Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Have you checked your quarter inch lately?!

This month I start a year long commitment to provide the BOM (Block of the Month) for my local guild.  I will be posting each project the second Monday of each month.  So I have been thinking a lot about accuracy and that 1/4 inch thing.

 Accuracy is not a huge issue for most of the kind of piecing that I like to do but for some and particularly people receieving the winnings of the BOM it can be a big deal.  So I thought I would do a pre-BOM post about how to check ones 1/4".

 If you are new to the game, have trouble getting things to turn out the right size or if you are like me with a new machine this is a worth while exercise!

I recently bought an old model Singer from my friend Randy.  It's such a cute little machine I could not resist!!  And since my Bernina is in the shop this week I got out the 301A to give her a test run.
This machine did not have a 1/4 inch foot.  The seam allownances are marked on the metal throat plate.  This is a system I don't use much so I thought a little warm up activity was in order.  Not only will I be able to check my 1/4 inchers but also the stitch length.
Here's how: 
First off all accurate piece work begins with accurate cutting.  The red strip is exactly 2" so once the 1.5" white strips are sewn on either side  I should have a perfect 1.5 inch red strip flanked by to perfect 1.25" white strips.
Make sure your edges line up perfectly. 
Press seams toward the outside strips.
Looks pretty close.  I think I'm good to sew!
If you've never done this exercise or you have trouble getting things to turn out the right size or you've got a new machine, I suggest you try this little procedure. It may help!
I will be posting all the projects here for the BOM through the year . I invite you to stop by and sew along.  I've got some really fun project planned!
Cheers, CW


  1. This is a great way to check for a 1/4" seam. Why didn't I ever think of it?! You're lucky your new Singer has the guide. I have a 201 but it doesn't have a guide. I use tape which tends to wear away over time. I think your method of testing will help. Thank you.

  2. What sort of block sdo you ahve planned? traditional once? improvisaional piecing in between? any paper pieceing?
    I think the more complicated issue is the scant 1/4" seam and the 1/4" seam ... and the adding up of slightly off seams overthe "distance" ... and of course the pressing makes a diffferenc - to the side or open, then also the fabric weight can change the "1/4 inch" to be a little more or less .. it's a sience in itself ...

    1. Hey Leo,
      I'm going to try to provide a variety of projects. We have a very diverse guild. Some totally Modern others very traditional. Also skills level wise. Beginners to very experienced. So there will be some basics and some more complicated. Some applique and some pieced etc.
      As for the 1/4 inch; you are right, there are a lot of thins besides just the 1/4 inch that contribute to a block coming out the right size. I'm going to try and address some of these things as I go along.
      Thanks always for you comments! cheers, CW

  3. Hi Nancy, My featherwieght doesn't have a guide either. I use a piece of tape for I guide like you. The good quality painter's tape works great 'cause you can see it really well and it does not leave a sticky residue. I haven't checked my featherweight guide in awhile, I should take my own advise, teehee! Thanks for stopping by! cheers,CW

  4. YEAH!! You are using the 301!~! I'm sure you're going to love it!! And once the doctor is done with the Bernina, you'll probably be very happy too!

  5. That is a great tip! I love your "new" machine!