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.
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.
Use tip of iron to fold top fabric over seam
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.
finger press then iron flat