Scant Quarter-Inch Seam Allowance

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Duration: 9:31

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A scant quarter-inch seam allowance is a term that is used a lot in quilting and seen in many quilt patterns, but it’s a hard term to give an exact definition to. Kelly Ashton explains that some people say a scant quarter-inch is a thread width more narrow than a true quarter-inch, while others say it’s two thread widths. While the exact definition isn’t necessarily important, using it when needed is, and Kelly shows you when to do that.

Seam Allowance

Kelly begins by talking about a true quarter-inch seam allowance and how to achieve it when piecing. She shows several different quarter-inch presser feet that can be used, one with a guide built-in and one without. She explains that it is important to be both accurate and consistent when piecing and shows several ways you can measure and test your piecing.

Kelly shows how to stitch several small pieces of fabric together to then measure the fabric in the center and ensure that it is finishing at the correct width. If it is too small, the seam allowance used is too wide, and if it is too large, the seam allowance used is too narrow.

Kelly then explains that sometimes, even with a true quarter-inch seam allowance, when the pieces are stitched and measured, the center fabric can still measure too small. This is due to the fact that some of the fabric is getting “lost” in the turn of the seam, which is when the pieces are opened up and pressed. This is where using a scant quarter-inch seam allowance comes in. Kelly shows how using the scant quarter-inch seam allowance will give you pieces that come out the correct size when stitched and measured.

Once you’ve mastered the scant quarter-inch seam allowance, learn all about quarter-inch seams.