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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quilting a Quarter Inch at a Time

One of the biggest hurdles for a begining quilter is sewing an exact Quarter inch. Many sewing machine companies make a Quarter Inch presser foot, which will help you get your best 1/4 inch seam. If your machine was advertised as a machine for quilters, it probably came with the Quarter inch foot. If your's didn't, try your local sewing machine store or repair shop. Also, the internet is a great place to search.
From 2008-10

BASICALLY! It is much easier to keep an accurate 1/4 inch seam when you sew watching your fabric move under the edge of the presser foot, and much more difficult to keep the edge of the fabric along the lines on your needle plate. Because the quarter inch mark on the throat plate/needle plate is usually just inside the edge of the right feed dog.

If you don't have a Quarter Inch foot and/or can't get one, you really should check and make sure that the lines on your machine are accurate.

Get your smallest rotary ruler because it will be easier to manuever, but you can use the larger one if needed.

@ Take your rotary ruler slide it between your presser foot and your feed dogs. Line up the right most quarter inch line on your ruler under your needle, turn the sewing machine hand wheel and drop your needle down exactly on the quarter inch line. Make sure that your ruler is square under your needle, and then lower your presser foot. Take a piece of painter's tape and put it on your machine where the right edge of the rotary ruler is. Now you have a line to sew along for your 1/4 inch seam.
From 11-4

From 11-4

@ I've seen/heard it suggested to use a pile of post-it notes to make an edge for your fabric to run along. If this works for you, great. But as noted above the quarter inch line is usually inside the edge of the feed dog. So, if you lowered your presser foot, it would land on the post-it notes and could impede the impact of the feed dogs on that side. So be sure and test out this suggestion before actually sewing your project using it.

Now test it out. Take 2 - 2 inch strips about 6 inches long and sew them together using your new quarter inch line. Press it and then measure it. The 2 strips pressed open should measure 3 1/2 inches wide. If your strips are narrower than that, then your tape needs to be moved in a smidgen. If they are wider, then it needs to be moved out a smidgen. Keep tweaking until you get it just right! BASICALLY! It will pay off in the end.

From 11-4

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

I have even used blue painters tape to mark the 1/4 inch on my machine. I just line it up with the markings on the plate and have it from top to bottom on my machine. Makes it easier to follow the tape having it all along machine instead of trying to follow it on the plate of your machine.