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    Old 03-16-2011, 11:01 AM
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    Can someone explain to me how you judge a scant quarter inch. I'm fairly new to quilting and this phrase kinds scares me. How do you judge what scant is?
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    Old 03-16-2011, 11:03 AM
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    The best way that I can explain it is - sew just inside the quarter inch line. A quarter inch is 4/16 (on the ruler). Sew between 3/16 and 4/16 as marked on the ruler.
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    Old 03-16-2011, 11:04 AM
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    I have heard that it is one or two threads shy of a quarter, but I personally think it is hard to judge.
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    Old 03-16-2011, 11:06 AM
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    I judge it by 2 or 3 threads from in line. I place a piece of painters tape about 1" long close to my needle to help me be consistent.
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    Old 03-16-2011, 11:24 AM
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    It's different for every sewer and every machine (and depends also on fabric and thread).

    Basically what you have to do is test until you get it right. Cut 2.5" strips of fabric (maybe 6" long). Sew 3 of the pieces together with what you think is a scant 1/4" seam. Iron, then measure. With perfect 1/4" seams, the piece should measure 6.5". If it's less than that, then you need to reduce your seam width and try again.

    Here's what I do to achieve perfection (ahem.....). I take one of my cutting rulers and place it under the presser foot of my machine. I lower the needle until it touches the 1/4" line, but then move the ruler slightly so the needle touches just a little to the side of the ruler's 1/4" line. I lower the presser foot to hold the ruler in place. I also check to make sure that the ruler is straight from front to back. Then I take a strip of moleskin (that I have already rotary cut), peel off the paper backing, then stick it to the base of machine right next to the ruler's edge. (Moleskin is sold in the foot section of a pharmacy. It is a thick adhesive-backed material used to protect feet blisters.) The moleskin provides me with a physical guide for feeding my strips into the machine so I don't have to stare at a mark.

    At this point, you should test with the 2.5" strips to make sure the end result is accurate.

    Instead of a ruler, you can use graph paper that has 4 squares to the inch.

    The reason for the "scant" seam allowance is so the end result will be the correct measurement. Seams require some turn-of-the-cloth that uses up a little bit of the fabric. If the seam is an exact 1/4", then the end measurements after pressing and many seams will be short. Also if you are using thick fabric and/or thick thread, the turn-of-the-cloth will take up even more of the fabric. Better to take a little off each seam than to end up with a block that is 1/4" short from all the seams in it.
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    Old 03-16-2011, 11:54 AM
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    I personally think this scant business is just to make you crazy. I sew a quarter inch. One of my latest quilts had 159 seams along the length. When I measured for the border the overall length was off less than one sixteenth of an inch. This is were don't sweat the small stuff comes in.
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    Old 03-16-2011, 12:57 PM
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    Kat, you must live right!
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    Old 03-16-2011, 01:19 PM
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    I use a 1/4 inch foot and move my needle over one or two spots.
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    Old 03-16-2011, 01:24 PM
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    Originally Posted by Kat Sews
    I personally think this scant business is just to make you crazy. I sew a quarter inch. One of my latest quilts had 159 seams along the length. When I measured for the border the overall length was off less than one sixteenth of an inch. This is were don't sweat the small stuff comes in.
    Well Said!!! I think as long as you're consistent it really doesn't matter. Or at least it hasn't in any of the projects I've done so far. :)
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    Old 03-16-2011, 01:31 PM
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    Originally Posted by Rachel
    Originally Posted by Kat Sews
    I personally think this scant business is just to make you crazy. I sew a quarter inch. One of my latest quilts had 159 seams along the length. When I measured for the border the overall length was off less than one sixteenth of an inch. This is were don't sweat the small stuff comes in.
    Well Said!!! I think as long as you're consistent it really doesn't matter. Or at least it hasn't in any of the projects I've done so far. :)
    I agree with Kat and Rachel. I don't think it matters so much as long as your cosistent with the 1/4 inch it self.
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