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ro 01-05-2014 01:12 PM

Quarter of an Inch
 
who knew something so small could cause so many problems. i cant get 1/4" straight seam to save my life. i've tried a quarter inch foot. i've tried penciling the 1/4 inch. i have tape on the machine. when i get to the end i go off into la la land. believe me i've tried to concentrate on this because i'm goin crazy with it. i thought this was suppose to be enjoyment. well i find it very frustrating. any interesting hints or practices you do that might help me.

Tartan 01-05-2014 01:18 PM

Some machines come with a foot that gives a nice 1/4 inch when you keep the fabric even with the foot edge. You might like to try Bonnie Hunter's "Best Seam Guide Ever" that is on her site www.quiltville.blogspot.ca. It is made from a 3M strip and an old hotel key card. It is under her tips tab on her site.

tessagin 01-05-2014 01:19 PM

My little niece is learning to sew and I stress the quarter inch seam allowance. I tell her to keep her eye on the needle. She marks with chalk and will not talk to anyone until she is where she wants to be with her 1/4 ". She doesn't look away from the needle. She got a Janome mini/124 for Christmas and has made a drawstring pouch and a pillow for Fiona her puppy. I find if I waiver from the machine at all and sew to fast, I veer into another direction.

toverly 01-05-2014 01:29 PM

I wouldn't stress out about the 1/4 inch. Consistency usually is good enough for most blocks. Granted some patterns, it matters but many it doesn't. If seams are consistent, it doesn't matter if the block ends up 8 1/8 instead of 8 1/2. The quilt turns out so close to the same. My bee does a friend block once a month. Someone's name is drawn and they choose a block to be made for next time. The blocks are never the same size. Different eyes, different people, different machines.

MadQuilter 01-05-2014 01:32 PM

Sometimes the feed dogs are aligned so they pull the fabric at a slight angle.

A friend taped a full post-it note pad (with the glued side toward the needle) at a 1/4" distance and properly aligned on her machine bed. She uses it as a guide for her fabric. BTW, she taped the pad down with wide blue painter's tape.

If you are a real beginner, it may also be a matter of just getting familiar with all the bits. As long as you do not have HSTs in your design - only straight cuts, a consistent seam allowance will work for you. As soon as you introduce HSTs, you need that 1/4" or you'll cut off the points.

ro 01-05-2014 01:40 PM

tovely now you would think that a quarter of a inch is a quarter of a inch. it drives me crazy.

bearisgray 01-05-2014 01:49 PM

I have been sewing 1/4 inch seams so much that I had to mark 5/8 inch seams on a woven dress shirt that I made.

I think it's somewhat like driving into one's garage or carport. After a while, most of us do figure it out.

grandma nurse 01-05-2014 01:49 PM

Is it just at the end you are loosing your 1/4 inch? If so you need to use your pointy tool to hold the fabric as it finishes up the seam. If I don't use this my seam wonders off and comes out smaller.

ro 01-05-2014 01:53 PM

yes i lose it at the end. i dont understand why the quarter inch foot w/the bar is not a quarter of an inch. that's what bothers me.

Rodney 01-05-2014 02:02 PM

Every machine is different. Your 1/4 inch foot was 1/4 to whoever measured it on the machine it was made for. Manufacturing tolerances play a part too. If your machine has an adjustable needle you may be able to get a true 1/4 inch that way.
My machine is an old one so right now I use tape on the bed of my machine but that's coming off soon. It will be replaced with a fabric guide that screws to the bed of the machine.
Rodney


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