>Press seams open? to one side?


Wow, that opened up a lot of discussion about pressing seams open vs. pressing to one side.  I came from a clothing construction background so I always pressed seams open.  I started quilting in the late 1950’s there weren’t very many books about quilting.  I learned from the McCalls Needlework and Craft magazines and trial and error.  I think the pressing to one side came from the hand quilters.  They did it so the batting wouldn’t escape out of the seams, which it might do if they were pressing the seams open.  Batting has changed a lot since then and machine stitching is more even and tighter.  Therefore I feel we are justified to do what works best and not consider either method a “rule”.  As you can see above, I pressed seams to one side so they would butt up against the other seam when sewing the 4 triangles together.  I also did that for the seams when sewing the quarters together.  The drawback to the seams pressed open is that you don’t have the ditch to quilt in.  I like ditch quilting to emphasize the geometric shapes in a lot of quilts, especially wall hangings. 

Stitch length for piecing patchwork is 2.0 (about 13 stitches per inch) .  The machine has a default starting length of 2.5 so I have to change it after I turn the machine on.  This stitch is big enough to get a seam ripper under.  But now, let’s talk seam rippers.  I always tell my class that they need a grown up seam ripper, not a jr. high one.  Below, jr. high one on top, grown up on the bottom.  See the difference in the point size?  I was first introduced to the smaller one when I bought a sewing machine in 1978 and a fine point ripper came with the machine.
The white one is a Clover brand and I like the fatter handle.  They weren’t kidding when they said we would lose our grip when we got older.  It is hard for me to grasp really small things. AND yes, I do need a seam ripper!