Back to School Party – Tips for Pressing

BTS logo 200 Back to School Party   Tips for Pressing

Have you ever been in a quilting class and had the question of “pressing” come up? I’ll bet you have, and I’ll also bet that you heard a few different opinions on the matter. Pressing seams to one side, pressing all seams open, not pressing at all until the quilt is made…the options are many! None of them are right or wrong, it’s totally up the quilter!

In my experience, the most common pressing “rule” is to always press your seams to the dark fabric. That makes sense, and generally, it’s just fine. But sometimes you are working with patches or blocks that call for a little creative pressing. When I sew blocks I almost always try to press seams so that they “nest” with each other. ”Nesting” is pressing different seams in a block in different directions, so when you  sew them together the seams go opposite each other to cut down on bulk.

Today’s Step 3 of the Dozens of Daisies pattern for Quiltmaker‘s Back to School Party focuses on making block Z. Block Z is the perfect example of pressing seams so that they will nest with each other.

Here are the patches for block Z.

block Z 11 290x300 Back to School Party   Tips for Pressing

Block Z patches

The best way to sew this block together is to first sew it into rows. Then press the seams in the top and bottom rows towards the black polka-dot patches. Press the seams in the second row the opposite way, with the seams going towards the green patch.

block Z 2 300x285 Back to School Party   Tips for Pressing

Sew the patches into rows

Then you just need to sew the rows together. As you sew the rows together, it can be helpful to pin the rows together where the seams nest.

block Z 31 300x268 Back to School Party   Tips for Pressing

Sew the rows together

If you press your seams this way, your block will be nice and flat, without any bulk.

block Z 4 298x300 Back to School Party   Tips for Pressing

Block Z

Of course, there are different ways to press as you go. You may have a different way that works for you. That’s great! Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what you like best. How do you press? We’d love to hear!

Hope you are enjoying the Back to School party so far! Please don’t forget to send us pictures of your finished quilt, we’d love to see them!

About Paula

I'm an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker in Golden, CO. I've been quilting for 18 years, including teaching, long arm quilting, designing, and stash building. I also love to read, run, embroider, zentangle, watch Law & Order re-runs and spend time with my family.
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2 Responses to Back to School Party – Tips for Pressing

  1. MarciaW says:

    Most the time I press to one side similar to what you described. However, sometimes with “modern blocks” I’ve pressed seams open and the blocks laid much smoother.

  2. Alex Sand says:

    It’s always interesting to see how many ways there are to press seams. I love the scooter fabric in the middle.

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