The Violet QAL Week 3 - Pressing

The Violet Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

 Pressing is a little bit of a controversial subject - my personal preference is to press all seams open. 

The Violet QAL - Week 3

Of course you can press your seams to the side with this pattern. Pressing to the side is faster and has the potential to have you "nest seams" - that means seams pressed in opposite directions will line up which can help the seams line up. 

The Violet QAL - Week 3

Because I prefer my quilt top to be as smooth and flat as possible, I press my seams open. Also, after pressing this way for lots of years, my seams tend to line up better when I press my seams open. 

There are very few seams to line up in this quilt top so (in my opinion) it is a great candidate for pressing your seams open if you want to try it. Here are a few tips:

  • Sometimes there is an issue with your seam starting to separate a little bit at the end when you press your seam open - to prevent this, I shorten my stitch length just a tiny bit. My machine defaults to 2.2 and I lower mine to 2.0 for piecing.
  • Press the seam open with seam pressing up, then flip your fabric over and press (not iron!). The difference between pressing and ironing is how you move your iron - when pressing, just press the iron down and pick up before moving. If you move the iron around while it pressed to your fabric, it can cause your fabric to stretch and distort. 
  • If you are having issues with your seams staying open, stack a few blocks and put a large ruler on top. Then stack a few books on top of that. Leave for a day or two - this can really help your seams stay flat. 
  • Use your fingers to open your seam, then use the tip of the iron press. Move your fingers so that you stay a safe distance ahead of the iron (don't burn yourself!). It takes a little practice, but with some practice it goes pretty quickly.

The Violet QAL - Week 3

A good iron can make a big difference when piecing - I love my Chi iron. It is mid-priced as far as irons go, but it gets nice and hot and has held up well over time. I always press my fabric on the hottest setting and I do not use starch or steam - although I know some people swear by them! I have also heard great things about wool pressing mats but I haven't tried them. That is on my list of things to try soon!

Hopefully you find your blocks pretty quick to put together! Next week we will tackle the sashing!


  1. Thank you I sew my seams to the side. However I see how having all your seems open would be beneficial and worth the time. I just purchase a small iron for ironing my blocks I find I don't burn myself . I also purcgased a ironing matt and love it. Thank you enjoy your day Julia

  2. Do you even press HST seams open? I know there are none in this quilt, I'm just curious. :)


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