. What a small world!

    1. Hi Terri Johnson. Small world indeed. Glad you stopped by, please stay in touch. :)

  3. Great information. I've often pondered pressing seams open and I appreciate the samples that you showed.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I was against pressing seams open until lately. I can now see a benefit. I am a sponge always open to learning and changing.