Monday, September 19, 2011

The perfect quarter inch

Today I've got a tip on how to perfect your quarter inch seam allowance.
I'm sure you know most piecing uses a quarter inch seam allowance. And you may have even heard that, well, it's supposed to be a scant quarter of an inch. You may have purchased a Quarter Inch foot for your machine to find that perfect quarter inch. And you may have measured your seam allowance like this and found that, yes, it is a quarter inch.
So why isn't your piecing turning out as perfect as you'd like? There are many factors that determine the results of your quarter inch sewing. For example how close to the edge of the foot you line your fabric, the thickness of the thread you're using, how you press your seams and more.

Here's the test. We're going to measure the results.

Take 3 strips of fabric, each cut 1 and 1/2" wide. Sew them together side by side using what you think is your quarter inch. Press. Then measure the width of the strip set. It should measure exactly 3 and 1/2".

If it's too big, you're taking too small a seam allowance and if it's too small, the seam allowance is too big. Make some adjustments and try again and again until it's right. Then do it one more time so you know you've got it!

Be consistent when you're piecing - use the same kind of thread, the same pressing technique, etc.
With a bit of practice and if you stay consistent, you'll get better and better. And your piecing will be almost perfect - because really no one's perfect all the time!


  1. Thank you! I can NEVER get anything to line up perfectly. I've done everything you mentioned here, and still horrible. I've resigned myself to the fact that since I'll never enter anything I made into a contest, that it's all good :)

  2. I was suprised to see how much of a difference thread weight made on my seams. Wow! Thanks for the post, I need to try this!

  3. I've really been enjoying reading through your blog! Lovely quilts!


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