Although we all strive for an accurate 1/4" seam, differences in seam allowances can happen! If it results in blocks that are slightly different sizes, these fixes may prevent you ripping seams and re-stitching your blocks.

Quick Fix:

If the discrepancy between two blocks is small, let your sewing machine ease in the difference. To join the blocks, layer the two blocks on the bed of your machine with the smaller one on top; do not engage the even-feed foot on the top. The feed dogs (the teeth on the bottom that feed the fabric through) will ease in the excess fabric as you sew the blocks together. Remember, this works only if the blocks are just a little off. You can't ease in a 1" discrepancy!

What can you do if some blocks are too small?

  • Discard blocks that don't measure up and make replacements using accurate 1⁄4" seam allowances.
  • Restitch blocks, making sure to use accurate 1⁄4" seam allowances.
  • Add borders to blocks to bring them to a uniform size. Borders may be added around the entire block or just to one or two sides.

What can you do if some blocks are too large?

  • Discard blocks that don't measure up and make replacements using accurate 1⁄4" seam allowances.
  • Restitch blocks, making sure to use accurate 1⁄4" seam allowances.
  • If the margin the block is off is minimal (1⁄8" to 1⁄16"), you may trim it. Recognize that you may be trimming into the seam allowance, thus cutting off points of angled pieces or visually altering the finished look of a block relative to the other blocks in the quilt.
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