Reva's Tips

Sewing Tips from Reva: What is a Scant 1/4” Seam Anyway?

Scant 1/4" Seam

Do you want to sew a perfect scant 1/4” seam when you are quilting? Let’s start with this... What is a scant 1/4” seam and why would you want to use it?

Scant 1/4

Scant 1/4″ Seam


The "turn of the cloth"

Why would you even to care to use a scant 1/4”? If the quilt that you are piecing has sharp points or many pieces that require your blocks to be exact, using a scan 1/4” may be just what you will want to do.

Non-technically speaking, a scant 1/4” seam is a seam that is stitched ‘almost’ at 1/4” from the raw edge of the fabric. It is really just a hair, or a thread width towards the raw edge. What you are striving for with a scant 1/4” is not actually the width of the seam allowance, but more so the size of the piece that is left for use in your quilt block.

Take for example a 6 1/2” square of fabric. If you were to stitch an actual & accurate 1/4” seam, when the fabric is pressed open you may end up with an exposed piece of fabric that is less than 6 1/4”. Additionally, when the other edge is stitched your final square would probably be less than 6”. The reason for this is that the "turn of the cloth" actually takes a bit of extra fabric to press up and over to go over the bulk of the stitched seam and go to the other side. As you can imagine, if you are working with an intricate block design or points that need to be precise this can be problematic.

What’s new from PFAFF

Make your life easier with the new Perfect 1/4” Foot with Guide for IDT. What is so special about this foot?

Take a look at this new foot. It has the 1/4” markings and the right guide as does the standard1/4” foot. What is different is that the foot to the right of the needle is a smidge narrower than the standard foot and that the needle hole is slightly oval in shape to allow the needle to be moved a bit to the left and to the right to make sure that a desired seam allowance is achieved.


1/4″ Foot on the left; "Perfect" 1/4″ Foot on the right.


Pfaff "Perfect" 1/4″ Foot

Happy Sewing,


Back to blog