The All Important 1/4 inch Seam
Before you begin patchwork, you must, and I
repeat, must master the 1/4 -inch seam. If you have been sewing clothing, you
have been sewing a wider seam, and you may not have been thinking as much about
However, when you start quilting, accuracy
is very important. When you do patchwork, you join a lot of pieces together.
Even if you are sewing big squares together, by the time you get to the end of
the row, if you are even a little bit off, it adds up to a big enough
number that your rows are not going to fit together.
Quilters canít afford to do sloppy work.
You will waste your time, your fabric and your money, and quilting will never be
a frugal hobby. If, on the other hand,
you cut carefully, and sew precisely, everything will fit together nicely and
you will not have problems.
What is the key to mastering the 1/4 - inch
seam? Practice, practice, practice. Every sewing machine is different. There
are several things that can help you. I use a 1/4-inch foot, as pictured
above, that has a guide down
the side, but you still need to practice to get it right.
You can also use masking tape and build up a
ridge to guide your fabric in front of the needle. Some people use a small
stack of sticky-notes.
Whatever you do, your ruler is your best
friend. Sew your seam, and the measure from the stitching to the edge of the
fabric. It should be exactly 1/4 inch. Pay particular attention to the
beginning and ending of the stitching, as this is where you will have the most
If you stitching line is not straight,
figure out what you are doing wrong, and correct it.