Question for you —

Which way do you press your seams while quilting? I put up a poll for the next week on the left side – because I’m curious.

I learned to sew garments first (20 years ago) and have had a hard time changing my thinking about ironing – but I’m starting to see the light in how seams lock together if they are pressed in the opposite directions.

If you would like to expound upon your vote please leave a comment – I will update everyone next week as to my findings!

Thanks for your input :)


By | 2009-03-10T10:19:00+00:00 March 10th, 2009|Uncategorized|14 Comments


  1. Jackie March 10, 2009 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Hi Amy, Always to one side. However, there may be some exceptions to that rule along the way with certain pattern. Mainly ones that have many seams meeting in one place and there are other times too. I just can think of them right now. Hope this helps.

  2. Stephanie March 10, 2009 at 11:02 am - Reply

    I agree with Jackie…one side. When I did do a little clothes sewing I learned to press the seams open but the seams were also bigger. Not as easy to do with
    1/4″ seam allowance.

  3. amylouwho March 10, 2009 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Yes, clothes open, quilt seams to one side (the outside of the block). My mom taught me how to have really great matched corners when the seams interlock.

    One more thing to think about and plan for while you sew!!

  4. SaraRules March 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    I also press to one side about 95% of the time. Yes, it is easier to match the seams when you have two jutting up against each other.. makes it much easier to keep things tidy.

    The only exception is when I know I have many many seams meeting at one spot, and then I press them open. Yes it is the same number of seams, and the same amount of fabric where it meets, so there will be some bulk, but when you iron them open the bulk is more evenly distributed and your blocks are less likely to look lumpy. :)

  5. Vicki March 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    I press them to one side. I do this most of the time when making clothing, too.

  6. Thimbleanna March 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Are we talking quilts or clothing? I press the seams open for clothing and toward the darkest fabric (most of the time) for quilting.

  7. Andrea March 11, 2009 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Hi Amy,
    I almost always press to one side. (usually towards the darker fabric) That being said, the current quilt I’m working on instructions say to press all seams open. (Plain Spoken)

    I find the seams easier to match up with one side pressing, even though those instructions say that it will reduce bulk and make seam matching easier…I don’t agree. Oh well!

  8. tara March 11, 2009 at 11:17 am - Reply

    On my first quilt I pressed the seams open. It wasnt until after I realized that isnt the “way its done”. I too was used to doing that for sewing clothes. I do press to one side now so the seams can lock.

  9. Tipper March 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Oh Amy-I just wish I could sew anything!! :-)

  10. Amanda March 12, 2009 at 5:45 am - Reply

    I agree with Jackie.

    There is a way to clip the seams,being careful not to cut the stitches, that are coming together and press them. It looks like a little 4 patch where the seams come together. They call it “tweaking” the seam. It helps reduce the bulk of when seams so things are less bumpy.

    I’ll try to find something online that explains this better.

  11. Rebekah March 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I do a combo of both. If I’m trying to match corners, then I iron to one side. If I want it to lay flat, than I press the seams open. There’s never an exact science to things

  12. Jessica March 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I always press my seams to one side when quilting. I really like how easy it is to ‘butt’ the seams together and have nice crisp connections from block to block.

  13. sewtakeahike March 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    I do what Thimbleanna does. open for clothes, towards the darkest fabric when quilting.

  14. jacquie March 16, 2009 at 9:31 am - Reply

    i always used to press to one side…now i press open more and more. how can folks quilt and not iron?

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