Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you buy thru them, I receive a small commission—at no extra cost to you. This helps me provide all the free information on this site. To learn more, read my full Disclosure Policy.

Seam allowance for quilting

What is the seam allowance when sewing strips together?


The standard seam allowance in most quilting instructions is 1/4".

If you are piecing patches together (or strips in your case) you'll sometimes see it as a 'scant quarter inch seam'. The 'scant' part means a thread or two short of 1/4" so that when the seam is pressed open, the 'turn of the cloth' in the seam allowance doesn't make the pieced patch smaller than it should be.

You can do a quick sewing test as described here to make sure that you've got your sewing machine set for a good quarter inch seam. It's not hard and only takes a couple of minutes.

For applique, the 1/4" seam is usually a 'suggested' seam allowance--some appliquers like a narrower one to turn under.

The only time I deviate from 1/4" seams is when I'm joining lengths of fabric for my quilt's backing...then I use a 1/2" seam for strength.

So since you are strip piecing, yes, your seam allowance should be 1/4" unless the pattern you are using indicates something else.

Thank you for your question.


Julie Baird

Click here to post comments

Return to GQP's Quilting Forum.

Click here to go to the Home Page

Search This Site

Quilt patterns, books and kits to tempt you!

Click any of the images or links below for more info...

Awesome Ocean Pattern
by Elizabeth Hartman

Fold-N-Stitch Wreath pattern
Fold-N-Stitch Wreath
by Poorhouse Quilt Design

Farm Girl Vintage
by Lori Holt

Gypsy Wife
by Jen Kingwell

Enhance your
Fabric Resource Center
aka 'Stash'

Click on the images to go to for more choices.

Click here for MORE
Kaffe fabrics

Click here for MORE
Batik fabrics

Subscribe... STASH Talk,
our free newsletter.
Simply complete
the form below...

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry...
Your e-mail address is
totally secure.

I promise to use it
only to send you
Stash Talk.