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Thread: Tips for 1/4" seam allowance

  1. #1
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Tips for 1/4" seam allowance

    I've noticed some "talk" here about the 1/4" seam allowance --- achieving it/not achieving it. All the tutorials I've seen in the past lacked one thing that I noticed not long ago. I've had the problem with being accurate when sewing in the past. This week I've been trying my BEST to be as accurate as possible. I saw someone in a video doing something that has REALLY helped! So I thought I'd share with you.

    I noticed that when the person on tv (F&P or ?) was sewing the 1/4" seam she had the bottom fabric SLIGHTLY (and I do mean SLIGHTLY) showing along the outer edge. Many times I'd get a seam done, turn the block over and the bottom fabric would have moved over and away. I've been trying this where, when I line the fabric up, I allow the bottom fabric to be a fraction to the right where I can see it. I have to tell you --- I've sewing 50 triple sashing stitches this week, then measured to cut and I've NEVER had my 1/4" seams so perfect!!!!!

    I hope this helps you all!!!

    Cheers! and Happy Quilting!
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  2. #2
    ro
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    thanks for the tip. ya never know til you try. and you're right sometimes that bottom has a mind of its on and just takes a walk.

  3. #3
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Thanks--I will try that. But I don't comprehend why a foot designed for quilting will not measure a "scant" 1/4" accurately.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

  4. #4
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    thanks for this great tip
    Nancy in western NY
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  6. #6
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I do this. It really does help.
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  7. #7
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Thank you for the tip, I will give that a try!!!

  8. #8
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    Thanks I'll try it since I always have trouble with my seams!
    I also saw a video on the internet (sorry, can't remember who/what it was) that showed three different 1/4" feet from three different machines. None of them sewed a 1/4" seam! You HAVE to measure on you own machine(s) to find the right place.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisb View Post
    Thanks--I will try that. But I don't comprehend why a foot designed for quilting will not measure a "scant" 1/4" accurately.
    It's not the fault of the foot...it's that pesky fabric that likes to slip and slide. I discovered putting the under fabric a really slight distance to the right of the top fabric so i could just barely see it and it really does work. halleluh!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member shirley35's Avatar
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    I started doing this about a year ago and it really makes and difference in my seam.

  11. #11
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisb View Post
    Thanks--I will try that. But I don't comprehend why a foot designed for quilting will not measure a "scant" 1/4" accurately.
    Because every machine will have a bit different needle placement. The foot helps, but you need to figure out the scant 1/4" for each machine.

  12. #12
    Super Member LoisM's Avatar
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    Great tip! Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Because they are a mechanical manufactured product which most likely is not checked for its accuracy. This is the nature of manufacturing. One must know how the equipment works. This is part of "knowing your machine" Even the machine might not be centered correctly. One must adjust to these differences. Are all measurng spoons exactly 1/4 teaspoon. I could go on and on.

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    I tell students they must see the fuzz on the bottom layer to be sure they are lined up exactly. If they can't see it then most likely the bottom layer will be out of alignment.

  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I have never had a problem sewing 1/4 with any of my brothers and their 1/4 inch foot, for scant you can just use your regular presser foot and adjust needle position to get your scant. I haven't needed a scant yet but I have not worked with anything but strips,applique, and PP, no triangle or set in seams yet that need that scant but it can be done, you just have to measure on your machine and write down your settings. I don't think its the feet. I find the ones without the lip more accurate for me as you can see you fabric to make sure it guides straight. Mine always measure 1/4 in with my ruler when I do my cutting
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  16. #16
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    Because every machine will have a bit different needle placement. The foot helps, but you need to figure out the scant 1/4" for each machine.
    It also pays to double check when you change fabric type, like going from cotton to flannel. The thread weight also plays a part. The thickness of the thread effects how much room will be taken up when you press your seam.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  17. #17
    Junior Member marsharini's Avatar
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    Tips like this is what makes this such a great place, especially for a new quilter like me. Thanks.

  18. #18
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    Ricky Timms advises this and when he sews curves it works like magic i've tried it and I can make it work !!!

  19. #19
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    Thank you I have got to try this....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisb View Post
    But I don't comprehend why a foot designed for quilting will not measure a "scant" 1/4" accurately.
    I don't either. On my machine, the needle is slightly more than 1/4" away from the edge of the so-called 1/4" foot. Therefore, when I start up the machine, I have to move the needle to the right 2 positions to get right measurement.
    Pat H
    Carencro LA

  21. #21
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm definitely going to give that a try! Thanks so much. I have learned to move my needle one click off-center. Maybe this way I won't have to do that.
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  22. #22
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    I'll have to try that. I can't move my needle over on my particular machine to adjust it. I usually do "okay enough" with my seams that I can fudge things and ease my seams for my blocks if I have to, but it would be a lot easier not to have to do that. Thanks for the tip!

  23. #23
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Wonderful tip! Thank you.
    Krystyna
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  24. #24
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    There is a quarter inch foot with a "fence" that also is helpful to sew really accurate seams. Just line up your fabric with the right side "fence" and sew away. My Babylock has a 1/4 inch setting and it is pretty accurate. I use it all the time. Do NOT use two machines in one project. I just did that because my Pfaff went crazy and I finished the project on the Babylock and they are just a tad difference, maybe a thread or so, but magnify that by many pieces and you get differences and have to put the larger piece on the bottom to get the feed dogs to help you ease in the difference.

  25. #25
    Super Member Minnesewta-sam's Avatar
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    I had noticed that in some videos that the fabrics didn't look lined up perfectly. Now I know why. Thanks for the info.
    Confirmed fabric-holic seeking 12 step treatment program or a storage building.

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