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Thread: Scant 1/4" seam; SERIOUSLY????????

  1. #1
    Super Member Nolee's Avatar
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    Scant 1/4" seam; SERIOUSLY????????

    Am I understanding this term correctly? I'd like to know how in the world you can constantly concentrate on one thread over from a 1/4" seam. I've made many quilts and have never ever even stayed consistently on the 1/4" seam line for every single seam. I don't think it is humanly possible if you quilt for long periods of time like I do and my quilts turn out fine. Who dreamed up this idea? We aren't PERFECT!!! Give me the secret if there is one! I just keep thinking, "Seriously?????????????"
    "Worry is about doing something you can do nothing about."

  2. #2
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I'll be honest - I just try to be consistent w/ my seam allowance. I do use the magnetic seam gauge that i set at the 1/4" point from my needle and all seams are that width. When adding borders, I then measure the middle of the quilt and ease it all in.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  3. #3
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    They say it is true. Never heard of this until a couple of years ago and I have been sewing/quilting for 40 years. Guess I never knew what I was doing the 37 of them.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I just try to stay with a consistant 1/4.

  5. #5
    Senior Member FranW's Avatar
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    LOL! This is what I have always thought. I never enter my quilts in shows, so it doesn't matter to me if they are not dead on perfect. I'm not perfect so why should my quilts be?
    Have a happy day,

    Fran

  6. #6
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    I move my needle to the tight to get a counter inch seam allowance.

  7. #7
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    I don't know how anyone can make an exact 1/4 " seam...mine are "close enough" and I never seem to have a problem, I do have a seam guide, but forget to use it most of the time

  8. #8
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    When I make blocks from Quilterscache.com, she always mentions the scant 1/4 seam. I do find, that if I don't move my needle a tad to the right, when I am done with the blocks, they are not 12.5 as many swaps specify. Just moving the needle over a bit ensures my blocks are okay for all the swaps that I do. Over block over block, that scant can add up to making the blocks not square up with each other.
    Deb Watkins - I woke up today on the right side of dirt. It is a good day.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    Marci Baker has a Corner Cut 60 and Sewing Edge purple that kf you use both you can accurately sew a scant quarter, a true quarter or a generous quarter.

  10. #10
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    Guess I'm just not concerned with perfection. As long as the seams are reasonably consistent and I can ooch them together without any puckers, I'm happy and so are the people who receive them. At least I've never heard any complaints, LOL.

  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I move my needle just one "notch" to the right. That phrase used to just make me nuts till I got my 1/4 inch foot and it finally dawned on me to move my needle.

  12. #12
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    The scant 1/4" seems to be something new within the last few years. I'm sewing the Civil War Journals quilt and the blocks do not fit the borders if I use a 1/4" seam. I had to rip out the first few blocks I made because I forgot to use the "scant". LOL

    Christine-
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-26-2012 at 06:14 PM. Reason: remove personal website

  13. #13
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    OK - I didn't worry about a scant until I started the quilt I am currently working on. It requires 9 - 1" strips to be sewn together to make this block with the sashing it should measure 10" square. When I used the 1/4" foot...I was way off by the end. So, I had to press a lot and redo a lot of seams to get it right. And they are still off. The reason this was so important is that there are appliques that go over the blocks and into the seams. I will show a picture when I get it done...might be a while though! I had to do a big scant to get these right because the seams took up more when ironed. But in 99.9% of the time I agree...1/4 will have to do.

  14. #14
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    So a quarter isn't just a plain quarter anymore? Oh, that's right. It is a scant quarter, a true quarter, & a generous quarter. LOL. When you really think about it, it does sound pretty silly.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FranW View Post
    LOL! This is what I have always thought. I never enter my quilts in shows, so it doesn't matter to me if they are not dead on perfect. I'm not perfect so why should my quilts be?
    True that! I can't cut consistantly or straigt, sew straight even when I draw a line with a ruler...
    get the picture?

  16. #16
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    This is why I don't cut borders until the center is finished and pressed. Scant 1/4 sometimes slips and here is scant thread hanging on. LOL Consistency is the name of the game I do believe.

    WilliP

    Quote Originally Posted by Christine- View Post
    The scant 1/4" seems to be something new within the last few years. I'm sewing the Civil War Journals quilt and the blocks do not fit the borders if I use a 1/4" seam. I had to rip out the first few blocks I made because I forgot to use the "scant". LOL

    Christine-

  17. #17
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    I heard of the scant 1/4" seam in my first quilting class over 10 years ago - I don't think it is a new concept. I don't have to worry about it much unless I'm doing stars that are supposed to match up. If I'm not careful I don't have nice points that match cleanly. It's also pretty important if you're doing block exchanges or trying to match up blocks with only a few pieces and blocks with lots of pieces. I find that I get great seams the first few hours, but my consistency drops with more time in front of the machine! I always joke that means it's time to stop and take a break.

    Pam

  18. #18
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    scant is hard especially if you can NOT move your needle over!
    quilterscache patterns and EQ as well are notorious for needing a scant 1/4 inch..or just a scosh over from an 1/8th..hehehe

  19. #19
    Junior Member kimg's Avatar
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    I am glad someone finally said what I have been thinking. I do well to get my seams a consistent quarter inch. How in the world you can consistently make it "scant" or just a thread width less is beyond me. Quarter inch seams work for me.

  20. #20
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Scant 1/4" is important for intricate patterns. A machine that can move the needle over one or two spots does the trick. No, this in not a new concept at all.

  21. #21
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    So a scant is less than a quarter inch or more than a quarter inch? I have a FW or no needle moving for me!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  22. #22
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Jane View Post
    So a scant is less than a quarter inch or more than a quarter inch? I have a FW or no needle moving for me!!
    Scant is a tiny less than the 1/4". A Featherweight is what I've been sewing on as well the past 2 months. I use a small stack of post-it notes and tape them down so the edge is ON the 1/4 inch seam guide line that is on the throat plate. That makes my "scant" very nicely. I am now doing nine-patch blocks that finish at 6.5 inches (that is 36 little blocks in each 6.5" block) and they have come out great using my low-tech seam guide. I have also learned it makes a big difference whether I skim along the edge of the guide (that is the right way) or let my fabric almost push against the guide (which is what I used to do). Skimming the edge is the ideal. I guess I am sometimes a slow learner because it took me a lot of years to figure this out. As many have said Consistancy in our seam sizes is the most important.
    Last edited by moreland; 03-27-2012 at 03:42 AM.
    God Bless,
    Rachel

  23. #23
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    A scant quarter isn't really a quarter at all, is it? Too funny but maddening.
    Sandy

  24. #24
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Two recent threads with explanations of 'scant', ways to test for accuracy of seams, ways to adjust for accuracy of seams, and general commiseration on the subject.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...o-t182586.html
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...m-t183464.html
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  25. #25
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handcraftsbyjen View Post
    Marci Baker has a Corner Cut 60 and Sewing Edge purple that kf you use both you can accurately sew a scant quarter, a true quarter or a generous quarter.
    I really like these two products - the seam measurement tool is just great and the purple edge stuff sticks a good long while. The only problem is that the back of the purple stuff loses its stickiness as it collects lint. If it gets sewing machine oil on it, the sticky part rubs off. You can only wash it in plain cold water.

    I'd been using stacks of blue artists' masking tape - it doesn't stick as well as the purple strips do, but it works okay. I've heard moleskin works well, but I've never tried that.

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