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Thread: Seam allowance is different

  1. #1
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    Seam allowance is different

    Hello ,

    I picked up a book in a discount shop in the UK called 'Quilting In No Time' by Emma Hardy. Great I thought, now I can just follow the steps and make something nice. Well, I have looked at it 'properly' and not just a flick through before I bought it and realised that she has made the patterns with a 1/2" seam allowance.

    Whaaaa!! I thought that all quilting was made with 1/4" and I have just bought a sewing machine foot exactly for this purpose. What should I do If I want to make the projects from the book with 1/4" instead of the 1/2"?

    Is this a stupid question....

  2. #2
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    That is weird. I have a lot of quilt books and magazines and other than projects like bags or clothes, they've all had 1/4" seams.

  3. #3
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    Yes, it is weird isn't it? Any suggestions as to what I should do?

  4. #4
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If you haven't already cut your pieces, you could change the dimensions to make your seams 1/4". Otherwise just for those patterns use a 1/2" seam.

  5. #5
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    Hello Mom-6, I haven't cut any fabric yet as I don't know what project I would like to do first. If I do use them from the book, just use the 1/2", it's not a problem as you say.....problem solved me thinks. Just have to but another book!

  6. #6
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    Hello, and welcome from Spring, Texas. I agree with everyone else.

  7. #7
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    Yes just use the 1/2 inch seam allowance for patterns from that book. Depending on what the pattern is, there might be a reason for the larger seam allowance (putting in a zipper?) A good source for scrap quilt patterns is www.quiltville.blogspot.com under the free pattern tab. Another source is the youtube videos done by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. on table runners, quilt tops, tree skirts etc.

  8. #8
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I agree I would use 1/2 for the quilts in that book.

  9. #9
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I have an old beginner quilting book from 1973 and the seam allowances are 5/8". Maybe you have an older book printed before a more standard 1/4" seam became popular.
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I looked up the book on Amazon, and your complaint about the seam allowance is also stated there. And the book was printed in 2009! Certainly not written by a quilter. According to other complaints, even simple shapes are to be cut with templates. Yeeeccchhh!

  11. #11
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    Maybe the author is a designer/sewer and not a quilter as such.

  12. #12
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    I would cut the pieces for 1 block and use her seam allowance and see if it comes out the size it's supposed to, if not then I would adjust the seam allowance, since it is strange to have 1/2" seams for quilts. It also could be a misprint or a mistake.

  13. #13
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Okay, I know I'm showing my age with this post but here goes. When I was a teen, someone gave me some quilt templates. I was instructed to trace the template onto the fabric and then cut an ample seam allowance. There wasn't an exact amount like we use today. I tried doing as I was instructed but didn't like it and didn't make any quilts. I was a sewer...... 5/8" seams for clothing. So, when I started to try quilting again, I thought 1/4" was insane. Wouldn't the seam pull out??? Silly me.... the quilt is stitched together with batting and backing. No way could the seam pull out unless you mistakenly didn't catch in the edge.

    Quilting has come a long way..... a really long way. I actually started quilting back around 1995 although I did do a baby quilt for my youngest son in 1976 ..... the old method. I now have tons of gizmos to do quilting.... my DH says that if they make it for quilting, I have it..... not true!!

    Why would someone write a book using 1/2" seams?? Who knows. I'd just follow the patterns in that book with 1/2" and do the normal thing, 1/4", for other quilts. Problem solved!!
    --- Jean

    jdquilts123.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    Thank you ladies, I did go and read the reviews on Amazon and this book is not a true quilters book, it's pretty but has no real instructions or true techniques as such. I will make some things from it using the 1/2" as required but I have found a great blog showing me how to make a 'proper' quilt with amazing instructions.

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