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Thread: Newbie Question: How worried should I be about 1/4-inch?

  1. #11
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    I'll agree that accuracy is important, especially when you have a lot of seams to match or in very intricate blocks like the lone star. That said however, in some quilts accuracy is needed but being off 1/8" isn't the end of the world. Sometimes a little added pressure (or pulling) will allow you to work two blocks together and get matching seams. You just don't want to tug so much that you stretch-out a piece of fabric to a noticeable level. Anything that ends up a full 1/4" or more off in my estimation should be reconstructed or replaced. For newbies...ripping IS learning. You can see where you are making your mistakes which will lead you to being more aware and careful in the future.

  2. #12
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Thank you so much, everyone! I hadn't even thought of ripping out the seam to see where I went wrong. I'll do that, as a learning experience. I think it happened because I slipped with the rotary cutter when I got to the top of that piece, so it was a little smaller. Then I forgot to adjust for that when sewing the seam, so it ended up too small.

    I really, REALLY had a lot of fun today!

  3. #13
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    accuracy is important
    Accuracy is important
    ACCURACY IS IMPORTANT
    What Holice said. :thumbup:

  4. #14
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    Well, there aren't any quilt police, but the odd block will not "fit" in the pattern correctly. You will have to fudge and distort it or the other blocks to get it sewn in. Better to either resew it or make another.

    Think of it like this: If you had a puzzle with rigid pieces, would one that is a quarter inch bigger or smaller than all the rest fit? No. Just because this is fabric, and can be stretched/gathered/etc, it still won't look as good.

  5. #15
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    Accuracy is very important and will save you a lot of headaches when sewing blocks together. That being said, in a pinch, there are ways to "fix" a 1/4" mistake without starting over if it's worth the trouble. Sometimes, if you're not matching seams, you can ease in some of the fabric and make each side of the block a little "short" when putting your blocks together. If I do that, I will put a pin in the short sides so I will notice when I'm sewing the rows together and will know to line that edge up a little shorter with the edge on the other row. If it's a cutting problem (oops, cut too small!) you can take out one or two seams and resew them a little narrower than 1/4". I was helping a friend yesterday and this very thing happened. She was working from a kit and did not have a lot of extra fabric, so I ripped out her seams, resewed them and eased them into her block. It was a headache, but it worked and it was the only way to finish her table runner with the amount of fabric she had. So.... my best advice is to be extremely accurate in your cutting and sewing that 1/4" seam, but if something goes awry, if it's less work to "fudge it" rather than starting over or ripping out seams, I'd do that.

  6. #16
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone - I call myself stitchnripper because I do that a lot!!! Always aiming for that perfect 1/4 or scant 1/4 inch.

  7. #17
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    I bought a 1/4" foot and it seems to really help me. If I have my contacts in, I can't see up close and some times I can't take them out to sew just a little bit so this foot really made a difference in some quickies.

  8. #18
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    I would not use it with the current project you are doing, but I would not toss it. If you can cut it down it can be used in another project or add it it and make a mug rug or something like that.

  9. #19
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    Don't toss it! I messed up a pinwheel yesterday. Today that too small pinwheel that won't fit in with the rest is a beautiful coaster!

  10. #20
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    hi because i am a slow learner [the type that dosnt read instructions until i have to]i took a few years to catch on that a good 1/4 seam saves time-- looks good-- and works!!!!!do some small stuff to work out your way to get a 1/4 inch seam on your machine----i got myself a designated 1/4 inch foot[not all are good]and i now have seams that match mostly first time--fun all the way

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