Quilting Tip #3 - Consistent Seam Allowance
Getting a consistent quarter inch seam allowance was difficult for me. My Juki has a quarter inch foot, but I still could not get a consistent seam allowance or the block would be too small.
It wasn't until I started cutting more accurately (last week's tip) and using a scant 1/4" that sewing the blocks became more consistent.
Here are a few tips that may help you on your journey to better and more fun sewing.
1. Use a quarter inch foot - or better yet, a scant quarter inch foot. The guide on these feet really help in sewing a straight and consistent line. They usually come with your machine or at least as an accessory.
2. Mark your machine - Use 1/4" tape or just painters tape to extent the 1/4 mark on your machine and make it easier to see - I know my eyes need the extra help!
3. Press seam open or to the side - this is just to create a consistent seam throughout and make your blocks line up better. I know many pattern ask you to iron open and to the side - this is a judgement call (and I tend to iron open) depending on the project,
4. Pin, Pin, Pin - Pinning ensures your fabric feeds evenly thus giving you a consistent seam allowance. I am a big pinner - I have found my sewing goes so much smoother when I do.
5. Check your work - Don't be afraid to get out that seam ripper if a seam doesn't sew correctly. I don't know how many times that last inch just goes haywire! Rip it out and stitch again - you will be glad you did at the end!
I know just from talking at the shop, many, many quilters struggle in this arena. I truly believe first and foremost that accurate cutting is the first step and a good quarter inch foot takes it home. Some fun pins help too.
Don't stress too much about it though - I always say - "you never know until you try" and "done is always better than perfect!"
- Jennifer Armentrout