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Pros and Cons of Scant Quarter Inch Seams

Summary

Ever wonder when and if you should use a scant quarter inch seam? We discuss to pros and cons of using quarter inch seams.

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Pros and Cons of Scant Quarter Inch Seams

We discuss to pros and cons of using quarter inch seams.

Pros and Cons of Scant Quarter Inch Seams

 

Pros of Scant Quarter Inch Seams

  • The smaller seam allowance reduces bulk when you have lots of pieces of fabric converging in a small space like the center of a mariner's compass block. This also allows the center points to match-up better in most cases, but beware, those tiny seam allowances are not as durable if your quilt will be washed repeatedly.
  • Scant quarter inch seams reduce the weight of the quilt slightly if there are hundreds of pieces involved which can be very helpful to the quilter as he/she maneuvers the quilt through the sewing machine in the final steps of making the quilt.
Oh My Seams Are Failing

 

Cons of Scant Quarter Inch Seams

  • Scant quarter inch seams have a nasty habit of fraying away when a quilt is used and washed frequently.
  • Looser weave fabric combined with scant quarter inch seams can cause a disaster even in the first washing of a quilt when the seams lets loose and there isn't any "extra" fabric to be able to repair the seam. Many an applique has had to be used to cover the damage incurred by a "scant" seam allowance.
  • Most machines do not come with a "scant quarter inch" foot. This leaves the quilter trying to consistently judge their "scant" seam, which can make your piecing very subject to mismatching.
Fraying Away

 

As you may have guessed, Contessa is not a fan of the "scant" seam for any projects that will be used and/or laundered frequently, but if you are making a "for show only" project that has lots of points and matching to be done, try to purchase a "scant" foot for your machine so that you will have a beautiful well-matched project upon completion.

 

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Glossary

Applique
Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué


See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Block
The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
Fan
A quilting design of repeated concentric arcs that forms an all-over stitching design usually unrelated to the design of the quilt top. While popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, fan quilting is considered by some observers to be old-fashioned and undesirable.
Foot
Accessories that are available for sewing machines and are especially made for quilting.
Piecing
The process of assembling quilt blocks from pieces of fabric sewn along their edges to form a whole.

See Also: English Paper Piecing, Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing
Seam Allowance
The width of fabric left to the right of a sewn seam. In quilting this is traditionally 1/4 inch. For sewing garments it is usually 5/8 inch.
Author
Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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