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Pressing blocks

Machine Piecing

To Press or not…..

I spent some time this weekend,  pressing the strips for the rail fence and 9-patch blocks.  I believe that pressing while sewing blocks may very well be overrated.  Before you take a second look at that statement, let me explain that it is important to press as you assemble blocks for a quilt.

I think that blocks can be “over-pressed.”  That is why I do not use steam when working on blocks.  It is too easy to have the fabric stretch as you press.  Also remember that the technique is pressing – not ironing.  A slight pressure should be applied to the block or strip.

Save ironing for your husband’s shirts – unless you can convince him that it’s really worth the money to have dress shirts professionally done – I’m still working on that one!

With that said, here’s the pressing technique that I like to use..

(1) Pressing to relax the threads

(1) Pressing to relax the threads

(1)Pressing towards the dark fabric, press the seam on the wrong side of the strip to relax the threads,

(2)Pressing first unit towards the dark fabric, from the front

(2)Pressing first unit towards the dark fabric, from the front

(2)Flip to the right side and press the seam flat.

(3)Repeat with the other side of the strip.

(4) Pressing both sections from the back

(4) Pressing both sections from the back

(4) Flip entire strip to wrong side; press along both seams .

(5) Final pressing on right side

(5) Final pressing on right side

(5)Flip entire strip to right side; with a sweeping motion from top and bottom, press toward both sides of center strip.

This should result in flat seams and make it easier to match seams when completing each block.

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