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Machine Minute - Directional Pressing Tips

Achieve a smooth, flat quilt top by piecing and pressing the right way.

Mon, 27 Aug 2012|

Hi, I'm Jennifer here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. The end goal when we're making a quilt top is a nice, smooth, and flat finish top that's easy to quilt. One of the keys to getting that nice finished quilt top is directional pressing. What you do on the backside of your quilt matters. In American Patchwork & Quilting, we'll always tell you which direction to press your seams. But not all quilt patterns do, so it's important to make a plan from the beginning about how your seams are going to go. You can see from the back of this quilt top that some scenes are pressed in one direction and others are pressed open. It used to be that we always press seems toward the darker fabric, but with a mix of fabrics in a quilt top, sometimes that's not always possible. Where you have a lot of diagonal seams coming together or a lot of patchwork in a very small area. And it's okay. You may want to shorten your stitch length slightly to avoid any batting show through when you're quilting your top. But pressing seams open is certainly an option you might want to consider. Another option is to press all your seams away from the center of the block. So this is the backside of a log cabin or courthouse steps block. Where you can see all of the seams are pressed away from the center of the block. It's another way to make sure that your finish on the front is smooth and flat. And that's going to be important when it comes to quilting you quilt top. So take a look at which direction you're pressing your seams and make a plan from the outset. You'll be happier with your finished quilt top, and it will make quilting your quilt a lot easier.