Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A Pressing Problem

Thirty six beautiful blocks.

And they all need to be fixed.

The problem is, when I join the blocks together, there is too much bulk where too many seam allowances come together. See the arrow on the right in this photo? There are already six layers of fabric there. When I join this block to the next one, even if I press the seam allowances open, there will be twelve layers of fabric on each side, big lumps. This happens at all four sides of each block.

So I need to open up the last inch of each of those seams, press the seam allowances in the other direction, and resew the seams. Four per block. 36 blocks. Sigh. Here's one block opened and re-pressed. Not so pretty, now.

This is how UFOs happen. If I don't do this now while this project is still in active progress, I'll never come back to it. So I'm spending some quality time with my seam ripper.

Two blocks unsewn, re-pressed, resewn, and joined together:

OK, this is working. The blocks come together as smooth as possible.

A whole afternoon, and one row to show for it:
Oops, the last block is upside down. More unsewing.

OK, much better:

Another whole afternoon, another row. This is slow and tedious, but worth it.

One of my goals this month is to get these blocks all pieced together into the top. It's taking longer than I thought it would, so wish me luck!

Link up: Sew Fresh Quilts


  1. Ugh, not fun. An idea though, do you have a wool pressing mat? I got one recently and it is great for making seams nice and flat. I got mine when Craftsy had a sale and I've also seen them on amazon. I first read about them on the Moda blog, I think Carrie Nelson posted something about it.

  2. Thank you for this info. Now I will be careful when I go to make my Pickle Dish, but that's a few years out at this point. I might forget!!

  3. Wow, that’s a lot of seams! Glad you found a fix for that. Good call on getting right on it. We’ve all seen stacks of blocks that end up in antique stores possibly for this reason. It looks like taking the time to fix it is worth it, because it looks wonderful in the after pictures.

  4. Oh dear, that is a slow job. But keep going, you will feel so much better when it is all done!

  5. I want to make a Pickle Dish desperately, but your post really discouraged me to even start. And it looks so so so beautiful!!! Any quilter suggesting an easier approach?

  6. Oh Jan. I have so much empathy for you right now. Ripping and resewing is so tedious! You will be glad you did it though. The quilt is really striking . . . I'm glad you decided to keep at it.

  7. Oh my goodness, I'd go out of my mind. The quilt is going to be FABULOUS. You might need to put up a sign that says that, so you're reminded of how lovely it is as you rip and resew. Good luck!

  8. Getting tithe seams to press nicely will be so worth it, and you are already 1/3rd of the way there. I hope it goes quicker than you fear.

  9. It’s a beautiful quilt—I’m glad you’re forging ahead!

  10. I'm so grateful for your comment on my own work about your lesson learned. I get it. I get it. I'm just so sorry you are--- sorry, 'in this pickle' with your own. (Please accept my pun as a sincere thank you, and may this be a speedy fix to finish.)