Pressing Quilt Blocks

Kelly Ashton
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Duration:   8  mins

The ultimate goal in patchwork and quilting is to create a “flat” product with parallel outer edges. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule when making art quilts and table runners with unusual angled edges. That being said, there are a few places that can cause distortion, when pressing blocks and pressing seams within blocks we can without realizing cause this issue. Join Kelly Ashton as she presents techniques and tips on pressing quilt blocks with precision.

There are a variety of applications, and Kelly provides great examples of the pressing blocks with set in seams. She features two different methods for pressing quilting seams in a standard tumbling block sample. You will learn the rationale between pressing seams in a “pinwheel” style method versus what Kelly describes as her covered convergence technique. This method provides coverage of the batting layer in a quilt if at some future date the seam begins to fail.

Her second example is a great visual of a hexagon block with borders. She reveals pressing blocks in two different methods. This gives the finished blocks a slightly varied appearance of raising the center hexagon to prominence or creating a more recessed dimension to the center hexagon. Pressing can create a dimension many of us haven’t considered in the past.

Lastly, Kelly offers a solution for that “not so perfect” center convergence of diamonds many of us find when joining blocks with numerous points. When we have examined our seams and find nothing that will solve the issue. Maybe it’s as simple as changing the direction of quilting seams. This is a great little trick to add to our tool box. A simple technique that can make our patchwork appear precise and clean.

For more great videos that provide pressing advice and techniques, follow the links below and sharpen those pressing skills. The dresden plate tutorial provides pressing tips for a beautifully flat block. The video by Ashley Hough that covers how to sew a y seam gives you insight into pressing the block as it is constructed. If you are just beginning your quilting and piecing journey, you may find a tutorial on strip piecing quilt techniques covering the basics of pressing helpful.

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