Setting Your Seams–Back to School Blog Hop

Hello everyone!  Welcome to today’s stop on Sam Hunter’s Back to School Blog Hop!  I consider Sam Hunter a quilting sensei … not only to me but to anyone who reads or blog or uses her patterns.  I’m honored to be joining in on this fabulous hop!

I was at a demonstration and I noticed that the demonstrator wasn’t setting her seams.  So, I asked my quilting friend if she thought she was just doing that to save time or was it just not ‘a thing’ most quilters do?  She said that a lot of people skip this!  I was taught 98% of what I know from  my Mother-in-Law and one of the things she taught me was to set my seams (and it’s pressing not ironing). 

After the demonstration and the talk with my friend I thought perhaps this rule wasn’t as necessary as my MIL had said … so I tried just pressing without setting my seam.  It was not worth the time I saved! Setting my seam before pressing definitely helped ensure more accurate points and nicer looking seams.

Now that I’ve spent two paragraphs rambling about setting seams do you want to know what I’m actually talking about?

How to Set Your Seams


In this example I’m showing you how I set and press the seams of my half square triangle blocks. IMG_2637

Before I press the seam open, press them with a hot iron.  You don’t have to do it for  very long … just make sure it’s done.  And that’s how you set a seam.  Seriously – you just press the seam before you press the fabric open.

Why would you take the two seconds to do this?

By setting the seam you are basically embedding the thread in the fabric.  Then, when you press it open, it creates a nice sharp seam.  It also helps make a more accurate measuring seam which leads to more accurate piecing.


I have to admit it was tough to get comparison pictures between a set seam and a non-set seam.  Can you tell from the picture above which seam was set and which wasn’t?   that’s right … the block on the bottom was not set … see how the seam is flopping out more than the seam of the HST on the top. 

In summary – if you don’t already set your seams … give it a try.  It only takes 2 seconds!

The Back to School Blog hop kicked off on September 1 and runs through the entire month, and little of October too as there’s just so much great info to share! Hop along with some of our industry’s pros to get tips and tricks for your quilting and sewing studio.  Be sure to take a look back at the advice from earlier this month – there are some great tips!


  1. YES. I learned to set my seams when I learned to garment sew, a long, long time ago, and carried it over to quilting. I don't think my muscles are capable of pressing a seam to the side without first setting it: my muscle memory won't allow it, LOL. If I've chain pieced, I set the seams before I cut the pieces apart. I even set the seams when I paper piece. Anything to help with that nice, sharp crease.

  2. I set seams long before I knew why but it's such a dramatic help that I can't imagine not doing it.

  3. You know I've only just started doing this in the past few months. I was watching something else and the person said "do this." Before that I'd never been told by anyone to do that. I do find it helps.

  4. A simple reminder, but a good one. Michelle Freedman at Modern Domestic gave me lessons a few months back, and she had to remind me a lot to set my seams. Now I think I can remember. :)

  5. What a great tip, so glad you posted this. Another great post on our blog hop!


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