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The ever elusive SCANT 1/4" seam

The ever elusive SCANT 1/4" seam

Old 05-01-2012, 12:05 PM
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Default The ever elusive SCANT 1/4" seam

I have a Janome 6600 and I'm using my 1/4 inch foot. I need 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 blocks. Every stinking one I've made is 8 x 8 or a little bigger, not even close to the 8 1/2. It has to be the
SCANT part that I'm messing up. With the 1/4 inch foot, there's not much room to move my needle over. Do I need to change my foot? I'm at my wit's end here. Can anybody give me any advice? I"ve done the search here and nothing seems to 'click' with me. Hellllllp! Please.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:17 PM
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I have a brother 1500d and I'm doing an on line course that requires a scant 1/4 inch seam and my foot wont allow it. I'm using my normal foot and moving the needle. I think they should make the patterns to have a proper 1/4 inch seam. It seems to me you would then have a decent seam and everyone could get it right. Scant doesn't give a lot of fsbric in the seam to cater for lots of washing and general use as not every seam is caught in the quilting.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:23 PM
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Contrary to popular belief, a quarter inch foot for the Janome won't give you a quarter of an inch unless you move the needle over. You'll have to test and find out exactly where that is for your machine.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:24 PM
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Are you making sure that the block is cut to 9 x 9 to begin with? Just sayin'.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:34 PM
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There are lots of places where you may be 'losing' fabric - in addition to the seam width

Are you cutting your pieces 'skimpy'?

Are you using thick thread in your seams?

How are you pressing the blocks?

Do a test to see where the problem might be:
1) Cut three strips of fabric 2 x 5 inches long
2) Sew them together with 'your' 1/4 inch seam
3) Press

Measure - the unit should measure 5 x 5 inches - and the center strip should measure 1 inch wide

This will only take you a few minutes to do. If the finished piece is too small, make your seams a tiny bit narrower. Or place your ruler so that you 'include' a bit more fabric in your cut.

Then try it again, to see if it's better the next time.

Are you using templates? Just 'strip cutting'? Using a June Tailor shape cutter? A die cutter?

'Scant' isn't really that big of a deal. If one drew a fine pencil line 'exactly' on the 1/4 inch line - one would stitch on the outside edge (closer to the edge) of the pencil line.


There are a lot of places where things can go awry. I think one reason that some patterns say 'scant 1/4 inch' seams is that the pattern is comparatively finicky.

I think some sewers think of seam width like some people do with medicine - if some is good, more will be better.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
Measure - the unit should measure 5 x 5 inches - and the center strip should measure 1 inch wide
I think what bearisgray meant to say is the center strip should measure 1" (2" minus the two " seams). Keep testing until it does.

It's the same idea as getting your gauge right when knitting. Lots of ways it can be 'off' and lots of ways you can make it right. Find the easiest one for you. And test it again before you start any new quilt to make sure everything fits as it should. Saves a whole lot of time, energy, and frustration.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
Contrary to popular belief, a quarter inch foot for the Janome won't give you a quarter of an inch unless you move the needle over. You'll have to test and find out exactly where that is for your machine.
This is true. Learned the hard way! I have a Janome 6600 and even though I use the 1/4 inch foot, I have to move the needle to 4.5 to get 1/4 inch. As scissor queen says you will have to sew and adjust until you find the "spot".
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:17 PM
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I have the same machine, you can move the needle more than you think, I use 4.0 for nrrdle position and 2.0 for my stitch length on almost everything, when make an adjustment just turn the wheel with your hand (toward you) so you can see if it will hit or not. are you using the foot with thr flange? it's better than the other.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:19 PM
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Why doesn't someone just make a "scant 1/4" foot"? Would save us all a lot of trouble when a pattern calls for it.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
I think what bearisgray meant to say is the center strip should measure 1" (2" minus the two " seams). Keep testing until it does.

It's the same idea as getting your gauge right when knitting. Lots of ways it can be 'off' and lots of ways you can make it right. Find the easiest one for you. And test it again before you start any new quilt to make sure everything fits as it should. Saves a whole lot of time, energy, and frustration.
Thanks, ghostrider. The center strip should measure 1-1/2 inches.
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