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Thread: matching seams

  1. #1
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    I seem to always have a hard time getting my seams to match. Even if i do exact 1/4 inch it still seems to be off after i press. Does anyone have any tips brand new quilter here,

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member LisaGibbs's Avatar
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    I pin everything and sometimes there might be a slight easement to make them match. I also press everything and use starch at each seam. It helps along with a lot of practice. You also need to make sure you are using a quilting foot that is exactly 1/4" seam allowance and that the edge is right under the foot. Regular sewing feet seem to be "just over" 1/4".

  3. #3
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Consistent seams, sharp pressing, nesting and pinning both sides of the seam, gently easing in (with pinning) any differences and practice...you'll get there, not to worry. It'll become second nature, I promise. :D

  4. #4
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    I have fallen in love with my 1/4" foot. It seems to help keep those seems even to a point. Of course the person doing the sewing sometimes causes me trouble, she just can't seem to see straight some days. LOL

  5. #5
    Super Member dglvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valsma
    I have fallen in love with my 1/4" foot. It seems to help keep those seems even to a point. Of course the person doing the sewing sometimes causes me trouble, she just can't seem to see straight some days. LOL
    Ditto to that. Also if I'm piecing and having issues I'll use some spray starch. Spray the fabric then iron real good and that will stiffen the fabric and help the fabric from stretching. :thumbup:

  6. #6
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    I pin first at the intersection of seams and then out to the edges. This (usually) gives me accurate points and if I need to ease/fudge the balance of the seam it's not quite so noticable. I pin straight up/down through the center of both intersections then pin closely on either side of the original pin. If your pin is not happy staying perpendicular to the piece you are pinning, lay your pin along the seam line you want to match to when pinning on either side. This usually keeps things straight. Hopefully that made sense.

    Also remember that if you need to 'ease' fabric, put the side with the most fabric on the underside you are sewing - i.e., bunchier fabric to the feed dogs...this will also help ease your fabric. Make sure you pin your ends together where they are supposed to meet. Pull/stretch your fabric as necessary along the way. Steam is your friend when you are pressing after sewing.

  7. #7
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Cutting accurately in the beginning is of major importance if your seams are accurate and the pieces still don't match up. Make sure your cuts are precise over the entire piece. If you are making several squares to piece, and your cuts are even the tiniest bit off on each one,, each bit adds up. Also, sometimes if you are using different quality of fabrics, some weaves might stretch more than others. Careful pressing (NOT pushing the iron back and forth-just "press") is a good habit to get into to prevent stretching when pressing

  8. #8
    Senior Member quilter1430's Avatar
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    Fudge when you have to. Fabric has a lot of give and take, so make it work for you. Instead of pins, I use my fingers to feel the two seams intersect, pinch it together, and work through the machine. After a while, feeling the two seams lock becomes second nature. My seams are usually perfect with this method.

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    You can glue baste the seams to a perfect match then sew. If the seams are off to much to distort the piece then it will be something you will have to correct in your sewing. There is a 1/4" wide double sided wash away tape that is excellent to get the perfect 1/4" seam on very stubborn blocks. It's called Magic Tape and found at most craft stores.

    Quilt pros use shortcuts and unconventional items to achieve perfectly constructed quilts and they don't tell all of them!

  10. #10
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter1430
    Fudge when you have to. Fabric has a lot of give and take, so make it work for you. Instead of pins, I use my fingers to feel the two seams intersect, pinch it together, and work through the machine. After a while, feeling the two seams lock becomes second nature. My seams are usually perfect with this method.

    I rarely pin anything anymore.....Like you, I feel the seams lock together and then hold them tight with my finger while easing under the needle.....and my seams are usually :lol: :lol: right on.....I also ease in any extra on the bottom side.....I don't have time to be too fussy, if it's off a bit, it's ok cause most people will never see it by the time the quilt is quilted and washed!

  11. #11
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter1430
    Fudge when you have to. Fabric has a lot of give and take, so make it work for you. Instead of pins, I use my fingers to feel the two seams intersect, pinch it together, and work through the machine. After a while, feeling the two seams lock becomes second nature. My seams are usually perfect with this method.
    That is just what I do-but I still use pins to hold it

  12. #12
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    It's something we all struggle with. We starch, pin, ease and rip but sometimes a point will be cut off or a corner not match. If you do need to ease a square, put the larger piece on the bottom next to the feed dogs. The feed dogs take up a little more fabric than the fabric on the top. Keep at it and you will get better.

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  14. #14
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    As said, you need a few things in order: accurate cutting, accurate lining the fabrics and precise sewing. I will bring in something new: reduce the size of the thread to the smallest you can deal with. Some machines can not work with very small threads, so use the thinnest you can. Another thing I always do is not to press my seams open. I press to set the seams after I sew them, but never press them open. I find that it distort the fabrics and I can not match anything after that. I just finger press.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My half square triangles and flying geese are always made over sized and then cut down to size. No more trouble with seams that dont match, they just go togather perfect.

  16. #16
    Junior Member jan22's Avatar
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    I read all the responses but didn't see this recommendation. Sounds like you aren't using a IDT or walking foot. the IDT is a built in walking foot on several different brands of machines, where the 'walking foot' can be a separate gadget you attach yourself. It pulls the top fabric at the same time as it pulls the bottom fabric so it feeds together and makes matching seams so much easier.

  17. #17
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    pin on both sides of the seams when matching up at intersections.

  18. #18
    Cyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter1430
    Fudge when you have to. Fabric has a lot of give and take, so make it work for you. Instead of pins, I use my fingers to feel the two seams intersect, pinch it together, and work through the machine. After a while, feeling the two seams lock becomes second nature. My seams are usually perfect with this method.
    ditto :)

  19. #19
    a regular here Demshine's Avatar
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    One thing that I just learned by trial and error.... having the grain match on both blocks you are sewing together. For example, on a plain square one side will stretch, and one side will not. Sew together the sides that don't stretch first!

  20. #20
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Consistent seams, sharp pressing, nesting and pinning both sides of the seam, gently easing in (with pinning) any differences and practice...you'll get there, not to worry. It'll become second nature, I promise. :D
    I'd add to that using starch/Best Press to press before sewing if you have any problems. Pinning on either side of the seam is a great help, too.

    ali

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    Press the seam allowances in opposite directions- so that when you put the two right sides together, the allowance of one seam will be aiming in one direction, and the other will be aiming in the other direction. Then they will "nest" together. Then pin them to keep them together. If you're doing a row that has several seams, pin the seams together first, then pin the rest.

  22. #22
    Vat
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    Starch is a life saver. But you should starch before you do any cutting.

  23. #23
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    one of the keys is the ironing of the seams in the 'right' direction, this will help with the nesting of the seams when you sew them...

  24. #24
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    Are you pressing the seams in different directions. Pressing the seams on one piece one way, pressing the seams the opposite direction on the other piece helps them 'nest'. They will match everytime as long as the pieces have been cut correctly and the seams sewn consistantly. Don't over 'press' your seams.
    If seams/pieces are 'ironed' the pieces will sometimes become
    misshapen causing the seams not to match as well.

  25. #25
    Senior Member irma tapia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tqualley
    I seem to always have a hard time getting my seams to match. Even if i do exact 1/4 inch it still seems to be off after i press. Does anyone have any tips brand new quilter here,

    Thanks
    When I iron my seems I iron one row to the left then the 2nd row to the right, repeat the process until you're to the end. When matching the seems the seems will butt up to each other thus matching the seems. After I match the seems I pin them and then pin the rest of the row. Hope this helps

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