Pojagi Patchwork Seam Allowances vs. Regular Quilting Seam Allowances

two pieced strips of fabric with title "pojagi seam allowances vs. quilting seam allowances"

Seam allowances are tricky things. In traditional quilting, getting the correct seam allowance will make your life a lot easier.  A scant 1/4″ means that everything will line up nicely when you’re finished and points will match.

Reversible pojagi patchwork seams are very different. They are stitched differently and look very different.

These seam allowances are all approximate. It is almost impossible to get a perfect 1/4″. My general advice is to not even try. Close enough is fine, just try to be consistent throughout your whole piece.

When making pojagi projects such as stained glass window hangings, you cannot treat these seams the same as quilting seams. They are totally different.

Why the seams are different:

1. Traditional Quilt Seam

Start with 2 1/2″ squares.

four green fabric squares

The 2 1/2″ squares join together to form pieces that are 4 1/2″ long.

green fabric squares joined to make a strip

Those join to form a piece that is 8 1/2″ long.  Each square that was cut at 2 1/2″ finishes at 2″ square.

If you’ve been quilting for any length of time, this should not be new to you.  But the pojagi seam is different.

Epida Designs window hanging ad.

2. Reversible Pojagi Seam

Begin with 2 1/2″ squares.

4 pink fabric squares.

When they are joined with a pojagi seam, you can see that the pieces are different lengths on either side of the strip.

strip of fabric pieces joined with pojagi seam.

Pieces will either be wider on one side than the other (dark pink), or at least off-set from each other (light pink). Even if you are very careful to always join your seams in the same direction, it is very difficult  to get seam allowances the exact same size.

The entire piece is much less than 8″ long.

pink fabric squares joined with pojagi seam

They are just two different creatures. I will admit, in quilting, I do want my points to line up and everything to be exact, but attempting to transfer that tendency to pojagi would cause me to lose my mind, or at least my enjoyment of the process. That is one of the main reasons why pojagi designs look quite different from quilting.

comparison of regular quilt seam and pojagi seam

If you want to try it, go ahead, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Now that you are warned of the dangers of transferring your point-matching tendencies from quilting to pojagi, feel free to try out some pojagi projects. Without the stress of matching, you might even enjoy it more.


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sample seam with title "how to sew a modern pojagi patchwork seam"
sample seam with title "traditional pojagi patchwrok seam"

Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

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