Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pressing Basics for Piecing -- Part 3

It's Tuesday again already!

Today I'm going to share my thoughts on pressing blocks and they are simple.

If the block has an odd number of units -- 3 by 3, 5 by 5, etc. -- and you are setting them together edge-to-edge, half the blocks should be pressed exactly the same way and the other half should be pressed exactly opposite.  Then when you lay the blocks out, alternate a block from the first half with a block from the second half.

These are 9-patch and shoo-fly blocks for the double/queen size version of my pattern, Marie's Scraps.
This is my crib/lap size version of Marie's Scraps.
If the block has an even number of units -- 2 by 2, 4 by 4, 6 by 6, and so on -- and you are setting them together edge-to-edge (no sashing or alternate blocks), all the blocks should be pressed exactly the same way.   The photo below shows the lower edge of one block (with seams pressed to the right) as it comes up to the upper edge of the adjacent block (with seams pressed to the left). 

These blocks are the 4 by 4 blocks of my pattern, Mississippi Mud.
This scrappy red version of Mississippi Mud is brand new -- maybe it should be called Red Velvet Mud?
Following these two rules will assure you that as the seams come together along the edges of the block, they will automatically mesh together with no lumps or bumps.  It's a no-brainer once you eliminate helter-skelter pressing!

When setting blocks together with sashing or alternate squares, I prefer to press all of the blocks exactly the same.  While it doesn't have an impact on the setting-together process, I think it has a beneficial impact on the quilting if all the blocks are the same -- I know where to expect the lumps and bumps as I move across the surface of the quilt.

I told you they were simple!

I don't know if there is another "part" to the pressing series -- there might be?  Be sure to check back next week and see.  And watch for a progress report later this week on my 2013 UFQ challenge -- there has been progress!!!

Mary Huey

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. It never occurred to me that there was a pattern to why it works different ways. Thanks, Mary. One less thing to have to audition/decide next time I am setting blocks edge to edge.