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Thread: 1/8" seam allowances

  1. #1
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    1/8" seam allowances

    Anyone willing to help out a newbie, please? I am making a quilt for my nephew's wedding in December and I bought the kit at a show (I can't go buy this fabric at a LQS).

    I swore I cut the 3 1/8" squares out perfectly and measured where I need to sew and cut to make 1/2 square triangles, but the results, of sewing 2 of the triangles to make a 2.75" square, didn't come out as they should. I am finding I need to only give 1/8" seam allowance in order to make the 2 3/4" squares (or close enough to fudge).

    yes, the 1/8" seam allowance is on the bias. will this work out ok?

    I have given up the Internet for Lent (broke it to post this question for I am worried), but I will check back in on Sunday.
    thank you so much!

    Deb

  2. #2
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    I think if you've got a machine that sews a good stitch and you don't stretch the bias, you should be OK with an 1/8" seam. I've had many blocks that I had to sew a very narrow seam do to the shop being so selfish when cutting fabric for block-of-the-month blocks.
    Joyce

    Four things you can't recover: The stone.....after the throw. The word......after its said. The occasion.....after its missed. The time......after its gone

  3. #3
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I would for sure use a small stitch and would not go a thread less than 1/8" and pray real hard that the seams don't pull apart. When quilting try to stitch real often over the seams. Good luck.
    Another Phyllis
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  4. #4
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    I agree with Jingle use a very short stitch length and as small a seam as possible

  5. #5
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    You should be OK I would check your pattern as is sounds as if it has an error in it. You normally add 7/8" to the size of your finished 1/2 square triangles and that is your stating size for the squares (I usually cut my squares 1" bigger than the finished 1/2 square triangles and trim down) Good Luck
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody View Post
    You should be OK I would check your pattern as is sounds as if it has an error in it. You normally add 7/8" to the size of your finished 1/2 square triangles and that is your stating size for the squares (I usually cut my squares 1" bigger than the finished 1/2 square triangles and trim down) Good Luck
    I agree, could be an error in your pattern.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    While it is okay to sew with 1/8" seams, what I would do in this situation is -- after sewing -- reinforce those seams with MistyFuse. MistyFuse is a very lightweight fusible that will not add any stiffness or weight, but you have to be a little careful about handling it. If you Google, you can find some info about it. It is available on Amazon and eBay.

    My concern would be eventual fraying of those narrow seams, especially if they are not quilted on both sides. That's why I would want to add a little reinforcement.

    Edit: The MistyFuse would be applied to the wrong side. You could do it seam-by-seam, or a block at a time. Some people use MistyFuse on the entire quilt top (wrong side, of course) to stabilize it before layering. You could do that too, but it would take a lot more MistyFuse!

  8. #8
    Senior Member leggz48's Avatar
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    Good advice.....Dittos!
    Linda

  9. #9
    Senior Member Daffy Daphne's Avatar
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    A prolific Alabama quilter born just after the beginning of the Civil War, Talula Gilbert Bottoms, always used a 1/8" seam allowance in her mostly-handpieced quilts. A great many of them survive to this day, and her story and photos of many of her quilts are the subject of two books by one of her granddaughters, Nancilu B. Burdick: Legacy, and Family Ties. Another of her granddaughters was a member of our quilt guild until she passed away a year or so ago.
    Two examples of Talula's work:

    Name:  talula1.jpg
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    Name:  talula2.jpg
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  10. #10
    QM
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    Power Poster QM's Avatar
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    One thing to consider is the density of the weave. If it is loose, it won't work. I often use 1/8" on PPing and have not had a problem with it. I agree on double checking the pattern. People make errors, including people who make patterns.

  11. #11
    Super Member grma33's Avatar
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    great tip Prism i just did a bom i`n not sure i`m going to get 1/4 without losing points i`m going to use what i use to put batting together to reinforce
    Thanks Gale

  12. #12
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    When sewing on the bias make sure to starch your fabric and try not to pull or stretch it too much. The starching will help them keep their shape. You should be ok.
    Judy

  13. #13
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    I recently was told by a lady who has quilted for years to use 1/8 inch seam but I am afraid to try it. I never thought about making my stitches smaller. Thanks for the tip .I might try it now.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
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  14. #14
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    Thanks everyone! I popped on the board and read, with much gratitude, all your suggestions and advice. I did check the math and it turns out the original square size I was working with was typed wrong. I am going ahead with sewing 1/8" seam allowance and notated the mistake on the pattern directions.

    thank you everyone- I thought I had to abandon this project and quickly find another ( I hate not finishing stuff). I truly appreciate your help and advice!

    Peace,
    Deb

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