Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Favorite Tip!!

Diagonal Seams 

This is a tip I learned in a class many years ago and it's still one of my favorites. I use it a lot when making quilts and I use it every time I sew binding strips together.

My binding seams used to look like this (or maybe a slightly less exaggerated version) more often than not.      

I could avoid this problem if I took the time to draw a pencil line diagonally across the binding to give me a stitching guide . . .

. . . but that always seemed like too much work! Besides, I kept thinking each time I could get the angle line correct - that this time would be different. Ha!

Then, one day my binding sewing changed forever! An instructor came to class with her machine that had this strip of painter's tape on it. She said she loved this tip so much she always shares it and even brought a roll of tape that we could all use right then and there.

We had to find exactly where our center seam line was on the machine. To do this, put the needle down and lay a piece of paper against the needle. Square it up with something on the machine bed (I used the ruler across the extension tray on my machine). Lightly mark this center line with a pencil.

Then lay a strip of tape along this center stitching line. You'll need to separate the tape anywhere there's something removable:

Keep that line going all the way to the front (or as far as you like it).

To use this for a diagonal seam, pin the pieces together and place the top of the fabric under the presser foot and bring the needle down through the fabric. Line the corner of the bottom piece up with the tape.

Guiding the bottom point along the tape, sew the two pieces together.

When finished, trim and press the seam open. Your finished piece will look like this:

Even that stripe can be perfect . . . well, the seam is perfect. I didn't match the stripes!

(It should be noted that this procedure does not work on blocks where the instructions tell you to lay two blocks right sides together and draw a line diagonally across one and then stitch a quarter inch on each side of the line.)


  1. AH!! Thanks for sharing ! I am about to go into my sewing room and do this !! I am like you most of the time I think I can 'wing it"then its crooked !!

  2. What a great tip Vicki. I'm headed to my sewing machine right now. Thanks!

  3. Hey Vicki, that comment was from me not Mike. That would be just weird. Thanks, Stacy.

  4. Oh,I suppose Mike makes perfect seams without any type of guide! What a showoff!

  5. Hey Betty - thanks for standing up beside me and admitting to the same problem!! (hehehe) Let me know how this works for you! :)