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That elusive 1/4"

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Ldyj posted on Sat, Mar 22 2014 6:27 PM

Hi, my name is Jeannette ("J") and I'm a new quilter. I started late last summer and have progressed to my first child's quilt top (pieced, but still have to add the border, quilt and bind.) I'm having a problem with my 1/4" seam. I have a 1/4" foot, I've marked my machine at the 1/4" mark, I watch that I'm sewing to both the guides and the top seam always comes out 1/4"! Good, right!!?? Yes, but then when I look at the bottom seam, it's shifted sometimes to less than 1/8" (or what I call "barely a seam at all.") I had a friend suggest that I ensure that I have the same thread in the bobbin as I do in the needle, so I did. I also tightened down the pressure on the foot a bit. But it's still happening. I'm using a 1969 Singer Featherweight (my "Baby"). Any idea how I can overcome this. I do pin, I thought adaquetly. Thanks for helping a newbie!

J

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zoetc49 replied on Sat, Mar 22 2014 10:07 PM

Welcome, I am not going to be as helpful as I know some will, but I want to suggest that you find a shop or group of quilters close by so that you can show them what your dealing with. This is hard for me to picture, but maybe not for others on here. 

I hope you will stick around here, I have really enjoyed the people on this board, and made several friends. 

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Have you asked anyone else to seam two pieces together with a 1/4 inch seam?  If the same thing happens to them, it may be the feed dogs sliding the bottom fabric...

stitcheraz

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Ldyj replied on Sat, Mar 22 2014 10:35 PM

I hadn't thought about that stitcheraz! I'll be taking my Baby to guild on Monday - I'll have one of the ladies there sew a couple swatches together and then we can check it out! Thanks!!

J

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Ldyj replied on Sat, Mar 22 2014 10:35 PM

I hadn't thought about that stitcheraz! I'll be taking my Baby to guild on Monday - I'll have one of the ladies there sew a couple swatches together and then we can check it out! Thanks!!

J

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Ldyj replied on Sat, Mar 22 2014 10:42 PM

Thanks, Zoe. I'm will take Baby to guild on Monday. Several of the women there own Featherweights and maybe one of them will be able to determine what's going on. I sure plan on sticking around :)

J

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Ldyj,  my husband repairs and refurbishes Featherweights. I just asked him and he said it sounds like the feed dogs are out of alignment.  They may be just a slight bit cocked sideways and that is pulling the bottom material.  He said if that is the problem, it is best to have someone close to you look at it for repair.  Or if you want to call him, he can try to talk you thru repairing it yourself.  Just PM me and I'll send you his cell phone.  

Michelle B
Enjoy family, friends and hobbies

 

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Ldyj replied on Sun, Mar 23 2014 9:40 PM

Thank you so much, Michelle! I purchased the Featherweight at the Tucson Quilt Show  from a guy that lives about 30 miles from me. He also refurbishes the machines. I'll give him a call and see if I can stop by and have him take on look when I go to Tucson on Wednesday. Thank your husband too! 

J

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Susie replied on Mon, Apr 7 2014 9:51 AM

This is probably a silly addition, but do you pin your squares?  If you are having issues, even if it's your machine, if you pin the squares, it will hold the fabric in place while you stitch.  The dogs may pull in a bit lopsided, but the pins will force the top to move along with the bottom fabric.  Pin every 2" to test it.

Chicagoland, Illinois

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