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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ranting about the Scant 1/4” Seam Part I

This will be a two part blog or maybe even three. I don’t what you to have to read too much at one time, you have other things to do, like quilt, read other blogs or write you own, and even cook dinner for a change. So I hope you will come back and read all about the scant ¼ seam.  Comments are welcome.

A scant, scant here and a scant, scant there, here a scant there a scant everywhere a scant, scant (sing this in the tune of “Old McDonald had a Farm”). This song has been playing around in my head for weeks. Why you ask, because I am a victim of the “scant” ¼” seam. Yes, people I have been victimize by that “scant” ¼” seam that most of us in our quilting life must at sometimes use to achieve the perfectly pieced block.

Sometime in our quilting life we will run into instructions that require you use a scant ¼” seam to piece a block together. Most of us (newbies) will ignore this most important instruction and just do the ¼” seam as always. In the end we discover that our block is a little tab off the size we were trying to achieve by maybe a whole ¼” or more. Is that such a tragedy? No, because it’s your quilt and you can put any seam you want in it. The person you will be giving the quilt to will not know if you used the right seam allowance or not. The quilt still looks good so what is the big deal, right. But if it’s a block you are exchanging, it might be important to the person you are given that block to. (Block exchange I will discuss in Part II or maybe III if there is a Part III.)

What is a scant ¼ inch seam? It’s a seam allowance that’s just a thread or two less than a quarter-inch. Why must we use it? Because quilt blocks shrink slightly every time you press a seam open after sewing, when the top layer of fabric is folded over to one side. To compensate for this slight shrinkage and make sewing blocks come out exactly the right size, you’ll need to use a seam allowance of just a hair under a quarter-inch.

Since you can find most anything on YouTube, here is a video to better understand why you need to use the scant 1/4” seam.  (They make a better video then I do, and it would take me too much time to take pictures.  Hey what every will makes my blogging more easier right.  I do have my quilting to do too.)

Why use a scant 1/4” seam

I hope this video helped most of you understand about the “scant”.  Tomorrow I will show you how to achieve this most converted seam allowance, and my lesson learned from it.  Off to the sewing room I go.

Scanting Along the 1/4 Inch Seam
The Slow Quilter

1 comment:

  1. I saw that video. The problem is how to set your sewing machine to sew a scant 1/4 " seam.