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Scant 1/4 inch seams???

Scant 1/4 inch seams???

Old 06-21-2010, 02:51 PM
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I have been using precuts on a tote bag and also in quilt blocks. I have used my Janome 1/4 inch seam foot and I am losing fabric after pressing. I am measuring and the seams are 1/4 inch but my local quilt shop owner says they are too big and I need to use a scant 1/4 inch. We also discussed changing my thread. Is anyone else having a problem getting a true block size after pressing using the pinked precut fabrics? Any advice would be welcome! Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:12 PM
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the scant 1/4 inch. every quilter's nightmare.

here's the deal. it has nothing to do with the fact that the fabs are precut. it has to do with how thick the fabric and - to a lesser degree - how thick your thread is.

so - drum roll - the perfect scant may very well be different for every new project.

if you want "perfectly" sized blocks you have to make some test strips before you start working on the actual blocks. keep fiddling with your settings until your test strips come out correctly. then write down the settings so you can go back to them if you've changed them for some reason. keep the settings notes with the fabrics and pattern for the project so they don't get mixed up.

it took me 20 minutes to find the right scant for one project. blech! :thumbdown:

i almost never worry about it anymore. i just make sure to use the same allowance consistently throughout a project and live with a slightly smaller outcome.

there are only two times it really matters:
(1) when you're trying to match HSTs or Flying Geese to square or rectangular patches. you'll usually need to trim them back to match up to the squares and rectangles.
(2) if you're swapping blocks with somebody. then you still have to hope your scant and their scant are close enough to the same scant.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:29 PM
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Janome is notorious for having a 1/4" foot that is larger than a 1/4" seam allowance . I used to either move my needle over a spot or two or cut the fabric a smidge larger than needed. My new Bernina's 1/4" foot seems to be right on the money, but I used to have to play with my Janome a bit.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:33 PM
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I agree with everyone and just have one more comment, hopefully helpful. I use a micro fine needle (found in your local sewing shop) and the thinnest thread I can find to piece. I have found, for me, that this is the best alternative. Even than I try for the "scant" 1/4 inch seam. Clear as mud!!? :-D
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:46 PM
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I know this suggestion sounds like it is out of left field. Did you measure your piece before and after pressing? I wonder if your fabric is shrinking a little due to the heat. Are you using steam as well?

I have never used a kit per se, but I would think fabric is fabric. I have had some shrink after washing, drying and pressing. It is one of the reasons I prewash (besides the dye running issues) religiously. I know I can always add sizing back into the fabric but it is really hard to add fabric once its been cut.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:55 PM
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I bought the Janome three in one 1/4"/SID foot for my Jem and it has a wide hole towards the right side that allows you to move the needle position to the right a couple of ticks so that you get a scant 1/4" seam. Works like a charm. And, so worth the $19.95 I paid for it.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:22 PM
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Well clearly I'm not one to have perfect blocks because I have never noticed this to be a problem. Maybe all my quilts are a little off and I haven't paid attention. Oh well, if I don't see it, it must be fine. I just dare one of my loved ones to tell me I have crooked blocks after I give them one of my quilts, hahaha
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:49 PM
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i have two Janome machines.

the quarter-inch foot on the Janome MC11000 sews a scant quarter inch when the needle is left at the default factory setting.

on the Janome 6600p:
(2) standard 1/4-inch foot: set the needle at 3.7 for a precise 1/4-inch, and [usually] 3.9 for a scant. for some fabrics, i have to go farther to the right, but 3.9 is a good starting point.
(3) accufeed 1/4-inch foot: 5.7 for precise 1/4-inch; 5.9 as my starting point for scant.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:26 AM
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I have the Janome dc3018 and I use my walking foot and set the needle to 6.0-6.5 for my 1/4 inch and scant. I also found out that if I pink my blocks the I need to decide do I measure from the inside or outside of the pinking. It does make a small difference.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PatriceJ
i have two Janome machines.

the quarter-inch foot on the Janome MC11000 sews a scant quarter inch when the needle is left at the default factory setting.

on the Janome 6600p:
(2) standard 1/4-inch foot: set the needle at 3.7 for a precise 1/4-inch, and [usually] 3.9 for a scant. for some fabrics, i have to go farther to the right, but 3.9 is a good starting point.
(3) accufeed 1/4-inch foot: 5.7 for precise 1/4-inch; 5.9 as my starting point for scant.
Patrice that's great info as I'm doing flying geese right now and am actually playing with this myself.
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