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7 Pressing Tips for Your Sewing Projects

Pressing well makes a big difference in your finished quilt's appearance. Learn the secrets to pressing like a pro!

1. PRESS, DON’T IRON
Are you confused about the difference? Ironing involves moving the iron while it is in contact with the fabric, which can stretch and distort fabrics and seams. Pressing means picking the iron up off the surface of the fabric and putting it back down in another location.

2. SET YOUR SEAMS
Before pressing a seam open or to one side, first just press the seam as it was sewn, without opening up the fabric pieces. Doing so helps meld or sink the stitches into the fabric, leaving you with a less bulky seam allowance after you press it open or to one side.

3. LET THEM COOL
Once fabric pieces have been pressed, let them cool in place. This prevents distortion of bias edges.

4. AVOID SEEING SEAM SHADOWS
Generally speaking, press seams toward the darker fabric to avoid creating a shadow on the lighter fabric. If pressing toward the lighter fabric is a must, trim the darker fabric seam allowance by 1/16" after the seam is sewn to prevent any shadows.

5. BEGIN AGAIN
If a seam allowance has been pressed the wrong way, return it to its original unpressed state and press the unit flat to remove the crease. Allow the fabric to cool, then press the seam in the desired direction.

6. KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN
When multiple seams come together in one area, press them open. This helps distribute the fabric bulk evenly, eliminating lumps and making the seams easier to quilt through.

7. KEEP IT STRAIGHT
Straight seams should be pressed from the right side of the fabric with the iron parallel to the straight of grain. This helps avoid pressing tucks and pleats into the seam.