One of the reasons my Odds and Ends quilt stayed a UFO for so long is this…I have a Bernina sewing machine with a 1/4″ foot with the guide along the side…often referred to as the #57 foot.
I assumed that I was to the keep the fabric just to the the left of that guide and I’d have a 1/4″ seam…NOT!! Not at all!! I would go to put my pieces together and they would be off. Off by quite a little too!! I was so frustrated. The pieces weren’t coming together. I would put pieces together and where the edges were supposed to meet, they would be off by almost 1/4″. Well I am very good at “fudging” a seam allowance but some of these were going to be dangerous “fudges”.
Then when I saw Bonnie Hunter talk she mentioned that even people with the 1/4″ foot should check their 1/4″ seam and that not all feet are not true…especially those with the guide bar on the side. Well I checked mine and she was right. If I were to use that foot, I would have to have the fabric UNDER that guide to have it be a true 1/4″ seam. Well knowing that, I now understood why those blocks weren’t coming out right.
I also got rid of the foot. I just couldn’t make it work right. Bonnie sells a great little seam guide on her blog. You can find it here.
If you don’t want to do that, try this. Take a ruler. Lay it on the bed of your machine. Put it under the presser foot and put the foot down. Turn your needle down so it is on the 1/4″ line. Where ever the edge of the ruler comes down is where the edge of your ruler should be…for me, this foot wants me to put he fabric right along the edge for a perfect 1/4″ seam.
I recommend to EVERYONE. STOP. Take the time to check your 1/4″ seam allowance. You will be SO less frustrated with the results of your quilt if you do. Even if you think you know where your 1/4″ seam is, just check it to make sure. You just might be glad you did!!
Back when I first started sewing I made one of my first Country Threads’ quilts that had hundreds of pieces I tried to make one of those…epic fail. At the time I thought it was me…in reality..it was partly me, it was my seam allowance. I had bought a kit and it was impossible to finish with my mish mash mess. Had I know back then about seam allowances and checking them I would have saved so much heart ache and money…so go check yours!! PLEASE!!