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Scant 1/4inch

Scant 1/4inch

Old 11-20-2019, 07:40 AM
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Red face Scant 1/4inch

Good morning to everyone, First of all thank you to all of you who responded to my questions on free motion quilting a few weeks ago. I have been practicing and its getting much better. I am finding a good speed for me to keep stitches more even. I have a new question today in regards to seam allowances. I just bought a pattern that calls for scant 1/4 in seams and they instructed the importance of keeping them in areas that they specify. How does one figure out what a scant 1/4 in is? Thanks in advance
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:03 AM
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For me, it basically means you want to make the seam small enough that the tiny width of the row of stitches used to make up the seam doesn't add to it, that seam thread bulk = 1/4. On my old Pfaff it took a good 1/4 inch foot to achieve it. People will chime in with other tips. I found the customary ones difficult with my eyesight. The only thing that really helped to achieve this was the foot.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-20-2019 at 10:20 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:05 AM
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If your machine has the feature of moving the needle, I find moving my needle one click over is the most reliable. You can cut an old $card and use double sided tape to position the strip at the scant 1/4 to give you a guide to run your pieces along. I hate when patterns say that because I know I will be ripping at some point.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:36 AM
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Scant 1/4" is ridiculous. If quilters would stop buying patterns that call for scat 1/4" then the designers would stop using it and design for 1/4" .
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
Scant 1/4" is ridiculous. If quilters would stop buying patterns that call for scat 1/4" then the designers would stop using it and design for 1/4" .
I agree.

What is more important than seam allowance, is what is showing between the seams!

I think some designers say "scant" because of the "if some is good, more is better" mentality that some of us have.

A not very good example, but what I can think of at the moment - if a two inch nail would be adequate, my FiL would go for a six inch spike.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post

- if a two inch nail would be adequate, my FiL would go for a six inch spike.
This made my day! I'll bet we all know someone like your FIL.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:23 AM
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The seam allowance is not the important thing. The size of the patch is. Look at it this way. If you have a piece of fabric that is exactly 1.5" wide, and you sew seams exactly on the .25 and 1.25 lines, you will not wind up with a patch that is exactly 1" wide, or a seam allowance that is exactly 1/4". That is because the thread takes up some room on both sides of the seam. For some patterns this does not matter, but for many it does. (A simple example is, if you have 5 patches on one side of the seam, each supposed to be 1" finished, and 1 patch on the other side, cut at 5" finished, then they will not match up if each of the 1" patches is actually 4.95".)

It would be impossible for pattern designers to write patterns that would make up for the width of the thread. For one thing, thread weights and fabric weights are different. When I press a seam using BottomLine thread and a lightweight quilting fabric, it will be act differently than if I press a seam using 40 weight thread and a heavier fabric. By necessity, patterns have to be written as if the thread takes up no room in the seam.

We quilt with fabric and thread, and both are 3-dimensional. If we worked in a 2-dimensional world, then we could ignore the scant 1/4".

Here is one video on how to figure out where to set your seam allowance. There are many more if you google "scant 1/4" seam allowance". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j0wFhr8Jfk
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:33 AM
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Well said, Dunster.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:55 AM
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good video.
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:37 PM
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If the “scant 1/4” seam is used so much, why don’t sewing machine manufacturers offer a scant 1/4“ foot??
problem solved!
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