The Quarter-inch Seam for Work Groups


The quarter inch seams … did you know we all make different quarter inch seams?

This little fact can create havoc when a group decide to make up Stacked Bricks with each of us taking home the directions and pieces we cut together. We decided the resulting stacks were each made with a different brand of brick, and varied in length by nearly twelve inches! With some creative fudging we managed to get a quilt together, but had to reject some of the stacked rows!

(For your information in case you find yourself with a similar problem sometime … we halved some of the rows and joined them to others to create stacks of nearly the same length. I finished up with part of the leftovers and made more bricks to match to make another quilt later.)

A group either have to work at making all their quarter inch seams the same size … or work around it!

A group of ‘Golden Girls’ worked around it … successfully … after a false start.

While making a Log Cabin quilt we started making blocks, and had five different size blocks from five attempts. We decided we needed a coffee break, then tried again, with Annie joining the four strips around the centre, Barb adding the next round of strips, then Chris, Deanna, Erica … even without testing our quarter inch seams we finished up with identical blocks! No trimming, no problems. Extra hands on deck cut the strips, pressed the blocks between additions, and kept up the supply of coffee. Despite the false start we completed all the blocks for a double bed quilt in a relaxed day, with frequent coffee breaks and plenty of time for chatting.

So set up a chain gang, with one machine and operator for each step required to make a Log Cabin block … with each step completed by one person, the next step completed by the next person. Do not swap jobs in the middle of a project … swap around next time.

Anyone who has followed Virtual Quilter will know that I have designed quite a few quilts using Log Cabin block, and you can count on seeing more designs, so I hope you learn from the experiences of the ‘Golden Girls’ rather than having learning the hard way.

(NB Names have been changed to protect me from being beat up by friends who are innocent … most of the time anyway.)