One of those things that nobody tells you when you start quilting is how important the right foot is. When I started, I just figured that the foot that came on my machine was an exact 1/4” foot….when really the foot that came on my machine had a seam allowance from the edge to the needle of 3/8”. It doesn’t sound like a big difference, but believe me…when your making a log cabin block or anything with a lot of piecing…your finished blocks end up way smaller.
The one on the left came on my machine (a Bernina), the one on the right is a 1/4” patchwork foot I bought (with a handy guide on the side so you can pound a bag of Doritos and sew at the same time).
The stitches down below show the difference….the left is the 3/8” seam allowance, and the right seam is the exact 1/4” allowance. Pretty big difference huh?
Anyways…the point is, that most machines come with a foot with an allowance of 3/8” and not 1/4” like many believe. So when your making a pattern that calls for a 1/4” seam allowance, you might end up with some small and un-matching blocks and seams if you’re not using the right foot. I know this from experience(s)(s)(s).
P.S. For a long time I compensated for not having the right foot by bumping my needle position over to the right a couple of spaces. On my machine I could bump it from a O to a 2 and it was an exact 1/4”. But..make sure you measure the needle settings on your machine before you try it.