Wayward Seams

My baby sister, Vanessa is learning how to load a quilt on the frame.  Last night she put the backing on and the batting.  She learned how to apply a channel lock to the carriage and basted the batting in place at the top edge.

Channel lock on carriage

My frame doesn’t have one of those auto channel lock systems so we improvised.  This vise clamp works great and it’s padded so it won’t damage the carriage.  I don’t even bother with one at the back of the carriage.

Basting line on batting

Are you wondering what wayward seams and loading a quilt have to do with each other?   Vanessa is coming back tonight to load the quilt top and I told her I would press it for her today.  😦  What was I thinking?

I’ve got to have a talk with my dear, baby sister.  🙂  I hope I don’t make her blush by telling this story here, but we have a serious discussion coming up.  She won’t kill me though because she wants to use my Juki.

She doesn’t know it yet, but when she gets her quilt finished, she’s going to load my next quilt top for Judy’s UFO challenge.   She needs to practice, right?  🙂

I’m not a perfectionist quilter but it’s important to make sure seams don’t get flipped in the wrong direction during stitching.  It happens to me sometimes  but I try to make sure  I minimize the number of wayward seams in a project.  It makes it hard to press the seams properly so then things don’t lay as smoothly as you want them to.

As a general rule, unless directions specifically tell you to press differently….it’s best to press toward the darker fabric.  It helps eliminate the shadow dark fabric can throw on a lighter one and sometimes that really matters.

If you have wayward seams, it can make pressing more difficult.  Some of these pictures may make you wonder why I didn’t just press the other way instead of having a flip.  It’s because, there was a wayward seam at the next intersection also so I chose the lesser of two evils.


If this was my quilt, I might make a tiny snip in the seam allowance so I could flip it the correct way.  But this isn’t my quilt so I didn’t do that.

It’s going to be a pretty quilt.  I love the fabrics she used.

Carpenter's Star

The point of this is to say it only takes a second to pay a little more attention to the intersections and it will make a world of difference in your finished quilt.  If I need to use pins to help keep the intersections as they should be, I do it.  Sometimes it happens anyway but I’m happier if I don’t have those pesky wayward seams.


Leave a comment


  1. Except for half-square triangles, I press all my seams open these days. Blocks lie much flatter.

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  February 3, 2011

      I used to teach open-seam construction for quilts. They really do lie flatter. The one thing I always had to remember is that I had to use a true 1/4″ seam instead of scant 1/4″ seam because it doesn’t have that little extra bump of fabric.

      Open-seams are especially great for Stack-n-Whack designs or Lemoyne Stars where you have 8 seams coming together in an intersection.

  2. Danielle

     /  February 3, 2011

    I, myself, am still a beginner, but I also try to avoid the mess that can happen if you’re not paying attention–lots of experience in the mess department…
    Before I forget, where did she get the pokka dot fabric?-I love it!

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  February 3, 2011

      The fabric came from a shop in McComb, MS that’s no longer open. We think it’s a Hoffman batik but not sure. It was purchased about 3 years ago. It’s a really nice fabric!


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