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Thread: How long did it take you to conquer 1/4" seams?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DeneK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Commerce, Ga
    I try -- I really try. But I cannot seem to get any consistency. There are a whole of of quilters here -- please tell me there is hope.

    I have tried several 1/4" feet. Tried stacking the post-its. Tried marking my sewing machine bed.

    Sometimes it works. Sometimes I just think it is working until I try to put together the pieces of the block and nothing fits.

    Can you tell I am frustrated today?

  2. #2
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    La Grande, OR
    Perhaps it's not your seams. Maybe it's the cut pieces that are inconsistant. :D

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Front row
    Blog Entries
    I still draw 1/4" seam line on some pieces. I found a perfect scant 1/4" foot for my machine that really works so I'm happy.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Blog Entries
    Some patterns are made to use a scant 1/4" and others a full 1/4".
    I start out with a scant and then measure along the way. Sometimes I need to tighten up the seams and other times I am right on :D:D:D

  5. #5
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Blog Entries
    I feel your pain:) When I first started quilting I could not get anything to match. I was using the lines on my mat sometimes and using lines on my ruler. The mat had warped and I got it flat again. In the process the lines were distorted! I now use the lines on my ruler and keep the same style/brand of rulers to keep my cutting consistent. My goal is consistent seams usually a scant ". Don't give up!

  6. #6
    Senior Member lisalisa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Queen of California Baby
    It took me a little while. None of the tricks people commonly use ever worked for me. I came to find out that the last track in the feet dog served as a perfect scant guide.

  7. #7
    Aunt Retta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    West Jordan, Utah
    I struggled with this one. The only thing that started helping was a special 1/4 inch foot that had a pieces of metal that went down to the right of the foot. This marked where the fabric had to stay in order to get the 1/4 inch seam.

    Please describe what happens when you mark the 1/4 inch with the sticky notes etc. -----How are your cutting skills? Are your cuts making the 1/4 inch seam harder to achieve?

  8. #8
    MTS is offline
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I just wrote this yesterday to someone else who was having a similar problem.


    You might very well be sewing a perfect 1/4" seam. But it you're still coming up too short (or too long/wide), then your problem is either in the cutting or in the pressing.

    And a 1/16th off in the cutting, not pressing the seam properly here and there.... then you sew a couple of subunits together and your block is short 1/4". Not a big surprise.

    Those other steps are just as important as the sewing. And that's not quilt police propaganda. ;-)

    As I did in the thread link, if you can get your hands on "The Art of Machine Piecing" by Sally Collins, it will explain in nauseating detail the how/what/where things go wrong, and how to prevent it.

    It's really just checking, checking, and checking at each step of the way.

    Notions - post-its, 1/4" feet, block books - they're not a panacea for understanding the construction.

    And then, after you understand the how/why/where, you can totally forget Sally's perfectionist ways and go make art quilts. ;-)

    Try to find the book. Really. ;-)

  9. #9
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Behind my sewing machine
    Blog Entries
    Buy a foot with a 1/4 inch guide.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    My 1/4 inch seams have been good ever since I spent the money (less than a good cutting mat) to buy a seam guage to go with my 1/4 inch foot.

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