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thread bits // the importance of seam allowance

Thread Bits // Seam Allowance

One of the things I like most about English paper piecing, or EPP, is that seam allowance is less of an issue than with traditional quilting. The paper templates take care of getting straight seams and perfect points. But that doesn't mean that you can't mess it up.

With regular quilting, a 1/4" seam allowance is pretty standard. In my mind, that should work for EPP too. So I trim around my templates thinking that way.

Thread Bits // Seam Allowance

But I like to fit things as closely as possible to conserve fabric, and so maybe I trim just a hair less...and suddenly I'm trying to baste shapes with too little fabric. Or at the very least, a seam allowance that is asking for trouble.

Now I trim the seam allowance around the templates to 3/8". I still get a little fabric stingy at times, but when I'm aiming for 3/8", my small allowances are now 1/4". Much safer!


Today's Thread Bits post is brought to you by the 2015 Holiday Stitching Club. The EPP pieces you see above are templates from the club, which starts tomorrow!

If you'd like to do some embroidery and English paper piecing along with us, sign up before the early bird pricing goes away. Tomorrow is the last day to sign up and save a couple dollars. Plus you'll have less catch-up to do!

Read more about the Holiday Stitching Club here.


  1. at the festivcal of quilts show I bough a ruler that has a 3/8" lip on it and cut my fabrics with that as I struggle with the 1/4" being a bit skimpy a good buy

  2. I cut by eye rather than measurement but yes, 1/4 isn't enough!


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