Do you know the answer to this QUILTING question? Post and win!



We are so excited that you love the quilting side of You Can Make This that we’ve added a little corner (well, not so very little) to You Can SEW This, just for you!  We’re going to keep you up-to-date on quilt happenings on the site, maybe do an interview or two, share some techniques, and have more fun projects that are just for quilters.     


For this month, we have a question for you!  I received an email from Carlita, who says:


Hi Lorie!


I love the mystery quilt, [it] is so exciting and fun!  Thank You!  I was wondering do quilter’s use sergers?  If so could you tell me if they just serge the 1/4 in. seam or if they sew it then serge it? 


If you quilt and would like to help us out with an answer for Carlita, we’d love to hear from you!  Just post your answer to this thread.  We’ll choose 3 posts for 25 YCMT points added to your account—good toward e-Book purchases at YCMT.  We’ll also publish selected answers in the next Quilter’s Corner. 


Mystery Quilt #3!



If you don’t have an answer, but would love to post, let us know how you are doing with the Mystery Project, or if you’ve done any of the e-Book Quilts on YCMT.  We love to hear from you…..go post and we might just do something nice for you, too! 



Lorie & Kim



Filed under Fun News!, You Can SEW This! Newsletter

52 responses to “Do you know the answer to this QUILTING question? Post and win!

  1. Desiree

    I’ve been quilting for about ten years, by hand and on the machine. The quilters I know don’t finish seams with sergers — I didn’t purchase a serger until I started sewing clothing last year (and was fed up with cutting endless stray threads after each wash!!) One thing to keep in mind is with quilts, you’re always going to have all your seams sandwiched between a layer of batting and then your quilt backing. It’s essentially what you would do when you enclose a seam in a garment, like a finished lined bodice. Most of the patterns I’ve read on YCMT don’t call for serging a seam that’s being hidden, and with the quilts all the seams are hidden!

  2. I can remember when I first learned how to quilt, some 20 years ago, that one of the first quilts I made was on a serger (overlocker). It’s not a process I’d reccomend, as it creates extra bulk on the seamline. When it comes time to either machine or hand quilt, that extra bulk causes a few problems. Another problem with using a serger is if a mistake is made it’s very time consuming to try and unpick the mistake and if you’ve used the trimmer on the serger, it’s near impossible to re-create that same seamline. My suggestion would be to stick with your sewing machine and master a scant 1/4 inch seam.

  3. Quiltersvcome in many shapes and sizes… sort of speak. So while the traditional method of quilting may not use a serger, that doesn’t mean on can’t make use of a serger in some way while creating a quilt. A Quilt by definition, is sort of like a fabric sandwich, 2 or more layers of fabric stitched together… just about any way you like.
    Hope this helps stir the imagination, perhaps to include some serging in your next quilt.
    Leslie Greene

  4. Sarah J.

    I’ve made two quilts so far. One for my son and the other for my oldest daughter. Both when they were babies. Now I haven’t quilted as long as these lovely ladies. But I’ve never used a serger on my quilts. I just used a 1/4 inch seam as Linda suggests.

    From what I’ve read elsewhere, serging is good for quilts that use simple blocks and triangles. So if the pattern is not too complex it may be worth the try. At least you can decide if you like it and possibly if it is faster.

    My mother always told me to iron down the seams. So either way, I definitely suggest that.

  5. I’ve only make a handful of baby quilts with the two most resent being for my 15 month old, so I by no means have as much experience as most on here. My thoughts are… you don’t want the wrong side to be so thick from surging that that they cause the right side to not lay as nice and flat as it should. Remember a quilt is not like a garment that is always going off and on; it will stay against batting for the rest of it’s days. My great-grandmother was the big quilter in our family; she sewed them all by hand. All her quilts that were treated right (read not taken on hunting trips by her son) are still together and looking great to this day. Without serging or zigzag stitching her quilts have lasted a good 80+ years. I say save yourself the time and just move on to the next square. Your biggest worry over the next 80 years is if the fabric will stand the test of time, not the seams. =)

  6. I`ve made a couple of quilts using my serger using a quilt as you go technique similar to the one at the following website

  7. Beverley H

    Hi all!
    Greetings from Yorkshire, UK.
    I HAVE used a serger in my quilts, It can be used to “flatlock” simple shapes together with decorative threads as the serging then shows on the outside of the quilt, great for quilts that are washed frequently. When quilting these quilts either tie them or quilt motifs in the squares/shapes so you dont have to quilt near a flatlocked seam. I have also put a bindings on with a serger. This allows me to stitch the inital seam whilst trimming at the same time. When you fold the binding over the edge the stitching makes the binding look “full” If you serge with a fusible thread in the loopers you can them just fold the binding over and press it into place with a hot iron. If you are making a piece that is not going to be washed its finished within a very short time or if you need a more secure edge the fused binding is then esay to sew by machine, no pins, no looking underneath to check you have caught the binding and you can use decorative threads/stitches to finish. Whilst these are not the usual way of making quilts, in todays “hurry hurry” world they can be very useful!

  8. Angela Keller

    I’ve only created a few quilts but I’d like to add a comparison between quilting and sewing. I made patchwork skirts . As others have stated, when making quilts it’s important to have nice flat seems as these will become bulky and give your quilt a smoother, one-piece look. It’s the same with my patchwork twirly skirts. If I don’t top stitch my skirts then they look…puffy…like they’ve just come from the dryer. So if you do serge, I would highly recommend top-stitching each seam which would actually become the “quilting” technique. So what you need to consider more when quilting is how do I want to bind this quilt? Do I want to quilt it in a certain pattern with no other top stitching lines or do I want to include the top-stitching lines into a pattern, or do I not want to quilt at all but tie the patchwork comforter together and let the top-stitching give the appearance of quilting. Of course I’m not an expert and I haven’t serged a quilt yet but I will and I’ve serged many twirly skirts and this is my best educated guess.

  9. Lori B

    I think that you can use a serger on different projects. Not all “quilts” have batting. Although, some of you may not call them quilts at that point. When I make a purse and want to make it as a “strip quilt” I use my serger. The ends are finished and they tuck right in between the lining an outside of the purse. I only serge it at 1/4 inch seam. I don’t sew it first. I think serging looks great on scrappy quilts that you even have the serged seam on the outside of the quilt. Try that with different color threads. I guess it’s what you like to do and how much fun and uniqueness you want to do.

  10. Lori B

    I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your Mystery Quilt. Every other Tuesday I teach a Mentoring Class called MEET (Mentoring, Encouraging, Equipting, Together). I felt it was needed for young adult women that don’t have skills to do things like, budget, cooking, baking, cleaning, and sewing. All the girls wanted to make a quilt, but none of them have ever sewn before (except in the class where I taught them to mend socks lol). That week you sent me my “You Can Sew This” email with a beginners Mystery Quilt. We are having a blast. It took all night for them to cut out and sew the first block. I can’t wait for next Tuesday when we start the Second blocks…they may not leave my house until midnight, but we will no doubt have fun! Thank you so much for this. Also, just a note. All their seams met!

  11. Anne-Marie Hammond

    I have been quilting for around 15 years. Personally, I would never use my serger on a quilt. You want your seams to be nice and flat, and I think the serger would create too much bulge, something you never want in a quilt. Plus, if you make a mistake, and trust me, most quilters do, a serged seam would be very difficult to undo. Serging would also make the seams much bulkier, which will be a challenge to quilt through. I would just practice your 1/4″ straight-stitched seam and be sure to backtack any of the seams that will not be crossed by another seam. That helps keep your top more square.

    That being said, if you are looking to make a blanket instead of a true, traditional quilt, I suppose you could use whatever you want. In the end it probably comes down to personal preference. For me, it would be a major wrong choice to serge a quilt, but looking at some of the responses left before mine, obviously some people like the look of the serged quilt. So, do what feels right to you!

  12. Carlita

    Wow! what great tips! Thank you for sharing your quilting knowledge. I think I will do the mystery quilt in the traditional way but may just try a serged one in the future (because i have sooo much time to sew! haha). Thanks so much.


  13. I would agree with everyone else, that the serger would cause too much bulk in the seams and make it hard to quilt.

    I love the mystery quilt. I wait patiently (okay, not really) for the next block and can’t wait to see the finished design. I am LOVING it so far and as a quilter have loved that it is starting to get more complex. So far, it has been an incredible quilt for beginners and more….

  14. Heather Roe

    Thinking a little outside of the “block”. Yes, quilts are made of bits and pieces, shapes of all sorts and every color in the rainbow. Most everyone so far has posted a big NO to the need of a serger when quilting. However, it has been a pleasure working with my serger for making a finish stitch on the top of my quilts. Sergers offer a variety of different stitches that make the top pieces of a quilt “come together”. I love using the decoritive threads with unique stitch settings found only on a serger for an awesome finish!

  15. ellen harper

    Well my thinking is that there are as many ways to make a quilt as there are quilters to make them. I have made quilts all three ways, stitched, serged and hand-pieced. I will use the serger on fabrics like flannel which will ravel easily. On those quilts, mostly baby quilts, I use simple patterns utilizing squares and rectangles. Yes it does add bulk but that can be diminished by using a three thread overcast stitch rather than a four needle stitch. Also you can use one of the lighter and very strong “bobbin threads” out on the market now. I really like Bottom Line by Superior threads, they do come on cones and are very economical as they are so fine you get a lot of thread on each cone. they work well in the upper and lower loopers. Also you can use the flat lock stitch, which any serger can accomplish with an adjustment of the tension knobs, that way you can make the seam a part of the surface embellishment. There are quilt as you go patterns out there that are expressly for the serger, I am thinking you can find one at Nancy’s Notions. I have made these and while I would not make a fancy quilt with this pattern, certainly it is a scrap buster, fast as you can sew, need it in a hurry for the baby shower quilt. Consider also that you could do a combination quilt top. Some scrap piecing mixed up with some flat-locked seams sounds like fun. I use needle punch yarn in upperlooper to give a heavier more decorative effect.
    As for the 1/4″ seam, look on your serger and you will probably see a mark to go by but remember it is not how wide your stitch is but how much you cut off. You can lower the knife and just run the edge of the fabric under the needles. You will get a smaller seam allowance that way but it is more important to have a consistent seam allowance of any width than any one seam width over another. Experiment with you machine, get to know what it will do and make yourself a sample book for future reference. You will find I think your serger becomes an essential part of your stitching skill repertoire not just a sewing utility.

  16. Kristina

    Hi Carlita!
    Now I’ll never profess to be an expert at sewing, quilting, or serging. 🙂
    But my aunt quilts quite a bit and I’ve done a few projects here and there. My aunt says that on quilts that are very intricate, she will sometimes serge pieces that she is worrying will come apart. Especially if she is spending that much time on a quilt, she wants it to stay together. But she says it is rare that she uses serging. I on the other hand, have never done any serging on my quilt work, but of course I do back stitch like crazy. If I am worried about something coming apart I will zig zag stitch the edges, or sometimes (if it works with the quilt pattern) top stitch everything into place on the quilt squares.

    Since YCMT is going green this week, I’d love to share a project I made last year for my daughter. I took all her 0-3 month clothes that she grew out of (many of them had rips or stains) and used the fabric to make her a baby quilt. It came out adorable. And was especially special because it was made from her clothes and they already had her smell to them. 🙂
    Another quilt/baby idea that I have done is make just one quilt square and finish it like it’s the entire quilt, but one one corner sew in a piece of elastic folded into a loop. Once the square is finished to can attach a pacifier to the elastic and it made it SUPER easy for my daughter to find her pacifier for herself at night (instead of me having to go get it for her 2-3 times a night!).

  17. lorieatyoucanmakethis

    Dear all:

    I don’t know if you all realize how amazing it is for Kim and I to read your responses to our questions. I was so choked up this morning that I couldn’t write right away. Not only are you all so very articulate, caring, and helpful, you also really know your craft and want to share. We love that.

    Kristina–I absolutely love the baby clothing quilt idea and think it rocks!! The pacifier quilt is also just too smart–now, why didn’t I think of that?

    Beverly–All the way from the UK! The binding tips using the serger are fabulous–binding is my most unfavorite part of the process. I’m always getting it wonky and crooked. I love the idea of using fusible thread.

    Lori B – I’m thrilled you are using the Mystery Project for your mentoring project. I have two girls myself and I hope they learn quilting, too. It’s opened up my life to so much, and it’s hard to describe to other people until they just do it–hence our sneaky little Mystery Project. Sounds like your class is pretty darn talented with those corners! Please, please send me photos when we’re all done…

    Shannon – I so appreciate your comment about the fact that the project is getting a little more complex each time. We wanted to introduce the basics, but still do some of the fun, visually stimulating blocks that are available. I’m just bursting at the seams over the next block–it’ll knock your socks off!

    Thank you, ladies, for your selfless sharing and touching stories. I am most grateful…


  18. Christina Zacny

    I really don’t know anything about quilting and I really appreciate all the help offered here. My mom’s neighbor has been quilting forever and I was afraid to ask her because she tends to be very critical. Thanks so much for everyone’s great advice here.

  19. Sharon

    Hi, I am eagerly awaiting each mystery patch.
    I want to see what the quilt will look at the end and then I will know exactly how to place my red/white/blue fabrics I have in my scrap bin. This will be a great small project that I can use on my small kitchen table or the back of a love seat. I can’t wait. I my even machine quilt it or maybe hand quilt. OR I can do both.
    Thank you to ALL….. for your wonderful ideas and projects. I just love this website and your newsletters!


  20. carrie

    I’m fairly new to the quilting world so I don’t have a lot of expertise, and I also do not own a serger, but from everything I’ve made and read, serging is not necessary in quilting. Your seams don’t need to be finnished because they will be enclosed in your final quilt. I suppose you could use a serger though, if you prefered to use that over your sewing machine. Really, like with any sewing project, I think it’s just your preference, and I say do whatever your most comfortable with and gives you the end result that your wanting!

  21. Tammy

    I am a beginner in every sense of the word! I don’t know what “serger” is. Well, until I read this. I assume it is a machine that sews a certain way to re-enforce your seams. Am I anywhere close????

    And I am so excited about the Mystery Project. Even my husband asks “did you get your next step yet?” lol

    I was looking for plastic canvas patterns, as that is what my mom did. So I started a couple of projects in that, then decided I wanted to try other things. I started looking at cross stitch, embroidery (which i did with my grandma when i was small) and somehow came across quilting.

    I never in my life thought I could ever quilt. The quilts I have seen are major awesome! I was always thinking “oh, I could never make something so beautiful/gorgeous as that”, “that takes lots of talent”, which I dont think I have any, I do good to sew a straight line. I was intimidated to say the least! This Mystery Project has helped me get my feet wet (lol) and I think this is what I want to do….QUILT!! I even went and got some more fabric to try and make a lap quilt for my mom. It will be simple squares, nothing fancy.

    I have to finish my plastic canvas project, then I will get started on my mom’s lap quilt. In the meantime, I anxiously await the next YCMT email!!!!

  22. I’ve never sewn a quilt before in my life, always choosing to stick with softies and clothing (mostly children’s), both of which can be very forgiving to a beginning sewer. The Mystery Quilt series is teaching me all the quilting basics, without being overwhelming. I eagerly await each new installment, just to see what new technique/square I’ll be learning next!

  23. Anne

    I am not a seasoned quilter by any means, but, I say, the quicker the better…if I am doing some quick charity quilts, or a quick gift…I serge away! There have even been some patterns published specifically for serger quilts. If you decide to serge..make sure it is a simple pattern, easiest to serge is a strip(row?) type..
    and may the quilt police never know your secret ;)! LOL

  24. Barb

    I have made many quilts, from baby to queen size.
    I have never serged them. For one i guess i just never thought about it.
    Plus i machine quilt mine on my sewing machine and think that maybe the extra sewing with the serger may add some bulk to the seam and may not quilt as nice.
    Plus i wonder when you press your squares i wonder if the stitching from the serger would leave marks (raised ridges?) of the fabric by the seam line?
    But that is a good question!

  25. Alayna

    I’m certainly not an expert quilter – it’s the first thing I ever sewed – a quilt for my nephew, and I’ve made several since then, including the quilts on all 4 of my children’s beds. However, now that I have those 4 children, I try to keep my projects shorter and easier to finish. I do look forward to taking up quilting more again when I’ve got more time on my hands. Now, to your question, I rarely serge my quilts because it does make the seam too bulky. The one exception to that was the quilts on my boys’ beds because I knew they were going to take a lot of wear & tear and the extra reinforcement was a good thing. The quilts are also just big squares – I would never try to serge if it was smaller, intricate pieces. As far as the seam size goes, I think it is a 1/4 inch if you pretty much run the fabric where only a tiny bit is cut off by the serger. (the important thing is that you are consistent in what you do) I hope this helps, but it is pretty much just my uneducated opinion, from my own trial & error! Happy quilting!

  26. Alayna

    I’m certainly not an expert quilter – it’s the first thing I ever sewed – a quilt for my nephew, and I’ve made several since then, including the quilts on all 4 of my children’s beds. However, now that I have those 4 children, I try to keep my projects shorter and easier to finish. I do look forward to taking up quilting more again when I’ve got more time on my hands. Now, to your question, I rarely serge my quilts because it does make the seam too bulky. The one exception to that was the quilts on my boys’ beds because I knew they were going to take a lot of wear & tear and the extra reinforcement was a good thing. The quilts are also just big squares – I would never try to serge if it was smaller, intricate pieces. As far as the seam size goes, I think it is a 1/4 inch if you pretty much run the fabric where only a tiny bit is cut off by the serger. (the important thing is that you are consistent in what you do) I hope this helps, but it is pretty much just my uneducated opinion, from my own trial & error! Happy quilting!

  27. Most of the quilters I know do not use sergers. I personally have never used a serger on a quilt. There are some “serger” quilts that are made by sewing strips of the front, backing and thin batting together all at once. When it is complete, there is no quilting needed. I have never made one of these but have seen it done on a quilting show on PBS. (Unfortunately, I can’t remember which one!) Hope this helps in a small way!

  28. pookie

    I have never quilted but always admired the beautiful work of quilters, thinking maybe one day I too could make beautiful works of art like that…so ycmt I am ready, I think…

    all I have is a basic sewing machine so I am not exactly sure what I need or even how to start, but seems like there is alot of knowledge here. Great place to learn.


  29. Hi Pookie!

    I’m so glad you are getting started! A basic sewing machine is all you need!

    Go to YCMT and download the Free Quilting Tutorial written by our wonderful Cottage Quilt Designs! Then, start with Mystery Quilt Block #1. Here’s the link to those free downloads:

    The hardest part is just getting started! It took me a long time too, but all it took was one block and I was hooked!

    Have fun with this new facet of your sewing world! Let us know how it goes.

    Lorie, Editor
    You Can SEW This

  30. Brenda

    Hi all! I just wanted to add my two cents….I’m really enjoying this mystery quilt. I just made the first three blocks last night (I had printed them out each week, but never got around to sewing them.) I visited my parents this past weekend and my mom took me shopping to find fabric. I figured now that she knows I’m doing this, I better actually get it done! 🙂 I’m loving that it started simple and is getting more and more complex as we go on. How fun! Thanks so much!!

  31. Cathe

    I have also used sergers for some quilt projects, but for this type of pattern, with triangles and pre-cut pieces, it wouldn’t be your best choice. The serger works best with big pieces, straight lines, and no sharp points.

    I have made tied quilts from polyester for nursing homes and orphanages – the last-forever-never-fade doubleknits – and those are great on the serger. Institutions like them because they aren’t damaged in their laundry, and it’s very GREEN to keep all that polyester out of the landfills! 🙂

    You can also make very nice patchwork duvet covers and pillowcases with the serger. When you serge the seams, you don’t need to enclose the seam allowances.

    Plain squares, like The Trip Around The World or Nine Patch, or rectangles (Log Cabin variations) are a good choice if you want to try a serger quilt. You just serge them with a 1/4″ seam allowance!

    For most quilting, however, your sewing machine will give you nice points and flat seam allowances. It’s much easier to match corners with a sewing machine, too! But it’s fun to make patchwork with a serger sometimes, and it’s very fast!

  32. Sherri

    I LOVE MY SERGER, BUT I am learning when to use and when not to use it. I agree with the flatlock stitch, you can join pieces of fabric on a quilt, and it looks very nice.

    If you have long pieces to stitch, like in strip quilting, it makes it SOOOO fast, but with smaller pieces, I find it unravels easily. I made a twirl skirt (patchwork) recently where I used my serger. I didn’t top stitch because I ran out of time and I am constantly finding holes where the thread is coming undone and having to go back and resew. If you use your serger, just make sure you topstitch over the seam so that your beautiful patchwork doesn’t start to unravel-or pull the threads through with a serger thread puller. But find a good one because if they are fine they will break with just a little pressure.

    The other thing I am finding is that on certain things, it is very bulky.

  33. Alison

    There is a quilt called the 6 hour quilt – made to be serged. It’s actually done when you are thru sewing the striips plus batting together. At the Houston quilt show they normally have several booths set aside for this project to be done by the attendees. Eleanor Burns also has shown serged quilts several times – but! The important thing is that they are bigger pieces, mostly long straight lines and she uses a three thread finish with a 1/4 inch seam.

    That all being said – if you are making quickie quilts that will be used hard serging is an excellent way to go. It will hold up to most college student use and laundering. It’s also an interesting way to sew assorted long strips together and then cut squares or strips from that to make crazy patch blocks.

    Hey – quilt anyway that works for you – that’s the important thing. And enjoy it to the botton of your heart.

  34. I agree with some of what’s already been said.

    With working with quilts or anything with patches (other than clothing), I don’t use a serger because I like a nice flat seam that I can iron open, and match-up to the next row of seams. It just makes a nicer-looking quilt on the front side in my opinion.

  35. Elizabeth

    Yes, sometimes quilters do use sergers. I have a quilt pattern that puts both sides of the quilt together at once by serging the seams! (Yes I think it is called the 6 hour quilt) Easy to do. But usually for quilts you do not need to finish the seams and that is usually the reason for serging. Serging the seams only adds bulk as many other people have said.

  36. Paula Smith

    I have used a serger one time on a quilt (other than the 6 hour quilt mentioned above). I used the serger to finish the outside instead of binding. I wished I could share the pattern with you but I can’t find it again. The blocks were put together by butting them up and using a zigzag stitch. It was a patriotic quilt so I finished the outside edges with red, white and blue thread in the serger. It turned out great.

  37. lorieatyoucanmakethis

    Thanks again, ladies, for weighing in on this issue!

    I know that Babylock actually sells one of its sergers specifically geared toward the quilter. They do some interesting work that uses the serged edge on the outside of the quilt as a decorative edge.

    Oh, how our sewing world is changing! So many new methods to try!

    You Can SEW This

  38. Carol

    Thanks ladies for all your help and tips! I am learning to quilt with the mystery quilt and can’t wait for #4.

  39. pookie

    Thanks for the TUT, it seems really interesting. I have faith in me, I think I can do it.

    Just wanted to say thanks ladies for this site, I moved to the midwest about 6 years ago, 2200 mikes away from all my family and friends, I have my DH and my 3 daughters, and sewing all these wonderful things for my girls really help pass the time and the girls love the thinks I make for them, so I just wanted to say tks.

    this is a great site and a wonderful group.

  40. Nancy

    Generally quilts are not serged, they are sewn with a 1/4 ” seams but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t serge the seam particularly if using a loosely woven fabric and expect a lot of “wear & tear”. It would add a small amount of bulk to the quilt and make it a little harder to hand sew the final stitching, but I would say it’s up to the person making the quilt. I have made many quilts over the years and wish I had serged one of them since the seam did come out after numerous washings. Just a thought!

  41. Juanita

    Thanks a bundle, YCMT, for the Mystery quilt!! I have been sewing, crocheting, crafting for over 25 years. In the early years, I made almost all my clothes, even my wedding dress. But I never made a quilt and I never made a complete afghan! Why? It has always seemed too overwhelming. All those pieces–all those stitches–all that handwork–too much!! Machine quilting wasn’t done in my world then (several generations of quilters) and it has always seemed so overwhelming. But now, with the mystery quilt, I only have one block at a time to concentrate on. I can’t see all the remaining work so I can’t be overwhelmed. I can only see what I have already done and feel pleased and encouraged!
    Thank you for helping me achieve my lifelong dream of making a quilt! Hopefully, this quilt will dispel the “fear” of a “big” project!

    As far as using the serger, from what I have read and seen, there are few, if any, limitations to quilting. Whatever it takes to get the job done to the satisfaction of the quilter!

    I really loove all the posts. I have gotten some really great ideas. I have two baby showers coming up at the end of the year and I loved the quilt block pacifier “finder” posted by Kristina on 4/18. I am going to try to make a baby quilt with one of these pacifier holders to match for each shower. Maybe one quilted and one crocheted. Who knows!

  42. Tina

    Just stick to a regular straight stitched 1/4″ seam – precision is key! If you don’t already have one, consider purchasing a 1/4″ foot for your machine. This will help you stay on track with your measurements – even if each square is only off a little bit, it could add up to a considerable difference once you sew your row together.

    Also, there really is no need to serge since your straight stitches will be sewn across many times securing them. Good luck with your quilt Carlita! Tina

  43. Donna

    Quilting is about unleashing your personal creativity. That means that anything you wish to try and experiment with should be fine.Certainly for the more traditional quilts where accuracy is a must, a serger is not a good choice, but in a free form or larger you- just -can’t- cut -that -beautiful -peice -of -fabric type quilt then a serger would be fine. Bottom line is there a rules out there for making quilts but some of the best quilts out there have been made by breaking the rules. If you don’t try to sew outside your comfort level then you cannot grow and learn new techniques.

  44. Robyn

    No Quilters don’t serge. They need to be able to press the seams open

  45. No, quilters don’t serge the seams. However, I do know some that serge the edges of their quilts when they are finished. I don’t know why they do this, other than they like to play with their sergers.

  46. I have been quilting for about 10 years on and off and even I have a serger, I think it’s not a good idea to use a serger because it will make a problem once you start to quilt (bulky).

  47. Joyce

    I would really recommend against using a serger for quilting. There are so many seams in a quilt and the extra threads from a serger would create a lot of extra bulk. And in areas where several seams come together it could even get quite lumpy. I would suggest sticking with a traditional seam for quilt making.

  48. Here is my 2 cents on using a serger to quilt. If it is a basic geometric design, GO FOR IT! If you are using a four thread or 5 thread (4 with chain stitch), it will hold with out stitching on the sewing machine. If you are using a three thread, I would add a seam. Make sure that when you are cutting your pieces that you allow for the correct seam allowance that you will be using on your serger. I use 1/4 in because it makes me more precise, but this is up to you.

    Hope that this helps!

  49. Jean Mateychuk

    You can just make 1/4″ seams using the serger. I’ve made a couple, and they go really quick. To help you get started, there are patterns out there for serger quilts. Try one and see how simple it is. and now we all have “you can make it” and I know that I am really loving that !!!!

  50. DEB FREY


  51. Betsy K.

    Hi there – I have been quilting almost since birth. More recently I started sewing wearables, so I bought a serger. I have found the serger very useful for stitching the quilt “sandwich,” (quilt+batting+ backing). It makes a nice flat finished seam that I personally find easier to work with, provided I’m adding a binding. I also use my serger when I’m adding an edge fabric or long strips of fabric between blocks. It’s faster, neater, and I the seam is reduced and secure. When I’m using my serger I increase my seam allowance to 3/8ths inch because 1/4 is difficult to do on a serger because you can’t see the edge of the fabric to know whether you’re sewing on it.

    I’ll caution, though, that if you’re particular about seam directions when sewing onto a finished block, machine baste those seams the way you want them before running them through the serger. DO NOT try to reach into the serger to correct an errant seam — there’s a razor sharp blade in there! If a seam does go bad, however, serged seams are remarkably easy to take out. Just cut the looped threads and pull!

    I don’t advise buying a serger for quilting — it’s not worth the expense or the hassle of learning to thread one. If you happen to have one, though, it can occasionally save you some time.


  52. Melanie

    I love to quilt and don’t generally use the serger. For one thing, the serged seam is bulkier than just a stitched seam, making it react differently to topstitching and quilting, and the other thing is that its not necessary since the seams are on the inside of the quilt. If I were to use the serger, I would stitch first, my serger is so fast that I sometimes ‘stray’ away from where I need to be, so I’m not always as accurate.

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