How to prevent seam shadows on your quilt

When piecing a quilt, one should not be able to see the edge of the seam allowance of the darker fabric showing through the light fabric when a seam has been pressed to  the light side. Now I admit, I’m a little compulsive about this. We’re always told to press to the dark if we can, and there’s nothing wrong with pressing to the light side; it can be a good thing if it makes our seam intersection flat. But sometimes that dark fabric just wants to show through. There are ways to take care of it when we’re piecing.

 If it has already happened, there are remedies. I’ve been told that you can go back and trim the dark fabric to be shorter than the light. I’ve tried that and it takes FOREVER!!!! as well as being pretty risky if you accidentally nip the quilt top or trim it so short that it unravels at the seamline.

 So, I took some photos while I was piecing some brown and yellow blocks to illustrate one way to avoid those dark slivers. This is what I usually do if I can.

 I piece with the light patches on the underneath side and place the dark patch on the top. I always make sure that the light is peeking out from underneath the dark like this:

img_1825.jpg   img_1851-medium.jpg

Then when it is pressed open, it looks like this:

Pressed open - back side

And when I hold it up to the light, it looks like this:

img_1867-medium.jpg          img_1872-medium.jpg

You can see that the seam is “graded,” remember that from your tailoring class? Looks pretty nice from the top! This is good when all of one side is light and all of one side is dark. It gets more interesting when you are sewing bigger sections together and you have light and dark on both sides. Stay tuned. I’m going to write about that soon.