6 Pressing Tips For Perfect Seams by Jennifer Houlden July 14, 2015 written by Jennifer Houlden July 14, 2015 813 Yesterday I had a great time playing with the TrueCut ruler and rotary cutter but today I need to get some sewing done so that this little table runner will actually be completed by the end of the week. How do you press your seams? What tool do you use? Today along with getting some sewing done I’m going to talk about 6 pressing tips for perfect seams. Tools for Pressing Do you have a favorite pressing tool? My favorite tools are an iron or finger presser. Finger Presser The finger presser from Unique is a wooden tool with a flat bottom to run along the seam. Some benefits to this tool is that it doesn’t distort fabric, it’s great for the cottage if you do not have power and it’s small and fits into your sewing kit easily. A drawback of the finger presser is it takes longer to press the seams but in my opinion does a wonderful job which out ways the time factor. Wooden finger presser As well, a hard, flat and non flexible surface is required for optimal results like a cutting mat. Finger presser in action Iron I have this amazing little travel iron called the Goiron, I’ve seen many other quilters with it at classes and retreats and thought, “Isn’t that a cute little iron!” I normally don’t take an iron to class or retreats but now that I have this great little travel iron I’ll be taking it to class and retreats with me, not to mention using it in my studio. As well as being cute it’s very functional. Goiron and accessories Features of the Goiron Some of the features include: three temperature settings – low, medium and high heats up in 30 seconds steam with a 40 ml water reservoir ergonomic handle non-stick sole-plate only 400 watts – the low wattage will make it perfect for when I go to the cottage to sew once we have a solar power system as the 400 watts won’t drain the batteries like a full size iron dual voltage which means it can be used anywhere in the world Plus it comes with a carry pouch and fits perfectly into a suitcase or sewing bag. Top of iron Sewing the strips together To create the checkerboard background make two sets of strips alternating the two different fabrics. Each set will have 3 strips of one fabric and 2 of the other fabric – so a total of 5 strips in each. One strip set completed Now that I’ve sewn the strips together I’m heading back to the cutting table to sub cut the strip sets into 5 – 3½″ x 15½″ for a total of 10 strips. Strip sets sub cut into strips Pressing Tips 1 – Set the seam Set the seam first by pressing the seam with the two pieces lying RS together as they came off the sewing machine – this will set the stitches and fabric allowing for a flatter seam. Setting the seam 2 – Press to the darkest fabric Try to always press the seam towards the darkest fabric. By doing this it will ensure that the seam allowance does not show the dark fabric through a lighter fabric. Seamed pressed the dark fabric 3 – Press from the middle When pressing long strips, rows or borders start in the middle of the section and work out one way to the end of the seam then return to the middle and work out the other direction to the end of the seam. This will help to eliminate waves in the seams so that your seams are not wonky – nobody likes a wonky seam. Press long seams starting in the middle Making the checkerboard To make the checkerboard alternate one strip from the first strip set with one from the second. Here they are all laid out ready for sewing together. Checkerboard made More Pressing Tips 4 – Butting seams – press in opposite directions When seams need to butt together it’s best that the seams have been pressed in opposite directions so that they’ll nest together – this helps ensure the join of the two seams on the top of the quilt will be perfect. Since I’m making a checkerboard background for this table runner, and hopefully you are too, the seams will be nesting together. By pressing all the seams towards the darkest fabric it ensures that the seams will be opposite when the pieces are placed together on this little project. Nested seams 5 – Press towards the least bulk Press the seam to the side with the least amount of bulk if there are several seams in the area. Sometimes this may mean that you have to press the seam towards the lighter colored fabrics which is okay if it means that the seam is going to lie flatter. Pressing seams open may also help to reduce the bulk. Extra bulk from seams can also cause problems when quilting, such as skipped stitches, teeny tiny stitches due to the foot getting caught up on the machine and unwanted bulges. 6 – No Steam Use a dry iron when pressing seams. Steam can distort and change the shape of the fabric especially cotton. If there is distortion in the seams there will be distortion in the finished block which in turn results in distortion in the quilt. It’s a domino effect. Do I ever use steam? The answer to that is yes. I use it when I’m pressing my fabrics prior to cutting and when the piece is finished to give it a nice crisp and flat look. The image below has had no steam applied to it. I just followed these great tips for pressing. Perfectly pressed and matched seams The checkerboard top is all sewn together with perfectly pressed seams thanks to these six pressing tips for perfect seams. I can now move onto the applique. Tomorrow I’ll be looking at creating some applique shapes for the top of the runner and highlighting another super tool I found at my favorite fabric store. I’m not going to tell you what it is – you’ll have to tune in and find out. Trust me it’s a real cool one. Happy Quilting! Print this page or save as a PDF 6 pressing tipsbutting seamscutting mattfinger presserflatter seamsgoironno steam pressingpressing seamspressing tipspressing with steamquilted table runnertravel iron FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinRedditWhatsappTelegramEmail Jennifer Houlden Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out! previous post 9 Reasons Why You Should Use The TrueCut System next post 50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation 44, 43, 42 YOU MAY ALSO LIKE... The trick to quilting for texture | Double... Create texture with thread painting and invisible thread... How to applique houses and landscapes with HeatnBond HeatnBond EZ Print Lite makes printing out applique... Quilt a table topper for all seasons –... An easy way to make an embroidered wall... 7 simple steps to lovely wool applique |... How to transfer designs to fabric | DMC... 6 easy steps to add glamour to your... 7 comments Patty Ryker October 8, 2016 - 4:14 pm This is Oct. so a little late in reading but I have a Go Iron, absolutely the best thing next to the rotary cutter. I love mine. And thank you for the great tutorial. Reply QuiltShopGal January 21, 2016 - 11:21 am Great post. I’ve been researching irons, but haven’t had a chance to check out the Go Iron. Do you know how hot it actually gets? QuiltShopGal http://www.quiltshopgal.com Reply Carla A. Canonico January 21, 2016 - 11:28 pm The Go iron has dual voltage 100v – 240v, heats up in 30 sec. Although I’m not entirely sure how hot it gets, it gets hot enough to iron seams. There is steam as well, and it’s great for taking along on trips and quilting retreats. It takes up the entire surface of your hand. Cool! Reply Vivian Smereka January 9, 2016 - 9:50 am I thought I knew how to iron but never dawned on me to start pressing a seam from the middle. Wow, that probably what has been causing me grief. Wonderful presentation. Reply Jennifer Houlden January 12, 2016 - 12:42 pm Vivian, pressing from the centre out really does make a difference especially when the seams are really long like on borders or full WOF strips. Happy Quilting Jen Reply Pamela Hart July 14, 2015 - 3:55 pm Could you please tell me where to purchase the Goiron you featured yesterday. Thanks do much I could not find it any where online Pam Reply Carla A. Canonico July 14, 2015 - 11:21 pm Hi Pam, The Goiron can be found at your local fabric or quilting store. If they aren’t already carrying it, ask them to bring some in. The distributor is H.A. Kidd Company Ltd. Super useful pressing tool! Reply Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.