Quilting Secrets, Tips, And Tricks : Perfect Quarter Inch Seams

Do you pine for perfect quarter inch seems on your projects? I’m sure you do! I do! Well, I did, now I don’t pine any longer! A friend of mine taught me this, and it works amazingly! I know some people probably already know this, but I think someone will find it interesting! It not only helps with perfect seams, but it is one of my many secrets to help quilt faster! That’s right! I said faster!

Follow the jump to find out the secret!


That’s correct! Masking tape!
What you do is you take about 4 or 5 strips and stack them up on the quarter inch mark on your sewing machine! And Voila, you have a perfect leader to make sure you get gorgeously uniform quarter inch seams! The moment I started doing this, I could sew almost twice as fast! It really does make a difference. Now, like all good things, this too comes to an end, and you have to replace it after about one quilt top worth of sewing.

Before I learned this I was doing my seems the old fashioned way, and a friend of mine told me this eat trick, and next thing I know, I was able to have straight seems.
I don;t know about other machines, but mine doesn’t always feed the fabric in perfectly straight. I like to watch tv while sewing, so it was very hard to pay attention to two things at once. If I stopped paying attention all of a sudden my seam would got from quarter inch to either off the fabric or half an inch. Now, I design a lot of my own blocks, so having perfect quarter inch seams really helps me design with with precision. I don’t know if I could ever go back!


  1. Rose says:

    Does the tape leave adhesive residue on the machine? I want to try this but I am afraid it would gum everything up.

  2. Becki says:

    I do this with my Singer, but can’t with my Brother because of the bobbin placement. I do miss the tape when it’s not there! Good idea about the painter’s tape, it shows up better than regular masking tape, too.

  3. Maria Lang Slocum says:

    I actually velcro a piece of an old-fashioned wooden ruler in that spot. This keeps the fabric from creeping over. Then, I can also easily remove it. You want to make sure the soft side of the velcro is what is on the machine.
    I learned this trick from my grandmother who was a professional seamstress and made clothes and wedding dresses.

  4. Carol Olson says:

    Every machine the 1/4 inch is different I use a 1/4″ gauge to set my guide 3m adhesive strips does not leave residue and an old hotel key stuck to top. A Bonnie Hunter trick on how to get the perfect 1/4″. If you do not have a gauge you can use an index card slide under lower needle on line they are 1/4″ apart then set your guide. you should be able to move from machine to machine and your 1/4″ seam will be the same

  5. Cindy says:

    I use moleskin cut into a strip. 1 layer is plenty, and it lasts a long time. I find it in the bunion section at the pharmacy.

  6. Pam says:

    Don’t use masking tape – Purchase a package of Dr Scholl’s pads (think they are called moleskin) for use on corns or bunions on your feet to help pad the sore spot. Just cut a strip of the moleskin and align next to your presser foot. Perfect seams every time!

  7. Patty says:

    I noticed the right side feed dogs were exposed and on my machine the 1/4 mark is over the right feed dog and on my 1/4 foot the edge is right at the left side of the right feed dog so if I put tape to mark my 1/4 wont that bother my feed dog ? I would love to have an easier way… I have an Viking emerald series….thanks

  8. Jane says:

    I have tried everything – tape, marking, the magnet thingy, key cards. I have found that the best thing for a 1/4 inch is the foot that has the guard on it. I have them both for my featherweight and my bernina and would not trade them for anything. Here is a pic of the janom one:


    They range from $10-$12 but well worth the investment. You don’t have to sew a perfect 1/4 inch seam – you just have to be perfectly consistent!

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