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    1/4"seams

    I am having such a difficult time with my 1/4" seams. I have a 1/4" presser foot and still my blocks are not coming out the correct measurement. I am in the Block of the Month 2012 on Craftsy.com and my finished blocks are supposed to be 12 1/2" and only two of the 20 blocks measure 12 1/2".

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    mak

    #2
    Re: 1/4"seams

    Try a scant 1/4
    Mary
    SW Missouri


    Smile and the world smiles with you, frown and you frown alone.

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      #3
      Re: 1/4"seams

      I did try the scant 1/4" and adjusted my needle. Any suggestions how to stay consistant?

      thanks for the help!

      mak

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        #4
        Re: 1/4"seams

        Just practice, you will get used to how to get that consistent 1/4" seam. Also, sometimes pressing can cause your seams to be off if you don't get it nice and flat.
        Cathryn

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          #5
          Re: 1/4"seams

          I have a couple 1/4 inch feet but NONE ARE 1/4 INCH!!!!
          Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
          it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

          "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."

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            #6
            Re: 1/4"seams

            Just wanted to say hi to another fellow Rhode Islander!
            Hugs,
            Joanne

            There are no mistakes, only happy accidents. - Bob Ross

            A girl needs to surround herself with TONS of happiness.
            Happiness = fabric!:icon_woohoo:

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              #7
              Re: 1/4"seams

              I know when I first started sewing, using painters tape really helped me. Later I purchased this foot,
              $(KGrHqZ,!l4E-epbkvBKBP63!DgLQw~~60_57.jpg
              and it really seemed to help.
              sigpic

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                #8
                Re: 1/4"seams

                I lower the pressure foot, put the needle down and make a mark (small scratch) where a measuring tape shows 1/4 inch. Then put a 3" to 4 " piece of masking or painter's tape - 3/4" wide from the beginning of the feed dogs, next to the mark, toward me. Put about 6-7 more pieces of tape on top of the first one. This makes a ridge that the fabric slides along and no further need to watch the pressure foot/seam allowance. When time to change the bobbin, just lift the tape and if doesn't stick back down well, put little pieces at the top and bottom to attach.

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                  #9
                  Re: 1/4"seams

                  The practice that helped me the most was to sew two 2-1/2 inch squares together, press and measure. The result should be 4-1/2 inches. If not adjust where you are lining up until you are consistent. The thread, fabric take up space in the seam. If you are off by 1/16 after 4 blocks it will be a 1/4 inch off. With my guide foot I found I have to skim the guide, if the fabric touches it my seams are too fat. Hope this makes sense and helps.
                  Ann

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                    #10
                    Re: 1/4"seams

                    Are you sure that the pieces you are sewing together are the correct size? I've noticed that some precuts have been off a little which affects the final block size.

                    Also when I was working with a 1/4 inch foot the pinked edges of precuts threw me off a bit. I had to be sure I used the very tips of the peaks at the 1/4 inch mark.

                    And I also got more accurate when I used 50 wt thread rather than 30 wt. HTH!

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                      #11
                      Re: 1/4"seams

                      Mark a quarter inch line on a piece of fabric where you can see the lines.
                      Then start sewing on with the quarter inch foot.
                      See if is sewing on that line is accurate.
                      If not, try to adjust.

                      mwilson602

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                        #12
                        Re: 1/4"seams

                        I get my 1/4" perfect by sewing on a 3 x 5 index card....the lines are exactly 1/4 " apart. Also, make sure you are sitting dead square on with your foot on your machine. If you get up and sit back down and are not sitting in front of the foot, but just in front of the machine, it can throw off how you look at the side of the foot.....thus throw off your 1/4 inch seams. It takes a lot of practice and patience, but it will come. It is not as easy as just using the 1/4 " foot!

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                          #13
                          Re: 1/4"seams

                          I feel your pain. Same thing happens to me.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: 1/4"seams

                            Some machine have the option to move the needle to the right...does yours? I had this same problem. I thought the 1/4 inch foot that came with the machine was that...1/4 inch. It wasn't! And I had to move the needle, but always forgot that I had to move the needle when I'd start sewing so I'd have a few seams done before I remember..."oh, forgot to move the needle" and then had to rip them all out!. I got sick of that and I bought a different one and it came with a bar guide, that was more trouble than worth so I broke it off, but still..the 1/4" is not true. The machine came with a seam gauge to screw on to the right of the foot and you can position it any length so I measure from the NEEDLE to the right 1/4 inch and put the gauge there. I have seen where you can use a stack of the 1 inch post-it notes pad to do this same thing. I have an old Singer and the regular all purpose foot is exactly 1/4 from needle to edge of the foot so lining that up for assembly sewing it perfect.
                            Cheri

                            www.fabricandmemories.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: 1/4"seams

                              I just took a class with Jan Krentz that required precision. She had use do the following test AND use a small stack of blue painters tape to mark the accurate spot on the machine. I thought I could do an accurate 1/4, but after 3 strips were together, mine was off by 1/8 to 1/4. She had us record the needle type and position and thread used to keep.

                              BTW, her class was outstanding!

                              I searched for her test and here it is. www.thequiltshow.com ? View topic - Accurate 1/4 inch seams


                              From Jan.
                              Thread thickness, cutting, and seam width ALL account for variances in the seam widths. Many good tips have been provided!

                              Here is my test BEFORE EVERY PROJECT:
                              1. Cut 1-1/2" strips of fabric (about 4-5" long). Make sure they are uniform & straight.
                              2. Sew with your "normal" seam, sewing 3 pieces side-by side.
                              3. Press the seams open, or to the side - which ever method you will be using in your project.
                              4. DO NOT measure the seam width itself - measure the WIDTH of the unit across the 3 pieces - this is actually what matters, right?
                              5. If the sample is too small, your seam is likely 1-2 thread widths too WIDE.
                              5b. If the sample is too big, your seam is likely 1-2 thread widths too NARROW.
                              6. Try the test again with fresh fabric, either moving the needle slightly right or left, or lining up in a different place according to your presser foot.
                              7. The ultra-fine threads such as Bottom Line and Masterpiece, Aurifil and others DO provide a finer seam - however, evaluate the use of the project, and the amount of quilting you plan for the total strength of the thread in the project. For instance, if I am making a wall-hanging or art piece, it won't take a lot of laundering, wear-and-tear. Fine threads will work well. If I plan to do a lot of micro-quilting, the stitching through all layers will support the seams. However, if I plan moderate quilting (resulting in a softer, more pliable quilt), I need a stronger thread in the seams so it will hold up to everyday use and laundering.

                              FINAL comment - some sewing machines do not permit you to move the needle in fine increments. The feed-dogs may not like to feed the fabrics well when you are sewing an extremely narrow scant 1/4" seam. TRY THIS TECHNIQUE: When cutting, do not line up the raw edge between the cross-hairs of the ruler as you cut, but INCLUDE the PRINTED LINE as part of the cut. (Set the ruler on top of the fabric, allowing the printed line to set OVER the edge of the fabric.) The printed line will provide approximately the width of the thread in the seam, and you may have more consistent success!

                              Jan Krentz, Author, Designer, Instructor - www.jankrentz.comUser avatar
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                              JanKrentz

                              Posts: 2
                              Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:38 pm
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