In quilting, one of the most important techniques to master is the ¼" seam. When coupled with accurate cutting and proper pressing, correct seam allowances result in beautiful square blocks, lined-up points and picture-perfect quilts. Best part: You don't need a specialty foot to pull off the perfect seam. Here's how to work your standard presser foot to keep an accurate seam allowance each and every time.
Good to Know
Why are accurate seams so important? Quilts are made up of lots of tiny pieces, and being off in your measurements even by a sliver adds up when you multiply it by the number of blocks and rows — meaning your quilt may turn out a different size than you expected if you don't keep a consistent ¼" seam. Bonus: sewing accurate seams ensures you have perfect points every time.
1. Line Up Your Seam Allowance
Raise your presser foot and slide an acrylic quilting ruler underneath it. For a standard ¼" seam allowance, drop the needle so it lines up with the ¼" line on the ruler.
2. Mark Your Machine
Lower the presser foot, straighten the ruler and mark the ruler's edge on your machine with painter's tape.
3. Start Stitching
Remove the ruler and slide in your fabric, aligning the fabric edge with the tape. Start stitching, guiding the fabric edge along the taped line. Remember: watch the fabric edge, not the needle, to keep a straight seam.
We demonstrate with the ¼" seam since it's the standard for piecing quilts, but this technique will work for any measurement your pattern calls for.