Checking your 1/4 seam allowance- How do you?

Share the love!

There are many times when I follow all the instructions to a T.  I check the cuts, measurements, sew everything in the order that I was supposed to…but something is off!  The block doesn’t square up.  It is too small, or too big.

Something was wrong.

Come to find out it was my seam allowance.  Yes. Something so small compared to all the other things that can go wrong, yet, it messed a whole bunch of things up…not to mention the cute {and expensive} fabric that I was using!

quarter inch seams- how do you check it? #sewing #quilting | patchwork posse

Checking your 1/4″ Seam allowance-

There is one way to do this.  Sew a straight line.  Place the fabric in your sewing machine and sew like you would normaly.  If you are using the sewing foot guide, or a mark, or whatever  it is that’s fine.  Just sew a line for now.

Take a ruler and measure from the edge to the stitch line.  Where are you at?  Are you right on the 1/4″?  Under it? Larger?  Figure this all out before you start making adjustments.

If you are off in either direction-larger or smaller, you will need to make some adjustments.

Here are a couple of ideas on how to adjust your 1/4″ seam and how to sew it once you found the sweet spot:

  • Can the needle move position? Sometimes a simple adjustment can do the trick.  My machine doesn’t have the option of needle adjustment, so this doesn’t work for me.
  • Use a seam guide.  I measured though and found that I can’t have the edge bump right next to the sewing foot.  It has to be just inside of it to give me the 1/4″ measurement.


  • Mark either with tape or marker where your fabric edge should like up on the machine to get that stitch in the right place.

finding your seam allowance for sewing | patchwork posse

Notice that I am not using the 1/4″ seam foot.  If you don’t have one {you should totally run out and buy one right now} you can use your regular foot.  Mark with marker the spot on the foot itself or use the tape as a guide.

The problem with the tape –for my machine– is that I have a drawer.  So, every time I get in there I have to remove part of the tape and then it isn’t as correct as when I put it there in the first place.  Something to think about.

quilting 101

Q&A:  How do you check your seams? Have a trick/hint to share with us? leave a comment and lets discuss!

All the details you need to know about Quilting & how to get started!

Quilting doesn't have to be hard or complicated and overwhelming. It can be fun and a great way to relieve stress! Start with our 13 quilting basics for beginners and end with a fun sewing project. With a variety of projects, tutorials with the hints and tips, videos and more - you'll find something new every time you visit.

Click here to get the details!