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Question from a beginnner quilter

Question from a beginnner quilter

Old 12-30-2012, 03:52 AM
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Default Question from a beginnner quilter

Okay, please forgive me if this is a silly question, but I am very new to quilting, and this has been bugging me so I have to ask....

I have done a reasonable amount of sewing, but until recently this has been dressmaking. I am used to a larger seam allowance, and having to always finish all the raw edges edges of my fabric in order to stop it all fraying and compromising the seams.

So, I am currently embroidering the panels for the centre piece of my first 'proper' quilt, and will soon be ready to start on the patchwork element of it. I know I need to use a 1/4" seam allowance. So, is my lovely quilt likely to fray? None of the instruction books that I have say anything about finishing the edges, and it would be very difficult anyway with such a small seam allowance anyway, wouldn't it? Or does the actual quilting part of it take care of the possibility of fraying? I know that it won't be subject to the same wear and tear that a garment would, but having spent time and money making the quilt I really would like it to be durable.

Any words of wisdom please?
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:05 AM
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First, don't press the way you do with garments--opening the seams. Instead, press both allowances to the same side, typically toward the dark fabric. When you are piecing blocks together, it is nice to have the seams pressed so that they snuggle and don't have too large a lump. So, one seam to the right and one to the left. By the time the quilt is pieced, quilted and bound, all your seams are enclosed. You have to be careful to keep the fabric edges exactly together; there is little "fudge" room. In 20+ years of sewing quilt tops, I have not had one fray. But, I sure understand your question as I had sewed garments for about 30 years before quilting. Now, the shoe is on the other foot--I have a hard time sewing that 5/8" seam required on garments!
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:08 AM
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No, your seams will not fray, because the quilting holds everything together. Just shorten your stitch length a little and you'll never have a problem. Good luck on your quilt and post pics, Mawluv
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:12 AM
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That's great, I understand now! Thank you both.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:33 AM
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Most quilt patterns call for 1/4" seams and will not fit together with larger seams. With small pieces, larger seams would cause excess bulk. However, when doing 6" squares for charity quilts, I always use a 1/2" seam. With that size seam, I have more to work with if you need to fudge and feel that I make a more durable quilt for active use.

I have mended several quilts that were donated to Project Linus over the years because the seams were popping open (before or after washing). This can be due to narrow seam allowances, long stitch length, bad tension, or loosely woven fabric.

Since you are making the transition from garments sewing to quilting, I would recommend getting a 1/4" foot to make life easier.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
Since you are making the transition from garments sewing to quilting, I would recommend getting a 1/4" foot to make life easier.
I have a walking foot, and the metal part of that is just under 1/4" wide; do you think that would be okay? My other plan was to stick some tape on my machine to use as a guide.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:43 AM
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Welcome to the board!!! I have very good friends in Swansea Wales......just proves that it really is a small world! The 1/4 inch seam will be fine, shorten your stitch length and enjoy the process!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jodimarie View Post
Welcome to the board!!! I have very good friends in Swansea Wales......just proves that it really is a small world! The 1/4 inch seam will be fine, shorten your stitch length and enjoy the process!!
Oh that's only about an hour from here; we went shopping in Swansea on Friday! Small world indeed.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:55 AM
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Hello, I think you got the advice you needed already so I just wanted to welcome you to the Quilting Board! I look forward to seeing some of your work. Welcome aboard again!
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:45 AM
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There are 2 different opinions on which way you press your seams, to the side or open. I do usually press to the dark side only because I was taught that way. But, I do find it easier to match up my seams if they are pressed open, especially if there are a lot of seams meeting at one certain point. After it's quilted, it shouldn't fray. I just have a hard time remembering to press open.
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