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The All Important 1/4 inch Seam


a quilting quarter inch seam foot


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 accuracy.


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 difficulty.


If you stitching line is not straight, figure out what you are doing wrong, and correct it. 



Quilt Sizes

tape measurer

Miniature <36"



  any size



Baby 36x36 up to 52x52
Lap 52-68 x 52-78


Twin 64-72 x 86-96
Full 70-88 x 88-100
Queen 88-99 x 94-108
King 94-108 x 94-108


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