In class my students frequently ask me what method I use when pressing my seams - open or to the side. My answer is always the same - I use both methods. I decide which method to use depending on the following list of pros and cons and the outcome that best suits the project I'm working on.
PROS & CONS OF PRESSING SEAMS OPEN OR TO THE SIDE
I believe it's great to have rules and traditions and once we understand why these exist or existed we can also be open to adapting them and using new methods alongside or instead which may work just as well or better with our modern conveniences and tools, etc.
Taking all the above into consideration I make my seam pressing decisions according to the needs of each project as it arises.
Stitch In The Ditch Update - 8 October 2016
The one time that you really shouldn't press seams open is if you want to Stitch In The Ditch (see my reply to comment 1 below). If your seams are pressed open then your SITD stitches will only be attaching your piecing stitches to your batting and backing and not your quilt top. If your pieced quilt top stitches break then your top will no longer be attached. Of course, rules really are made to be broken and I've committed this heinous crime myself since writing this post when I quilted my First Blush version of my Just One Block Quilt - yep, even I went for looks over practicality on that one!
There are some terms and tools I've mentioned in my Pros and Cons that you may not have come across before. I explain each of them in separate posts and you can click through to them below to find out more.
You may (or may not) be familiar with the term nesting seams. When quilt seams are pressed to one side this is the term used to described the technique to line up pieced seams accurately. I've covered nesting seams in this post.
Using a Bloc-Loc to trim HSTs
I've mentioned using a Bloc-Loc to trim HSTs so now seems a good time to share this post with you again -
How To Join Open Pressed Seams Accurately
When quilt seams are pressed open it can be tricky to line them up accurately at the joints. I've covered joining open pressed seams accurately in this post.
Hopefully, you now feel more informed and comfortable about making a choice to best suit your project next time you're faced with the dilemma of which way to press your seams!
PRESSING SEAMS OPEN OR TO THE SIDE - PROS & CONS REVEALED
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