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A Testimonial about the 1/4" Seam Allowance

by Rick
(Pensacola, FL)

I am working on a patchwork quilt that I designed on EQ7. I also recently just got a new non-mechanical sewing machine--that was a HUGE adjustment for me.

Prior to my new machine, it was next to impossible for me to sew a true 1/4" seam allowance even with a presser foot designed for a true seam allowance. So, I mostly limited myself to just sewing what I could sew with foundation piecing. But I was really missing out on all those patchwork classics that sometimes cannot be done with a paper foundation feasibly.

Those classics are now open to me because I have a machine that sews a true 1/4" seam--for one, the needle is set true to center and I can make fine adjustments to sew a scant 1/4" and two, I have the presser foot with the built in edge guide.

This presser foot did not come with my new machine, however.

The patchwork foot that came with my new machine will sew a true 1/4"--BUT ONLY if I align the seams correctly EVERY time into the foot. I just got done sewing 13 six inch pinwheel centers and everyone one of them was a little off but some were really off--even with seams correctly aligned.

When I went to sew on the outside patches, nothing was fitting and my frustration was through the roof.

So, I switched out the presser foot to the one with guide rail and re-seamed all 13 pinwheeels. And like magic, everything is matching up nicely. Maybe not perfectly--I am always within a 1/16 of an inch--but it's a far cry from being a 1/4" short on a seam or having my points all clipped by the seam allowance.

Also, use a stiletto of some fashion. I never used to use one until recently and its a great aid in precision.

My point is this--don't give up. If you love the art of quilting, push through and try everything and keep working at it until you have that breakthrough.

It will be worth it if you keep at it.

I have renewed my passion for quilting because I can now sew things like the Bear's Claw--which would have been a nightmare to sew on a paper foundation.

Paper piecing is the most precise method for many things, but at some time, you still have to match seams and all that paper just adds more bulk.

Happy Sewing!

Comments for A Testimonial about the 1/4" Seam Allowance

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by: Julie

Rick, you made so many good points! I, too, love the 1/4" foot with the guide on the righthand side. It's my go to foot for almost everything.

And like you, I do a lot of paper piecing—especially for those times when I want to sew, but really my eyes are too tired to stitch a straight line.

Thank you for sharing! I'm glad you've renewed your love of quilting!


Julie Baird

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