I am sipping cappuccino this morning contemplating my work from yesterday. I am making pinwheels. I have some more to do today. This batch was made using two different techniques. I felt kind of wild and crazy and decided to do a little experimenting. I made about half of them cutting squares and layering them. I drew a line on the diagonal and sewed on it and trimmed away one of the sides. I then pressed and put 4 half square triangles together to make a pinwheel. I made the HST's oversized and then trimmed the pinwheel down to the correct size - 3 1/2" square.The other half of the stack were made with Thangles. It was the first time I have used them. Nifty. They made for accurate piecing. They are made correct size and there is no trimming. My only complaint is that is was kind of slow going. A few more steps to get to the final project. At least for me it seemed that way. I am happy with the way they are turning out, though.
Which brings me to what has been on my mind - the pressing. This is how I pressed the first set of pinwheels - all the seams open.With the Thangles batch the first press is to one side as this is made while the paper is still attached. Once I had the HST's made - I pressed the last 2 seams open.
Both are good. If I had to choose, I think I prefer all the seams pressed open. Which brings me to this thought - what is this business lately with all the seams pressed open? There has been talk about it and it is much more common today than it was a few years ago. My friend Carrie, of Miss Rosie's fame, discussed it a bit awhile ago and asked me my preference.
I do have some theories and I will share them and take them with a grain of salt. It's only a theory, but I do think I have an interesting perspective on it. My longevity, basically.
It wasn't long ago that all quilting seams were pressed to one side. Usually to the darker fabric. Always to one side and no one questioned it. It was done this way as long as anyone could remember and that was JUST THE WAY IT WAS. When this pressing law came into being and was enforced all through the land, well, things were different. Pressing to one side made structural sense. It was not that long ago that making a quilt meant you were going to hand quilt it. There really wasn't much of an alternative. You could run it through your Singer or you could tie it - but basically it meant you were hand quilting it. It also meant there was a good chance that you were hand piecing it too. Not all were hand pieced, but certainly a good percentage were. This meant that pressing the seams to one side strengthened the seam. Hand pieced seams that are pressed open might have little gaps. Another good reason for pressing to one side meant that when you are hand quilting you have at least one side of the seam that was seam allowance free. Easier quilting. If you look at old quilting designs this was taken into consideration and many quilting designs were quilted on only one side of a seam. Pressing to one side made sense and helped your quilting. This is not true today. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but certainly not written in stone like it used to be. Hand piecing? Rare. Hand quilting? A small percentage of all quilts made.
So what does this mean? I think it means that if your piecing and accuracy improves with pressing the seams open, by all means do so. Back to work.....
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