How to Succeed at Quilt Making Through Pressing



Quilt Making Basics: Pressing

Ironing sheets. Is anyone else old enough to remember doing this? My mom made me iron the sheets. Back in the day, they were 100% cotton. My mom would hang them out on the line, then they’d need major ironing. They smelled sweet from the fresh air, but they were so awkward to fit on an ironing board. I hated it!

Well, guess what? Your quilting fabric is also 100% cotton, so it needs pressing.

Keeping your blocks pressed as you construct them is very important. Quilts are hard to keep accurate when seams are not pressed. Usually, seams are pressed to one side or the other, but occasionally, I’ll press a seam open, if it will create less bulk on the quilt top.

Ironing vs. Pressing

I recommend you press the seams, using an up and down motion, rather than to iron the seams, using a side to side motion. “Ironing” will cause the seams to stretch, and create problems with accuracy, too.

A common pressing rule is to press toward the dark fabric. If you have a lighter fabric next to a dark, pressing toward the dark will prevent the seam from being visible from the front.

When you’re constructing your quilt top, also press liberally! You will be much happier with the finished quilt if you take the time to press!

Eventually, sheets came in a poly blend and I didn’t have to iron them anymore! Happy day! But we still need to “press” our seams!

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