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The Perfect 1/4" Seam

The key to improving your piecing skills is achieving accurate seam allowances.

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Joining Pieces, Blocks and Rows


Precise 1/4" seams allow you to join units, blocks, and rows with ease. Use exact 1/4" seam allowances throughout a quilt’s construction. With the number of seams in a quilt top, little variances can quickly multiply.

It isn’t necessary to backstitch at the beginning of any seam that will be intersected by another seam later in the quilt making process. Use a stitch length of 10 to 12 stitches per inch (2.0- to 2.5-mm setting) to prevent the stitches from unraveling before they’re stitched over again. Secure seams that won’t be sewn across again (such as those in borders) with a few backstitches..

On the sewing machine, squares and triangles in blocks should be sewn together from edge to edge. Save time and thread by chain piecing whenever possible. To chain-piece, feed the pieces under the machine needle. Don’t lift the foot or clip the thread. Short lengths of thread will link the stitched patches. Cut them apart when you’ve finished sewing the units.

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