Machine Minute: Quarter-Inch Seam
Tips for finding the perfect quarter-inch seam on your sewing machine.
Hi, I'm Jennifer Keltner in the American Patchwork & Quilting Sewing Lab, here with today's machine minute. I'm working on the Symphony machine from Baby Lock, and today we're going to talk about how to get a perfect quarter-inch seam. We all know the importance of an accurate quarter-inch seam when we're quilting, so that our pieces fit together nicely and our quilts come out the size we're anticipating. But how do you get that perfect quarter-inch seam? First and foremost, your machine may have a quarter-inch setting, and that's great if you have that. Or it may have a guide along the front where it marks for you where to feed your fabric in to get that perfect quarter-inch. But if you don't have that, what are your options? You might consider an accessory foot. The one I like to use is the quarter-inch foot with the guide. It has this little bumper along one edge that shows you how to feed your fabric into the foot, so that you just press your fabric right up next to that guide as your feeding it in. Think of it like a bumper at a bowling alley. If you don't have quarter-inch accessory with a guide, you can also create your own with moleskin available at a drug store. It has adhesive back that you can stick to the machine. Or you can make your own. This was five layers of masking tape that I just stacked one on top of another, and you can also stick that to your machine bed. But when you're testing, it's important to test for every quilt project, because the fabric and thread choices that you make do make a difference. So I suggest you cut 1-/2 inch fabric strips from your project fabric and sew those strips together using a quarter-inch seam. Once that seam is sewn, press those two strips open and then add a third. Once all three strips are sewn together, you'll have a strip set that looks like this. Measure the center strip. It should be exactly one inch. If you're off, adjust your guide on your machine or the line you're following to make sure that you get the perfect quarter-inch seams. Once you've got that achieved you're ready to start quilting. Remember the more time you spend with your machine, the more fun you can have quilting.