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Thread: how accurate is "accurate enough" ?

  1. #1
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    how accurate is "accurate enough" ?

    I've seen several posters say that the thread they use affects the accuracy of their piecing.

    How much tolerance do you allow yourself on the "expected/hoped for" finished size of a block or completed item?

    PS I am also a fan of Mary Ellen Hopkins "personal measurements" - but there are times when it's nice when a " group standard" is a good thing.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i want my blocks to finish within 1/16th inch of the measurement. however, some blocks that i've spent a very long time making have been 1/8 too small on some seams. when i realize this, i mark the spots with a pin, and when assembling the quilt, i sew a second seam to strengthen it. of course, this only works if you are pressing the seams to one side.
    Nancy in western NY

  3. #3
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    I have learned that you have to be as accurate as possible, the place i find out how accurate I have been always shows when I start sewing rows.

  4. #4
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    My Bernina has a quilting foot that gives me a perfect scant 1/4 inch seam. When ironed, the thread and folded over fabric makes my blocks come out almost perfect every time. This is especially important if I am doing several different blocks that I intend to sash and put together. If you are doing all the same blocks than accuracy is not as important as consistency. If the whole quilt is sewn with the same seam allowance throughout, it should go together well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i want my blocks to finish within 1/16th inch of the measurement. however, some blocks that i've spent a very long time making have been 1/8 too small on some seams. when i realize this, i mark the spots with a pin, and when assembling the quilt, i sew a second seam to strengthen it. of course, this only works if you are pressing the seams to one side.
    This is exactly what I do! I believe Mary Ellen Hopkin's idea of PPM's (Private Personal Measurements) for seam allowances only works out ok if you are sewing identically sized squares, and no other shapes within the quilt. It seems to me that for that to work, you need to have the same number of seams in each direction on the quilt. For most patterns, a perfect quarter inch seam allowance is necessary. There's just no getting around it, lol!

  6. #6
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    IMO -
    The seam allowance is an important factor in accuracy , but not the only one.

    Other factors:
    Fabric preparation
    Size of pieces - what one uses to cut with - how one measures
    Pressing - can leave little tucks or pleats- can distort the unit
    Thread used - some say this makes a big difference - I use a general purpose thread and have been okay with my results

  7. #7
    SSK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    My Bernina has a quilting foot that gives me a perfect scant 1/4 inch seam. When ironed, the thread and folded over fabric makes my blocks come out almost perfect every time. This is especially important if I am doing several different blocks that I intend to sash and put together. If you are doing all the same blocks than accuracy is not as important as consistency. If the whole quilt is sewn with the same seam allowance throughout, it should go together well.

    What foot is it?

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina and there are two 1/4" feet for it, one with a guide and one without. I have them both. Bernina feeds the fabric perfectly and makes a great stitch but is no different from other machines when it comes to perfect 1/4" seams. I have to use a self made guide on my Bernina just like all the other machines I have.

    I use very thin thread in my bobbin, nothing under 60wt. That makes a big difference.
    Got fabric?

  9. #9
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    this is how I fix my inaccuracies as well.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  10. #10
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i want my blocks to finish within 1/16th inch of the measurement. however, some blocks that i've spent a very long time making have been 1/8 too small on some seams. when i realize this, i mark the spots with a pin, and when assembling the quilt, i sew a second seam to strengthen it. of course, this only works if you are pressing the seams to one side.
    I agree with this. Sometimes it is just not worth the effort to take everything apart if it is just a tiny bit off.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



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