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Tips for Getting an Accurate 1/4" Seam

Are you making our Sew Easy Sampler quilt? Block 3 involves sewing skinny strips together. Here are some tips to test your seam allowance, then get tips for sewing to get accurate 1/4" seams! Get instructions for this block here.

  • Test your machine’s seam allowance with an index card. The lines on the index card are 1/4" apart, so you can see if your machine is sewing exactly on the line.
  • Sew with a quarter-in foot with a guide. If yours doesn’t have one, you can make your own guide by stacking layers of washi tape or masking tape, then placing it on your machine 1/4" away from the needle.
  • Use a leader strip. Sometimes when you start sewing two pieces of fabric together, the pieces can get pushed under the needle at an angle. Try using a little fabric scrap underneath your machine foot when you start. Start sewing right off of that scrap, so you can go straight onto the pieces you’re sewing. It's the perfect way to make sure from the very first stitch that your seam is straight.
  • Slow down. If your machine has an adjustable speed control, move it down to one of the mid-range or slower speeds. It'll give you more control, which can be very helpful in keeping your seams straight.
  • Use your needle-down position. When you’re sewing and you stop to remove a pin or readjust your pieces, your fabric can slide. If that happens, when you start sewing again, your seam won’t line up. Always stopping with your needle down in the fabric will prevent this. Then when you start sewing again, you’ll start right from where you left off.