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Thread: patterns with no seam allowance

  1. #1

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    I am new to quilting and have found dozens of patterns that I would like to try, but they are just of the finished block. Do I need to take that apart and add my own seam allowance? How does that work?

  2. #2
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Where are you finding the patterns you like? If they are the free patterns you find so often, they usually tell you if the seam allowance is included. But, if you like one that doesn"t say that, yes, you could cut it apart and make it to a size you would like. Just be sure you do add the 1/4 inch around all sides.

  3. #3

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    Thank you so much! I took a guess and was doing just that, then started to doubt myself. This is such a fun and exciting hobby to start, but I have a lot to learn. :D

  4. #4
    Junior Member BOYD56's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board Wilpatricia ! You are going to have a ton of a fabric & projects in no time :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    I guess I haven't experienced any patterns that didn't have seam allowances included. You're not paper piecing are you?

  6. #6
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel
    I guess I haven't experienced any patterns that didn't have seam allowances included. You're not paper piecing are you?
    A lot of the older quilting books and magazines don't include seam allowances on the template shapes. And I have a book, 501 Quilt Blocks, that is just pictures of the blocks. It allows them to have that many one one book. Sometimes it's a pain to make the little templates, but the variety makes up for it, for me.

    What I do to add the seam allowances is tape or glue (with gluestick) a copy of each template piece to a piece of paper, with enough space between to allow for the seam allowances. Then I lay my ruler against the piece with the 1/4" line on the seam line and mark the cutting lines, then cut the template pieces out. Curves are a little pickier, you just have to mark a lot more often to reproduce the curve smoothly.

  7. #7
    Super Member cbridges22's Avatar
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    There is a ruler that has the 1/4 seam allowance on it you just line it up on the pattern and it extends 1/4 in.

  8. #8
    Power Poster
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    Hello from Ohio.

  9. #9
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilpatricia
    I am new to quilting and have found dozens of patterns that I would like to try, but they are just of the finished block. Do I need to take that apart and add my own seam allowance? How does that work?
    If the blocks you are looking at have common size patches--say a 2 inch square or a rectangle that is 2 inches by 4 inches--it would still be much easier to use a rotary cutter & rotary ruler to cut your patches. Just remember to add in your seam allowances when you cut the patches out.

    I have a bunch of old magazines from the early to mid 1980's--before rotary cutters & rulers became widely used and they are all like you described. Hand drawn squares even for a pattern as simple as a 4 Patch. Unless you are really into doing things the "old" way--please do yourself a favor and purchase a rotary cutter, ruler & cutting mat. If you are talking about applique, there is no easy way. You have to trace & cut all those shapes out. You can "cheat" by using a lightweight fusible interfacing so you don't need to add the seam allowances or the traditional needle turn method where you do add the seam allowances and turn them under as you hand or machine stitch the pieces down.

  10. #10
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California!

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