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Video 9: Pressing to Prevent Bulk

Learn how to press seams and clip edges in order to prevent bulk at seam intersections.

One of the secrets to successful quilting can be found in pressing. When you have a block or rows that go together where you have multiple intersections, sometimes there can be a lot of fabric bulk in those seams. How do you make sure that your blocks and rows lay flat on the front? The secret can actually be found on the back side of your block. We're going to talk about a way to clip your seam allowances at those intersections to make sure we reduce some of that bulk. From the back side of the block, you'll see where all those seams start to intersect and that's where the bulk or the bump occurs on the front of your block. So how we're going to take care of that is simply by. Keeping your block or your rows folded so that the seam allowance is facing you. Then you're going to come in with some sharp pointed scissors, and you're going to make a small clip tight next to that seam allowance. So not through your stitching lines, but just a few threads from it. Then turn your block over and repeat that same clip right up next to the seam allowance. And again this is where you wan t to have sharp tip scissors. So when you're opening your block then, that center seam allowance will form a tiny four-patch. And you'll undo a couple of stitches and press open. And let me just do some pressing here. Your directional pressing of your seam allowances will allow you to press this seam allowance in one direction. And the opposite seam allowance going in the opposite direction. And what you'll end up with then is a little four-patch in the center where that seam is actually pressed open. It lays flat. Your seam allowances are not pressed in the same direction there across that join and that will make the front of your block come together nice and flat.