Pressing Seams

Tags: how-to, ironing, press open, press to one side, pressing, quilting lesson, seams

For the majority of my seams, I press all seams to one side. This makes sections butt up together so seams meet accurately. It is also important if you wish to do "Stitch in the Ditch" quilting. However at times I do press seams apart too. This is usually when joining binding strips or border strips on the bias. I do this to distribute the bulk of the seam evenly.

Always start by pressing the seam flat just as it is sewn. This sets the stitches and fabric before opening the two sections.

pressing seam flat

Set seam by pressing flat

To Press To One Side:

Position your block so that the section you want the seam pressed towards is on top (usually darkest fabric), then use the tip and side of the iron to fold this top section over the seam.

Pressing is done from the right side of the block (not the wrong side), however always check the seam on the back to ensure it is pressed correctly and lays flat.

arrow shows direction top fabric is pressed in

Use tip of iron to fold top fabric over seam

seam is pressed to one side

Seam pressed towards top fabric

To Press Open:

After pressing seam flat, open pieces and lay your project face down on the ironing board. Open the seam and figure press it. Now use the tip of the iron to press seam again.

how to press seam open

finger press then iron flat

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