Anyone who takes quilting seriously knows that one of the must-have tools is a good iron. By this point, the reason should be obvious–pressing your seams is one of the most important steps if you want your quilt to have straight seams. The kind of iron you use doesn’t matter. If you like a dry iron over a steam iron, then use the dry iron. As long as the iron gets hot you have the right tool to start pressing your seams like a true professional. To help get your skills to the next level, here are some tips on how to get your seams looking perfect.
Press Before Cutting Your Fabric
Whether you bought your fabric from a store or you are using scraps from your college T-Shirts, you should always press out any wrinkles before cutting. By pressing your fabric before measuring and cutting, you are decreasing your chances of measuring wrong.
Don’t Iron the Fabric
If you are new to quilting then you probably don’t know the difference between pressing and ironing. Pressing is not the same process as iron. Well, the two methods are very different and your don’t want to employ the later on your seams. When you iron, you are moving the iron across the fabric, which can lead to it stretching and losing its shape. Pressing means you are just picking the hot iron up and then placing it on another part of the piece–thus, creating a smoother surface.
Set Your Stitches
Before deciding to press your seam open or to the side, you should first press the seam closed. When you press the seam closed before pressing it to the side or open then the stitches will be set into place and your seams will lay flatter for the duration of your project. Flat seams will help your blanket stay flat during the rest of the assembly process.
Pressing Seams to the Side vs. Open
The way you press the edges of your squares will depend on personal preference and the overall design. Both methods have their own advantages. Pressing the edges to the side tends to be faster than pressing the seams open. It will also make it easier to match the intersections when it’s time to join the squares together. You can also create strong seams when pressing to the side because when you stitch the pieces together they will be held together by both fabric and thread.
However, some quilting patterns require you to press the seams open. While this method of seam pressing is more difficult, it does make sewing the pieces together much easier as there is less fabric for the needle to pass through. There are many quilters who prefer pressing their seams open. Open seams give the end result a cleaner and crisper look and appearance is important in the final product.
Your preference will rely on how you make you quilts. If you are using a sewing machine then you are not going to have an issue pressing to the side versus pressing open. But, if you are quilting by hand, you should consider pressing your seams open so you will have less fabric to push your needle through.
Pressing your seams and fabric is one of the most important steps in creating a quilt. When you press your seams correctly, you are laying the framework for creating a professional-grade quilt. The most important thing to remember when pressing your seams is that you have to be patient. You cannot rush a project and expect it to turn out perfect–especially if you are still a beginner. Pressing your seams will always get you better results than ironing and pressing your fabric before cutting will ensure more accurate measurements.
You shouldn’t expect your first seams to be perfect. It will take you a lot of time and practice before your seams look as nice as those you see hanging in store windows. It’s important to keep this in mind so you don’t get frustrated over a crooked seam. Once you figure out the best methods for your project, then your blankets will start to look like works of art.