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Pressing Matters

Let's start with a resounding Happy New Year! I realize I am a few days late, but life has been happening, and I have been enjoying it. I hope you have too.

Currently, I am working on some patterns for my online shop, and it has occurred to me that one of the things about pattern writing, testing, editing, and using that seems to be the most difficult to get right is seam pressing. Quilters want to know which way to press to make the seams line up, the points pointy, the block flat--the quilt pieces come together the best way possible. Should we press to the dark side? Pop a stitch and spin the seams? Press open? Do a combination? When should we press? Should we use starch? Should we use steam? Yikes!

Sometimes the blocks and fabrics suggest the best way and all is good, but sometimes it isn't that easy. Quilt designers or pattern writers do everything they can to clarify instructions and help you use the pattern to create something beautiful. However, it doesn't always work out to provide exact pressing instructions--sometimes they are more of a suggestion than an instruction.

My point that is we should embrace the suggestions when they appear and have our own practices that seem to work best when they do not. I like to press to the dark side, spin a seam, use starch and steam. I am not opposed to pressing open. Figure out what works best for you, and remember that pressing suggestions in patterns are not always going to work for you when you use them.

Happy Stitches


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