Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Favorite Seam Guide

I try to be as accurate as possible when piecing my quilt blocks. The less trimming I have to do, the better. This is especially important with blocks and sub-units that have points. To accomplish this, I use a seam guide placed at the position that takes up 1/4" of fabric when sewing the seam. Bonnie Hunter has a very good tutorial on locating your machine's 1/4 inch.
My favorite seam guide is Scotch Restickable Mounting Strips. There are 6 strips per package with each strip measuring 1"x3". They leave no residue, can be adjusted many times, provide a consistent fence, are economical (use a coupon from Joann's), and do not need to be removed when sewing non-1/4 inch seams. 

I begin by cutting one strip in half lengthwise.
Peel the printed cover from the right strip. 
This places the uncut straight edge to the right.
Pull a little of the cover from the left strip and line it up on top of the right strip, keeping the uncut straight edges of both strips on the same side. If everything lines up, gently remove the remaining cover strip and finger press to secure.
This provides a 1/8" thick fence against which your fabric can ride.
Peel off the clear cover on one side and replace it with a piece of Scotch Magic Tape( I didn't use the magic tape in this photo). Trim the Magic Tape if necessary. This prevents bits of thread from becoming stuck under the edge and provides a slick surface so that fabric glides over the top when necessary. 
Once you have your 1/4" location, remove the last cover strip and press your seam guide in place. Test drive some 1.5"x3" strips to check that you are achieving the desired result. Now, you are ready to sew those flying geese!

Til next time,

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