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Thread: Achieving an Accurate 1/4" Seam Allowance

  1. #26
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    I learned the trick to place a piece of masking tape at the 1/4 inch mark on my machine. The tape stays in place for quite a while and gets replaced when needed. I sew much more accurately this way. Before my seams were always too big and my blocks always too small. :-)

  2. #27
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    Thank you, will be a help.

  3. #28
    Senior Member pjaco's Avatar
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    Thank you. I guess I made the mistake of making the blocks instead of making one and measuring it. I will have to keep mine for myself and join another swap later. But I don't want to waste anyones time, just to have them sent back.

  4. #29
    Senior Member pjaco's Avatar
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    Thanks for that seam guide paper, I will need it. I've always just trusted my 1/4" foot and been happy when the seams met !
    Quote Originally Posted by hevemi
    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    Someone was having trouble today with her blocks not being the correct size. I'm posting this tutorial to help anyone who is not sure how to tell if they are sewing accurate 1/4 inch seams. If this is hard to read, I have a version here:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/ac...-inch-seam.htm
    Thank you AndiR. I hope you don't mind my adding this note.
    Here is also a 1/4 inch seam guide paper for quilters to print.I made a pile to keep near my sewing machine.
    http://www.quiltdesignnw.com/PDF/Qua...ractice%20.pdf

  5. #30
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tutorial

  6. #31
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    great tute

  7. #32
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    Someone was having trouble today with her blocks not being the correct size. I'm posting this tutorial to help anyone who is not sure how to tell if they are sewing accurate 1/4 inch seams. If this is hard to read, I have a version here:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/ac...-inch-seam.htm
    Thanks AndiR I will make a copy for my daughter as well as mine

  8. #33
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    I am tying my first block quilt made from leftover polyester squares and you would laugh at the variety of 1/4 inch seams.The ties help a lot in covering the mismatched seams. Just a learning experience. The quilt is for our local cancer center and they will not mind I am sure. Thanks for the tute, my machine is now marked.

  9. #34
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    Thank you so much! :lol:

  10. #35
    Senior Member cag1949's Avatar
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    Thank you!!

  11. #36
    Senior Member madamepurl's Avatar
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    Great tutorial! Thanks for taking the time for putting this together, especially for a newbie like me.

  12. #37
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    Doing the sample with the three strips takes - what? - maybe ten minutes at the most.

    It is so worth the time it takes. EVERY TIME one changes rulers, sewing machines, rotary cutters, thread, or pressing technique.

    These are all places where one can get tiny differences - and the cumulative effect can be quite noticeable.

  13. #38
    Junior Member Robinmg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tutorial. I am having a hard time figuring my 1/4 inch on my new sewing machine. I have a 1/4 inch foot but I don't really like it. I have tried tape but it is still off. I will try using the graph paper. Thanks again.

  14. #39
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    Oh, I get it now. Thanks.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR View Post
    Actually it's a good question, Mary. If you have the ability to move the needle so that the fabric will cover both feed dogs, I would do it that way. I think the fabric will feed in more evenly and you'll get a straighter seam. I have to move the needle when I'm using my walking foot and I want a 1/4"
    Just wish I could still use the single needle hold plate if I moved the needle enough to cover right feed dogs. Given the choice of one or the another, what would be best to do: use larger needle plate and cover right feed docs, or just use single needle plate and move needle a click or two (max allowed with plate)?

    Thanks in advance!

  16. #41
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    Great information...thanks so much.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  17. #42
    Member quiltingwolf's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas. This was my major problem when I attempted to do a Morning Star quilt block. I will now go back and try again. Was so frustrated last year with this 1/4 seam that I put the project away. Let you know how it works for me.

  18. #43
    Senior Member Sandi's Avatar
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    thank you very much fo rthis tutorial.. it is a good idea
    Creativity is the essence of the soul
    Sandi

  19. #44
    Super Member tuckyquilter's Avatar
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    This is very clear and a great way to get that 1/4 in seam. I have a foot for one machine, but not for my old one. However I don't get the SCANT part at all. Trying to move a needle one or two threads seems silly. Wish it would just go away once and for all. I say the patterns should just use the 1/4 in seam and be done with it.

  20. #45
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    QuiltingWolf, Gorgeous Roses in your Avatar!

  21. #46
    Super Member sewellie's Avatar
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    Instead of masking tape I use moleskin. It's thicker and will last longer than tape. Nice tutorial.
    sewellie

    It takes real skill to choke on air, fall upstairs and trip over completely nothing .... I have that skill!!!

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  22. #47
    Senior Member captlynhall's Avatar
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    iamjet, you're only measuring the center strip of fabric. It lost 1/4 in. off each side, so should be 1" after sewing.

    I think I will use this to see if my 1/4 in foot is accurate. Thanks.
    When a dying man asked his pastor "How long does it take to die?" his pastor's heartfelt reply was "A lifetime." Live life to the fullest, but stop now and then to enjoy the sunset.
    Lynda

  23. #48
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    My machine is an oldie but a goodie BUT I don't have the needle adjust so how would I go about using the graph?

  24. #49
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    Seam allowance is only one factor in getting a block to end up being the expected/hoped for size.

    Was the fabric washed/shrunk before cutting? If starched/sized - the moisture and heat when it's pressed can change the size of SOME fabrics. Steam pressing can also shrink SOME unwashed fabrics.

    Size of the pieces - ruler placement can make them vary up to 1/16 or an inch or more - Quilter's Rule has really thick lines - so I don't use it now.

    Even using the fine lines on the rulers I use now as guides, I've noticed that my 2.5 (2-1/2) inch strips are actually about 2.52 (2-17/33) inches wide. If you use the shape-cut ruler or die cut pieces, they might be a bit smaller.

    Thread thickness - some think this really matters -

    Pressing techniques - try not to stretch the fabric - but make sure that there are no pleats by the seams

    Seam width matters - but what really matters is that the unit or block ends up being the expected/wanted size.

  25. #50
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    Hi Janet

    You only measure the center strip not all three strips.

    Kitty

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