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Thread: OK What's the deal with the 1_4 inch seams?? Or Scant 1-4 in seams I'M CONFUSED??

  1. #1
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    :? :?: :?: :?: OK Why do you use 1-4 or 1-4 scant seams and WHY?? What does it all stand for?? Makes me wonder??

  2. #2
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtquilterNEWWAYtoQUILT
    :? :?: :?: :?: OK Why do you use 1-4 or 1-4 scant seams and WHY?? What does it all stand for?? Makes me wonder??
    I'll take a stab at this one...

    Long time ago when the earth was green... wait, wrong story...

    A long time ago, someone figured out if you used seams less than 1/4 inch there wasn't enough fabric on the wrong side of the thread to keep a joint from pulling apart under the stresses of daily quilt life. If you used more than 1/4 inch the quilt wasted fabric and got too bulky.

    SO a standard was made. 1/4 inch. Confused the heck out of the Europeans who had newly adapted the metric system.

    BUT, so it was. Now maybe 1/4 inch isn't strictly necessary, fabric being so much better made... but all patterns build that seam allowance in in this country.

    A scant 1/4 means you move the needle over about 3 threads so when you press your seams over, the resulting finished dimension of a piece will be the desired finished dimension.

    tim in san jose

  3. #3
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    Well done Tim!! WOO WOO WOO!!!!! :lol:

    I use my 1/4 inch foot on my machine and press my seams open.... scant isn't in my vocabulary! LOL

    to each their own! whatever works for you

  4. #4
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    My knowledge is limited, but after my first attempt at a one, I can tell you that when multiplied by eight a 'scant' seam can mean the difference between a cone and a mariner's compass. :(

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    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    they call it a "scant" quarter inch because instructions calling for a "3/16ths of an inch" or "7/32ds of an inch" seam would scare the crackers out of most people. and the rulers would cost a FORTUNE!!

    :shock: :mrgreen: :lol:

  6. #6
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    Of course you can make your seam allowances whatever size you want if you aren't going to wash or handle your quilt (if they are too narrow) or if you don't mind bulky bumps behind the pieces (if they are too wide) and if you draft your own patterns. If you use a commercial pattern, you will need to use a 1/4" seam.

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    And if you are truly making art quilts, it matters not in the least! You are not using someone else's patterns, square blocks, or traditional methods (though I fully agree that you should know and understand the 'why' of every single one of them!). Entire pieces are made with no seams at all, only water-soluble fusibles, collaged, embellished, thread-painted and stitched to your hearts desire! In art quilting, the rules of art take precedence over the rules of quilting. :wink:

  8. #8
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    I look really carefully, learning from experience, at a pattern before I start. If it calls for a 1/4" seam, then it's okay. However, if it says scant 1/4", I don't do it. It's just too much of a bother.

  9. #9
    O WHO?HookEMWe'rebetternU's Avatar
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    :lol: I agree those tiny seams are just not mE soooo I go with the Patchwork stitch or straight st. and make it comfortable for me don't worry about it, You'll get old before your time!!!! Isn't it suppose to be FUN???

  10. #10
    Suz
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    Also, if you are hand quilting following the shapes of pieces in the block, the quilting is usually done at 1/4". If the seams are wider, this produces more thicknesses to quilt through. And proportionally to all of the small pieces in a block, I don't think more than the 1/4" would look too good.

    Suzanne

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    :( Ok got the patchwork foot , and the stitch on the computerizied machine but why do some of the ladies seams LOOK Soooo much tinier than mine, I think piecing is NOT my Thing!!!!

  12. #12
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    which ladies? in person or in photos? you can't tell much from photos. the difference between mine in person and what shows in pictures is like ... the difference between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. only Jekyll shows in pics. :lol:

    don't get caught up comparing the details of others' quilts to yours. first look to see if, overall, it's pleasing to YOUR eyes. if you're trying to gauge your own skills development, compare the most recent results to your first attempts.

    i feel great about most of my work unless i look at some of the other quilts you can see on the internet. Uber-Quilters. wouldn't know a mistake if they fell into it face-first. if i judged mine in comparison to theirs, i'd probably go back to knitting! :lol:

  13. #13
    lin
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    i feel great about most of my work unless i look at some of the other quilts you can see on the internet. Uber-Quilters. wouldn't know a mistake if they fell into it face-first. if i judged mine in comparison to theirs, i'd probably go back to knitting! :lol:
    Umm, I've started knitting again. Does that mean I need to start seeing my phsycoquiltologist again??? :oops:

    :lol:

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    :? :( :?: Well I've seen some in person. I thought I'd try some BOM, and yes I have been doing Art Quilts and machine quilting and Now I'm trying this, I did have one lady online tell me to cut it a little bigger, so I might try that. I made some blocks but they aren't the same size but I was told with a sampler type it didn't matter just to build it in. Any Ideas??

  15. #15
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    My 1/4 seam foot for my machine keeps the needle position just a hair shy of the 1/4 inch mark, so as long as I use the guide on the foot all my seams are the same.

    Regardless of whether it's a 1/4 inch or a scant 1/4 inch, what is important is ALL the seams must be the same width.....if your seam allowances vary, even the tiniest bit in the project, you have a headache in the making. :D


  16. #16
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    If you use traditional templates to cut your pieces, you will need to use scant 1/4" seam allowances.
    However, if you follow my techniques, you can use either a 1/4" or a scant 1/4", as long as your seam allowances are all the same.

    A scant 1/4" makes allowances for the turn of the cloth, so that the finished project is the desired size. A regular 1/4" seam allowance will be slightly smaller when finished.

    Kaye Wood
    kayewood.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    Wow Tim, you are truly a font of knowledge. I never really knew what they meant by a scant quarter inch either.

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