February 20, 2012


Not all seam allowances are created equal....

I pride myself on being a very accurate piecer, but even my good habits don't always lead to perfectly pieced blocks.

I always have to make a decision as to whether or not I'm going to sew with a scant 1/4" seam allowance by moving my needle position over one titch to the right and my 1/4" foot or if I'm going to sew with a regular 1/4" seam allowance with my 1/4" foot and my needle in the middle position.

I usually sew a test block to decide or at least sew a couple of sections in a paper pieced block to see how it turns out to help me decide.  Fabric, cutting, number of block parts, thread, inaccurate piecing, etc. can lead to a block "shrinking" just enough that blocks don't finish exactly to size.

I've been working a the same quilt for awhile.  I'm calling it The Teacher Quilt because it's for one of my daughter's teachers.  I'm eager to finish it because I've reached the point I do with most quilts where I just want to finish it so I can move onto something else.

If that's the case, then why did I spend a good part of my day seam ripping and then sewing back together two sewed together rows and two other rows of sewed blocks?!

I should have been sewing with a scant 1/4" seam, but I wasn't.  I was losing just a tip of the star blocks in the seam allowances and it was driving me batty.......  Anyone else wouldn't have noticed or cared, but I'm funny that way.

I still fight my tendencies, but always give in.  The smarter thing to have done would have been to recognize what I knew to be true:  that I was losing that 1/32ndish of an inch of tip, that the star points weren't all lining up with the snowball corner triangles, and that it was going to bug the heck out of me.  I shouldn't have continued sewing after the first row, but I was at war with myself:  my need to finish with the need to fix things.

I can breathe a sigh of relief.  I feel so much better now.  I will until I have to start the machine applique for this quilt.  That's a whole other story....


  1. The perfect 1/4 inch seam is a dream for me..... I have unsewed more seams in the last 8 years I have spent quilting, than my sister has unsewn in her whole life and she has been quilting for 25 years...... I am an absolute perfectionist when it comes to points and matches...... probably why I do so many applique quilts :)

  2. 1/4" seams are SO tough! I'm at the point where I think I need a guide attachment to my foot to help me.

    I still find myself apologizing for trying to be the best I can be.....okay, a perfectionist. LOL I'm not saying I have ever achieved it, but I do try to make things match up.

    When I don't, I make things like that Twilight Hands block that got fixed. I should have fixed it, but.....


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