I have no idea what possessed me, but after sewing on my Babylock Ellageo for almost 9 years, I decided to break out the user manual and see what it had to say about achieving a perfect ¼” seam allowance. I tend to be a doer, rather than an instruction reader, so obviously the thought of opening the user manual never crossed my mind. So imagine my surprise when I opened it tonight and learned that my machine actually has some special features just for quilt piecing! Who would of thunk it?!?
Here is what it has to offer:
First, there is a specific presser foot provided that is recommended for piecing. What do you mean I don’t need a specially purchased ¼” presser foot??
Second, there are two specific straight stitches set aside on this machine for piecing. They are even names with a "P" for piecing. They are both designed to align the edge of the prescribed presser foot with the edge of the fabric and provide a perfect ¼” seam allowance. One stitch is for use with the right edge of the presser foot, the other is for the left edge of the presser foot.
Lastly, there is even away to adjust the stitch, to account for your thread size and to achieve that evasive “scant” ¼” seam allowance. You simply use the stitch width to move the needle slightly left or right. I would never have even thought about the stitch WIDTH button on a straight stitch!
So the moral of the story is, at least once every 8 years, pull out your sewing machine manual and see what it has to say about what you do EVERY day!
P.S. – For sale: One specialty ¼" presser foot ;-)