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Thread: I really am not dumb but...........

  1. #1
    Member grammy1231's Avatar
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    Lightbulb I really am not dumb but...........

    What is the difference between a 1/4" inch and a scant 1/4" seam? And where would I get such a presser foot for my husqvarna?
    Shirley Cooper

  2. #2
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    No doubt several others will weigh in on this one.
    For me, the difference is a "thread's width".
    Don't understand why patterns aren't made using a true 1/4".

  3. #3
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    i would try sew classic maybe they can help...

  4. #4
    Junior Member Freddie's Avatar
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    The 1/4 or scant 1/4 is not that important. Every machine and every person sews differently. When do sew the block, check the size of each component of that block after you stitch. Is it coming out the size they want it to be? example: If you stitch tree strips together and each one is cut 2 1/2 inches wide, check the center strip. Is it really 2 inches wide now? If it is larger, you need to increase the width of your seam allowance. If the center strip is smaller, you will have to narrow your seam allowance. The outside strips should measure 2 1/4 inch each. Then you could cut the three strip piece in 6 1/2 inch pieces, for a block to finish 6 inch. Hope you know what I am trying to say. It is easier to show someone. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    great explanation, Freddie
    Nancy in western NY

  6. #6
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    My first teacher drilled into me the 'scant 1/4 inch'. I can get it perfect if I use the Featherweight, that machine does it without me. The regular 1/4 inch is just that, it can be measured 1/4 inch if you take the ruler to it. But the scant 1/4 is less, noticable to me and to you. It is not an 1/8 for sure, but definitely not a 1/4 inch. This is my best definition: do not sew 1/4 inch but more than 1/8th.

  7. #7
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    for "scant" I run my foot just off the edge of the fabric...
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  8. #8
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I just move my needle over one click or yes run the foot just over the edge......I know that I tend to over sew my seams, meaning my seams are over a 1/4", so my pieces and then my blocks are too small....so I really concentrate on sewing a scant 1/4" which is yes between 1/8 and a 1/4". I have found I would prefer my blocks a little big and have to trim down to having them too small and having to rip out seams......This is especially true with points, for them to Really look good, then need to be dead-on....
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  9. #9
    Power Poster
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    There are so many OTHER variables to consider besides the seam width.

    When I cut my strips, for example, they are actually about 2 -17/32 wide instead of 1-16/32 inches wide. Ruler placement on the fabric can affect how wide the strips are.

    I get 'a bit bigger' when I go around a template. If my template is 4 x 4, and I cut around four sides of it, my piece will probably be close to 4-1/16 x 4-1/16. So if I use a 'regular' quarter inch seam, I'm okay.

    I haven't checked the actual width of the strips using the June Tailor shape cutter, so I don't know how they come out.

    So a good place to start with 'where is the problem?' is with the actual width of the component (strip, square, whatever)

    If you use pre-cuts, they are probably 2.5 inches instead of a 'bit' more.

    Some fabrics are bulkier than others.

    Some threads are bulkier than others.

    So there is MORE than just the seam width to consider when trying for a certain sized finished block/unit.

    The 'sewing test strips' is really worth the time and effort!

    You know how some people think that if one glass of wine is good, two will be better?
    I think some people think that if a 'true' 1/4 inch seam is good, a 5/16 inch seam will be better.

    The difference - to me - is about 1/64th of an inch. (or as some said, one or two threads)
    Last edited by bearisgray; 08-28-2012 at 07:38 AM.

  10. #10
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    Bah! Any pattern that mentions a scant 1/4 is banished from my life. Since that measurement can't be defined it is worthless.

    I also don't fret if I can't exactly meet the given dimensions of a pattern. For the most part (I said MOST not all) it just doesn't matter.

    I can't imagine my grandmother sitting at her treadle worrying if she is sewing a scant 1/4" - or a precise 1/4" either and she produced some amazing quilts!

    This is a hobby to be enjoyed, not to get tangled up in stuff that gives people stress.

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