I’m diving in a bit to one of my QuiltCon show projects and I have a million little triangles to sew together. So, to keep my sanity(!!), I am turning under some of the seam allowances to perfectly place them onto the adjoining piece. I can then glue everything together prior to sewing a quarter inch seam and remove much of the guesswork. To help speed this turning under process, I have a method that involves the above tools- a 6 inch ruler, a sharp hand sewing needle (sorry it’s hard to see in this photo!), and a mechanical pencil. I should mention this pencil is a Sewline Chalk pencil that I won from Moda BakeShop, so I had to find a thicker than normal needle.
Okay, first remove the lead (or chalk) from the mechanical pencil by holding down the button and pulling it out.
Next, hold the button down again and place the sewing needle into the end of the pencil. Push it far enough in so that the mechanism inside the pencil grabs onto the needle when you release the button.
BE CAREFUL, YO!! Keep the point away from you at all times!! Now, take your fabric piece and use the ruler to find your quarter inch seam line. Apply medium pressure to the needle and draw it down along the side of the ruler to score a fold line into your fabric.
When you’re done, this is what it will look like and the seam will turn under like buttah.
And you can do curved seams, too:
Can you feel all your applique woes melting away with this technique?? That’s how I feel. I now have a multitasking chalk pencil with a super soft finger grip that can do half my work for me. I stood at my cutting table and churned out perfectly turned under triangles like a machine and my hand doesn’t hurt one bit. And when I’m done, I can pop out the needle and slide the chalk back in for marking up a quilt design!