What does pressing mean in quilting?

What is pressing in quilting?

Ironing is the back-and-forth motion of the iron on the fabric. While ironing can pull and distort shapes, pressing allows you to turn seam allowances open or lay them to one side without distorting or stretching the fabric.

Is it better to press seams open or to the side?

Pressing quilt seams to the side is faster than pressing open and makes it easier to lock seams in place, sort of like a puzzle. It gives you that little added help in a clean seam intersection. This occurs because seams are pressed to opposite directions when sewing sections together.

How do you press a finished quilt top?

Ironing Tips for the Flattest Quilt Tops

  1. It’s important to press with as much care as you cut and stitch.
  2. Avoid steam, as it can stretch quilt blocks out of shape.
  3. Lower the iron down and “press” and then lift it back up, rather than pushing it across the block as you would when ironing an article of clothing.

Why you should press seams open?


This helps distribute the fabric bulk evenly in a small area, eliminating lumps and making the seam easier to quilt through. Some quilters prefer to press all seams open for a smoother, flatter finished quilt top and to prevent fabrics from showing through in the seam allowances.

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Can you press seams with a steamer?

Light steam also works the same way. A dampened pressing cloth can help in manipulating fabric better in areas like armholes with curved seams and hems. But this also has to be tested with a scrap fabric piece first.

What is a strip stick?

The Strip Stick, so-named for pressing seams when strip quilting, makes ironing seams a snap without distorting previously pressed seams. Other uses include the ability to press intricate piecing, such as one-block wonders and other blocks with intersecting seams.

Which side of the batting should be pressed into the background fabric?

The best way is the way that works best for you! Traditionally, seams were pressed to the dark side: To prevent the dark fabric from shadowing through a lighter one; To prevent batting from coming through the stitches in the seam allowance; and…

Should I starch my quilt top?

Spray starch for quilting can be your secret tool for award-winning quilts. Starch your fabric before you cut out your pieces to help stabilize the fabric and prevent it from stretching. This results in more accurate piecing.

Should you iron a finished quilt?

Ironing is important to do before starting the quilting process. It will help to get all those ugly creases and wrinkles out.