Have you ever worked on a project only to find that your block did not come out to the size required? We have ALL been there – whether we are Newbies just learning how to sew quilts, like Sophie, or Experienced Quilters. There is nothing more frustrating than to get those blocks completed only to find that they do not match in size. Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you to obtain and maintain a quarter inch seam. Do you cut accurately? It is advised that you use the same rotary cutting mat and ruler throughout your entire project – they have different width lines so you need to be consistent using these quilter supplies. [youtube]http://youtu.be/qvmX8hBbgug[/youtube]What can you use for a quarter inch seam guide? Three suggested methods are: a quarter inch foot that is available for your particular sewing machine; many layers of tape which would provide a ridge as a guide; and a particular marking on your throat plate that gives you a quarter inch measure. Be consistent with whatever method you use. Does your machine needle move? Sometimes our machine needle will get a tiny bit out of alignment, or we intentionally move it for another project - be consistent with the alignment of your needle. Are you Shy, Precise, or Generous? In learning how to sew quilts, we are sometimes told to sew a “shy” quarter inch seam. Other times we are told to sew a “generous” quarter inch seam - be consistent – that is the key to our sewing. It sometimes helps to sew a needle-width less than a quarter inch to come up with a precise quarter inch seam. When learning how to sew quilts, it is suggested that you make one block and measure it for accuracy before sewing the remaining blocks. Do you use the same type of thread throughout your entire project? I have found that when I foundation piece, I like Aurifil thread because it is much thinner and eliminates some bulk when pressing the seam to one side. This light weight thread would also help in eliminating thread bulk when machine piecing your blocks. Whatever weight thread you use, be consistent. Check out the video library at www.QuiltAddict.com. Marti Michell has a good tip for maintaining that quarter inch seam, which also helps you in creating a secondary quilt top. Have you noticed that one word has been used quite often? It is the word “consistent”. Always be consistent in whatever steps you are taking throughout your project. That should help you to obtain and maintain a quarter inch seam.
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