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    Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

    Trying to figure out when is the best time to use the SCANT 1/4 inch and 1/4. I have always used the 1/4 inch seam allowance and from time to time I hear "scant 1/4 inch". My last piecing project I used the scant 1/4 inch and it worked wonderfully but then there were times that I see that I should have used the 1/4 inch and not the scant 1/4 inch. I'm just not sure of when the scant 1/4 inch should or shouldn't be used.

    #2
    Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

    I'll be interested in seeing the response you get. I use the scant 1/4" when the pattern says to.

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      #3
      Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

      If I were that concerned about it (which I am usually not - LOL), I would make a test block to assure the accuracy of the finished size.
      Some thread brands are thicker than others, even though they both might be 50 weight. When I use Aurifil, the 1/4" quilting setting on my machine is fine. If I use Connecting Threads, I need to move the needle over a pinch to get the same result.
      I'm more picky if there are blocks that have definitive points (stars, flying geese, etc.), where there can be a real difference between scant and not scant Machines differ too... Just play around with different needle settings until you are satisfied.

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        #4
        Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

        Adding to the OP's original question, What does scant 1/4 inch mean? Never heard that term but then again, I'm new to this.

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          #5
          Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

          Here's a video that might help to explain, what a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance is, and when to use it.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvPjRv25c2U

          But when in doubt, follow the pattern instructions. Or absent instructions, make a few test blocks using a regular 1/4" seam allowance to see if your blocks are going to fit together properly.

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            #6
            Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

            I use a scant 1/4 if the piece is folded before the block is added to the quilt - like a covered (snowball) corner or flying geese. Most of the rest of the seams I use a 1/4. Scant 1/4 means you try to sew 1 or 2 threads smaller than the full 1/4. So if I need to draw a line from corner-to-corner on a block, I aim to stitch 1 to 2 threads inside of the line instead of on the line. Amy Gibson says to always use a scant for precision piecing. I'm usually working on the 'get it done' principal.
            Cindy

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              #7
              Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

              Thank you. That makes sense.

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                #8
                Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                The word scant means "a little less than". So a scant 1/4" seam would be a couple of threads less that a full 1/4". A scant teaspoon of salt means slightly less than a full teaspoon. The scant seams are important if you are sewing seams and don't want to cut off points of stars or flying geese, etc.
                sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


                Scottie Mom Barb

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                  #9
                  Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                  Originally posted by seaturtle View Post
                  I use a scant 1/4 if the piece is folded before the block is added to the quilt - like a covered (snowball) corner or flying geese. Most of the rest of the seams I use a 1/4. Scant 1/4 means you try to sew 1 or 2 threads smaller than the full 1/4. So if I need to draw a line from corner-to-corner on a block, I aim to stitch 1 to 2 threads inside of the line instead of on the line. Amy Gibson says to always use a scant for precision piecing. I'm usually working on the 'get it done' principal.
                  The snowball corner is a good example of when you may want to use a scant 1/4" because:

                  if you sew ON the diagonal line (from corner to corner) using a 1/4" seam allowance, your snowball corner may not extend long enough because the thread takes up space on that line, whereas

                  sewing ON the diagonal line (from corner to corner) using a SCANT 1/4" seam allowance, your snowball corner will probably extend the right amount (and be squared with the vertical and horizontal piece to which you are adding that snowball corner).

                  Fons & Porter recommends (when using a 1/4" seam allowance) to sew a bit to the right of the diagonal line on a snowball corner for this very reason -- because the thread takes up space and, hence, may shorten your snowball so that it doesn't correctly match up with the vertical and horizontal piece).

                  Psst! I also use a scant 1/4" to allow for errors I made in cutting or piecing that are too minute to redo.
                  Blessings, DramaMama


                  "May your bobbin always be full!"

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                    #10
                    Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                    It doesn't depend only on the thread but also the thickness of the fabric. Bonnie Hunter says to think of the line as the fold line, so you need to stitch one or two threads away to allow for the folding of the seam allowance.

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                      #11
                      Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                      I'm learning the difference between scant and regular...........I discovered it visually after doing most of my 252 4 patches for Sitar's Trail Mix Quilt that I started a week ago. Ugh. Discovered I really need scant. It appears my 1 1/4" squares when sewn together are coming up about 1/8" short of her sewn 2" 4 patch square.
                      https://forum.missouriquiltco.com/co.../icon_wave.gif
                      Women are Angels. When someone break's our wings we will continue to fly-usually on a broomstick.We're flexible like that.

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                        #12
                        Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                        Originally posted by Carlie Wolf View Post
                        I'm learning the difference between scant and regular...........I discovered it visually after doing most of my 252 4 patches for Sitar's Trail Mix Quilt that I started a week ago. Ugh. Discovered I really need scant. It appears my 1 1/4" squares when sewn together are coming up about 1/8" short of her sewn 2" 4 patch square.
                        It is working on the 365 challenge blocks that caused me to start using scant 1/4 on folded blocks of any kind. Those smaller blocks really don't have any room for wiggle.
                        Cindy

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                          #13
                          Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                          Wow, every day I learn about things I should be paying attention to. I am a getterdone type of quilter and am really thinking I should try to step up my game a little. You guys are so talented.
                          Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
                          Terry

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                            #14
                            Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                            grammaterry, I'm a getter done type too. It's one of the reasons I decided to take some time during this year to work more on technique. So far I am having fun with it and it surprises me that I haven't turned it into "lets see how many ways I can stress myself out" type of project.But then the years far from over yet LOL But it sure is true as someone said above, the smaller the pieces the less forgiving they are.
                            https://forum.missouriquiltco.com/co.../icon_wave.gif
                            Women are Angels. When someone break's our wings we will continue to fly-usually on a broomstick.We're flexible like that.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Looking for 1/4 inch vs scant 1/4 inch understanding

                              An example: Disappearing 9-Patch pattern, which I'm making right now. I'm using 5" squares. Ideally, when sewn together, the block should measure 14" square. Even with using a scant 1/4" seam, the block measures just under 14", sort of between 13.78 & 14". It's much easier to cut 4 equal sections if the block measures an even no. So when I cut the block in fourths, I cut it just a hair under 7" each direction. My block has been ending up 13 & 3/8". If you have a 1/4" pressure foot, it's much easier to be precise with sewing seams. It's important to be consistent with your stitching, whether you use a full 1/4" or a scant. Some patterns will designate "scant 1/4". If is does, you need to follow those directions for the block to turn out right. Sewing a scant 1/4" seam was one of the first things my first quilting instructor told us to practice. You may need to practice on some scraps or make some sample blocks till you feel comfortable with accuracy.

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