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How to Sew a Quarter Inch Seam for Quilts

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Test Your Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
how to sew a quarter inch seam allowance

After sewing strips together, the center strip should measure exactly 1-1/2" wide along its entire length. The two outer strips should each measure 1-3/4" wide.

© Janet Wickell

Let's Test the Seam Allowance

  1. Install a quarter-inch or standard presser foot on your sewing machine. If using a standard presser foot, try to determine which vertical groove on the machine's throat plate is equal to a 1/4" seam allowance.

  2. Align a a 2" x 4" light strip with a 2" x 4" dark strip, right sides together and edges carefully matched.

  3. Sew the patches together lengthwise, feeding them through the machine with the 1/4" presser foot's right edge aligned exactly with the right edge of the patches. For a standard foot, align edges with the mark for 1/4".

  4. Sew another light strip to the opposite edge of the dark strip.

  5. Press seams allowances toward the dark strip.

  6. Use a rotary ruler to measure the dark center strip. It should be exactly 1-1/2" wide along its entire length. The outer strips should be exactly 1-3/4" wide along their entire lengths.
If the dimensions of your pieced unit are accurate -- congratulations! You're ready to sew a quilt. If the size is a bit off, move on to the next page for more help.

Related Video
Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
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