Add Dimension to your Quilt with Gathering: Crossing a Seam

January 8, 2010

I learned a neat trick lately to use when gathering fabric across a seam. When gathering stitches have to cross a seam that joins two pieces of fabric, that  extra layer of seam allowance fabric thickens the gathering and it will not lay as smoothly as the rest of the gathering.

Here is a simple way of avoiding this problem. Stitch the two pieces of fabric together and press the seam allowance open.


Mark the points where the gathering stitches will cross the seam. I like to use the purple disappearing markers.


Then notch the seam allowances and remove the fabric at those points. Take the notch as close to the seam as possible without compromising the seam.


Stitch the gathering stitches through those notches and gather as needed.


This will free up the seam allowance from the gathering and the gathering will lay smoother.


And it will work whether you are hand gathering, machine gathering with a basting stitch or machine gathering using a ruffler.



  1. Slick!

  2. That's a tip I want to hang onto — thanks for posting.

  3. Oh my word! That's fantastic! Thanks for the great tip. I usually iron my seams flat but it never would have occured to me to notch the fabric. Your explained it beautifully too! Thanks so much!

  4. Great tip. Now to remember it next time I am gathering.

  5. Wonderful tip! Now I just need to find a project that requires gathering. In the meantime I'll just keep plugging away on all my other UFOs.

  6. Oh, the cool stuff that I learn every day!

  7. wonderful..................................................

  8. Great tip!

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