1/4 inch seam HELP
Ok, I'm TRYING to sew 1 3/4" strips to start an Amish Twist quilt. For some reason, I can't sew a 1/4" seam. I have a fairly new Singer sewing machine. I bought the quarter inch foot for it, for some reason, I continuously sew over 1/4". This happens all the time. I have to constantly measure to make sure it is 1/4" Any hints? Is it all me? Crooked eye? It is very frustrating.
Are saying that despite the fabric being placed properly against the 1/4" guide, and sewing straight - that when you measure after ironing the strip is smaller (ie larger seam allowance) than it should be?
If this is the case then you are NOT alone. I've yet to discover a 1/4" guide that is a true 1/4" after ironing. What I do is move my needle position over to the right just a tad. I start by cutting two identically sized scrap strips (say 2" wide), move my needle position to the right a smidge, sew, iron the seam, then measure and the two strips together should now measure 3.5". If not, I run another test and keep doing so until I know where my needle position should be. I keep a post-it-note on my machine with the correct needle position.
If you are saying that you are having difficulty with the fabric pulling to the left in the machine while sewing (the fabric is against the 1/4" guide but is being pulled to the left so by the time the needle hits it, the seam is off) then your feed dogs may be feeding unevenly which could be caused by lint trapped in, on, or under the feed dogs. A good cleaning is in order.
I placed a long color strip ( a piece from a sticky note) on the plate of machine. I measured from the needle to the 1/4 in. so the sticky note edge is my 1/4 in. So the fabric cannot pass the edge, I also go slow when I am sewing, that helps keep control so I don't go to far off the 1/4in.
To find out if your 1/4 inch foot is a true 1/4 inch the lines on an index card are exactly 1/4 inch. Sew on one line and follow the next line over at the edge of your foot. This will tell you if you need to move your needle over and if your foot is correct.
I have two 1/4" seam guide feet. One is true, the other has the metal that you put your fabric up against and it's off quite a bit. So, I use a seam guide. I actually bought "Seam Guides' and use them. It helps me make sure I'm doing 1/4'' seams. I should return the foot that isn't correct. It came with the machine but I bet they'd replace it.
Singer usually ahd a screw on seam guide too. I have one for my FW from my now dedceased portable
Singer. But to get it to work I put one of those orange plastic strips under the seam guide.
Though I read in Jan Krantz's Hunter Star quilt book and she did show using a double stick tape and a small maybe 3" ruler to the bed of the sewing machine. It is thicker and easily worked with.
I also know of a few people who put a pile of sticky noted for their seam guide or moleskin. Neither of t hose worked for me.
I do use my 1/4" flange seam guide foot a lot. But i hold my material differently such that i can't really describe it and it works. Sorry am in hospital so no way to get you a picture for a while.
I use my ruler and a marking pencil to mark all my seams before I start sewing works well for me
You can also make sure that absolutely NO fabric is sticking out past the foot. The foot that came with my Singer is accurate as long as I keep an eye on the fabric. I did invest in another foot with the fence and it is an accurate 1/4" for my machine so I use that more because I'm too lazy to keep watching...Which Singer do you have?
AliKat, I'm sorry you're in the hospital, wishing you a speedy recovery and I like that idea of the double stick tape and ruler idea!
It seems like it's like kerf in sawing. When you iron the seam to one side, it takes up a little of the fabric. Even I measure from the thread line out and it right on a 1/4"' the two pieces don't measure exactly.
here is a printable quide , the site is very interesting alltogether, usable tips, binding calculator etc.