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Thread: my 1/4 foot hates me ! Help please!

  1. #1
    Junior Member seahorsesanna's Avatar
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    Ok so I am such a newbie that I cant even sew a straight line but love to sew :lol: So I bought a 1/4 foot thinking that would help but I still cant get a straight line so I must be using it incorrectly. Does the fabric go under the edge guide or just up to the edge and how do I make the fabric not curve up against the edge? I know my mom keeps telling me to just practice and I have so much that I am just beginning to think I am the crooked one! :-P
    Thanks for helping

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Up next to the guide, if it goes under, your seams will be too big :D:D:D

  3. #3
    bj
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    I put a piece of moleskin on the little plate that covers my bobbin (I have a Singer) at the 1/4" mark to help me keep my seams straight. It's helped me. I also use the 1/4" foot, but the moleskin keeps the fabric from wandering (O:

  4. #4
    Senior Member SharBear's Avatar
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    I was having the same problem - so what I did was to take a piece of paper and with no thread in the machine try sewing in under the guide - seam was too wide; then i went right up against the guide - it was still a smidge too wide. FINALLY I went to the spot where I could just see a sliver of daylight between the quide and the fabric - VIOLA!

    The other thing that is really important (and I have to credit either the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting or Harriet Hargraves - Freshman Year Quilt book) - watch the FABRIC. The feed dogs and the needle / thread will do their job - your job is to WATCH THAT FABRIC and make sure it goes where it is supposed to!

    good luck!

  5. #5
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    You will find there is so much info for quilting online, not only here but if you Google you should be able to find super helpful videos. One of the best video place is http://www.youtube.com/ search quilting and thousands come up :shock:

    Here is one for you on using your 1/4 foot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxgcmS_0eD4

    All quilting takes time but with masses of patience you will get there, honest. :-D

  6. #6
    Super Member Doreen's Avatar
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    It does take practice. Hang in there, it will come together!

  7. #7
    Junior Member seahorsesanna's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for all the helpful tips!

  8. #8
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I had to move my needle a smidge to the right to make it hit exactly on the 'scant' 1/4".

  9. #9
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    i am making a tube quilt and find that it is important to watch the fabric and not the needle. Also do short sections. Don't try and do the entire length of whatever you are sewing in one sweep. Stop and readjust as needed.
    I tend to think folks think that it is a guide it will know where the fabric should go. Not so. Take it slow. Alo when sewing be sure you can barely see the piece underneith. Just the edge of the under iece. Then both will be accurate.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SharonTheriault's Avatar
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    I like being able to move the needle to the place that gives me a good scant 1/4" seam. My Janome is great with that.

  11. #11
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    What I have to remind myself all the time is to just slow down. I find it's easier to be accurate that way.

  12. #12
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    I think its like riding a bike, if you go to slow then you cant go in a straight line. the 1/4 inch foot helps you get the right seam allowance and the edge is supposed to help make it consistent, but a little practice first will go a long way toward building your confidence and gaining speed! You can do it!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharBear
    I was having the same problem - so what I did was to take a piece of paper and with no thread in the machine try sewing in under the guide - seam was too wide; then i went right up against the guide - it was still a smidge too wide. FINALLY I went to the spot where I could just see a sliver of daylight between the quide and the fabric - VIOLA!

    The other thing that is really important (and I have to credit either the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting or Harriet Hargraves - Freshman Year Quilt book) - watch the FABRIC. The feed dogs and the needle / thread will do their job - your job is to WATCH THAT FABRIC and make sure it goes where it is supposed to!

    good luck!
    This is the best piece of advice you will ever get - "WATCH THAT FABRIC". If you are feeding the fabric in correctly, the needle will stitch it correctly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharBear

    The other thing that is really important (and I have to credit either the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting or Harriet Hargraves - Freshman Year Quilt book) - watch the FABRIC. The feed dogs and the needle / thread will do their job - your job is to WATCH THAT FABRIC and make sure it goes where it is supposed to!

    good luck!
    Ditto!

  15. #15
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I can't sew accurately with a 1/4 foot. It requires constant detailled attention to the foot's edge. What I do instead is cut strips of the thickest moleskin I can find (sold in foot section of pharmacy), cut it into strips, and place it on the bed of my machine to create a physical barrier for the fabric to butt up against.

    Here's how I position the moleskin accurately. I get out my favorite ruler and lower the needle so it is just to the right of the 1/4" line on my ruler. Lower the presser foot to keep the ruler in place, then check to make sure ruler is straight from front to back. Unpeel the adhesive from the back of the moleskin and adhere the moleskin to the bed of the machine, using the ruler edge to keep it straight.

    It's a good idea to sew some test strips to make sure the seam is accurate. (I sew three 2.5" strips together, press, and then measure to make sure I am getting an exact 6.5" of width.)

    With this physical barrier, I am able to sew strips together very fast with excellent accuracy. There's no way I could get the same results by using a 1/4" foot!

  16. #16
    np3
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Up next to the guide, if it goes under, your seams will be too big :D:D:D
    I agree!

  17. #17
    Junior Member seahorsesanna's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips about moleskin I will be trying that soon!
    :D

  18. #18
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seahorsesanna
    Ok so I am such a newbie that I cant even sew a straight line but love to sew :lol: So I bought a 1/4 foot thinking that would help but I still cant get a straight line so I must be using it incorrectly. Does the fabric go under the edge guide or just up to the edge and how do I make the fabric not curve up against the edge? I know my mom keeps telling me to just practice and I have so much that I am just beginning to think I am the crooked one! :-P
    Thanks for helping
    I have problems with my hands. So, to make my sewing easier I bought a 1/4" foot with a flange guide. All I have to do is butt the fabric against the guide and sew. No real hand-eye coordination mishaps for me now.

    ali

  19. #19
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I will add that there is an additional advantage to using a physical barrier such as the moleskin. If you are really careless or suffer an extreme lapse of attention, chances are the seam will simply be too small and all you have to do is re-sew that area (assuming you are pressing seams to the side, which is what I am mostly doing). If the seam is too big, you have to rip the previous stitching out; however, it's hard to make the seam too big when the moleskin is there as a stop.

  20. #20
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    I teach my beginners this...unthread your machine..
    now draw lines on a piece of paper..sometimes notebook paper lines are a 1/4" apart, and then butt your paper against that foot and sew....just sew on the paper with NO thread so you can see the holes and see what you are doing...

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