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Beating a Dead Horse

Beating a Dead Horse

Old 01-12-2014, 01:18 PM
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Please indulge me with this question. I understand a scant 1/4 inch. But if it's different from a regular 1/4, it would stand to reason that the blocks would measure differently. If you sew 3 two inch strips together, the center strip should measure 1 1/2 inches. What would it measure with a scant 1/4 inch? I don't get it.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:25 PM
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I just always try to do the quarter inch. Scant tells me that it's 2-3 threads from 1/4 inch on either side.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:35 PM
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I like Aurifil thread for sewing a accurate 1/4 inch seam. It is thinner than most other threads so that when the unit is ironed open, it measures accurately. If you are using a thicker thread, sometimes the unit when opened up, will slightly smaller than required. This is when a scant 1/4 inch seam is needed. The scant allows for the extra fullness in the thread and the folded over fabric.
As long as your units are measuring correctly, you don't need to worry about a scant 1/4 inch seam.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:42 PM
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Watch this youtube video which explains it very well

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBoLPslLxTs
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:47 PM
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When a pattern calls for a scant 1/4" or a 1/4" they mean whatever size seam you need to achieve the result you mention in your post. What some don't understand is it's a moving target. You can mark your machine, or use a specific foot, but if you change the thickness of your thread or fabric, you may have to adjust your markings. You give a great example on how to check, here's another one:

http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutorials-f10/achieving-accurate-1-4%22-seam-allowance-t89997.html


btw, you are not beating a dead horse! each time this question is posted, I'm sure a light bulb goes on for somebody out there!
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:24 PM
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Paper Princess explained it well. In a purely theoretical world, sewing at the 1/4" line would be perfect. But because fabric and thread have thickness, we lose a small width of fabric in the fold. Since we don't want to lose that small width of fabric in the part that winds up in the quilt top, where pieces need to match up in size, we adjust by taking a slightly smaller seam.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by aggie View Post
Please indulge me with this question. I understand a scant 1/4 inch. But if it's different from a regular 1/4, it would stand to reason that the blocks would measure differently. If you sew 3 two inch strips together, the center strip should measure 1 1/2 inches. What would it measure with a scant 1/4 inch? I don't get it.
You have the right idea -- blocks do measure differently -- but you are thinking about it in the opposite way. Sewing a regular 1/4" seam allowance will result in blocks that are a different size. A scant 1/4" seam allowance is needed to achieve the correct finished size. The video posted above demonstrates the difference in finished blocks very well.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:16 PM
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Thanks. I loved the video. It will assure me of a scant seam. I think I will now test each new project. It.s really simple and will not be guess work. I use bottom line and aurafill.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:17 PM
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In other words...forget "scant". Just do the 3 strip check and if your centre strips
measures 1 1/2 inches then you are good to go. If not, adjust your needle position
accordingly.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:53 AM
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I have always been annoyed with patterns that say use a scant 1/4 inch seam. I have a 1/4 inch foot and I use that no matter what the pattern says. If you sew on the same machine and are consistent, you should be okay.
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