Painter's tape and 1/4 inch seams
- From: Debra <debnbilll@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 15:52:39 -0400
I put blue painter's tape on my cutting mat to help me trim the blocks
for a small quilt straight. It worked like a charm. I thought I
should add the tape to my sewing box in case I need it again, but
wondered what else I could use it for. I know many quilters mark
their quilting grids with tape. Two quilty uses would have been enough
for me to store the blue tape in my sewing box.
Then I had one of those light bulb moments.
I have a 1/4 inch foot, but it is metal so I can't see if the fabric
edge slips too far under it. I can plainly see the needle and it's
path, but not the fabric edge. This causes some irritation when I
have to rip out a seam that turned out less than straight, especially
on long seams. I thought, why not use the tape as a seam line guide?
So I lined up two large blocks right sides together. Then I took one
of my rulers and lined up the 1/4 inch line with the edge of my block
so the ruler only covered the seam allowance. (The main part of the
ruler was not on the fabric.) I took the painter's tape and laid it
alongside the ruler, over the fabric. Pressed firmly. Removed ruler,
and presto, I can only see 1/4 inch of fabric poking out beyond the
taped line. I sewed along the easy to see edge of the painter's tape,
by lining up the edge of the tape with the easy to see needle, and
ignored the edge of my 1/4 inch machine foot. Then looked at my 19
inch long seam. It was a marvel to behold. From start to finish it
was ram rod straight!
I removed the tape from the sewn block, and pressed my seam. I
quickly got the second pair of blocks taped and sewn. Also straight
as an arrow, so I pressed it too. I was on a roll now and had to see
the final result. I pinned the pairs of blocks together at the
important points, then added my tape line. The seam was longer than
my ruler so I had to move my ruler as I worked. No problem. Then I
took a deep breath and sewed. Another great seam! Even the ends are
perfectly lined up.
But wait, what if the points didn't all match? I left the tape on
while I opened the fabric to check the points. Then breathed a sigh
of relief. All the points matched perfectly! And all the edges were
square. Wonders of wonders! I've made a little quilt top that
doesn't need trimming to square it up! This thing lays flatter than a
Now all I need is to cut a piece for the backing, some batting, and
get it quilted. And yes, the roll of painter's tape will be stored in
my sewing box.
Debra in VA
See my quilts at
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