Friday, April 5, 2019

Ripped and restitched

Hello everyone!  I hope you've all had a great week.  There was a lot of sunshine this week, so it was a good one for me.  The ground is even starting to dry out, if you can believe it!  Pretty soon it will be time to plant some fun things, like two different kinds of tomatoes and some geraniums. Gosh, that sounds so great, doesn't it?

Today's post is subtitled "how I learned to stop stressing and love my walking foot."  My friend Bernie over at Needle and Foot is having an event where we celebrate our quilty blunders and mistakes.  Boy, is that me! I make mistakes all the time. Points get cut off or don't match, or seams are too wide, or I go wild with the rotary cutter and cut all my pieces the wrong size.  Let's not even talk about the color errors. This week, though, in honor of Bernie's event, I decided to erase a really big mistake I made with a cute little quilt.  Here it is:

Anyone recognize this?  I made the top in 2015 and then I finally quilted it up in 2017.  It looked really nice in photos, but I have to confess that the quilting was atrocious.  I mean really bad.  Take a look:

That's just one part.  Look at this:

Tucks on the front!  I didn't even notice these at first, and only saw them after I had washed it.

I don't really know what happened here.  I can do some simple free motion stuff and have it look good, but this time the quilt kept dragging and the machine hated the thread and I hurried too much.  Also, I used the white thread on the red areas, which made everything look worse.  I really like it when the thread all blends with the fabric. I did see that the quilting didn't look too great when I was doing it, but then I thought that it would look better after I washed it.

It did not look better.  If anything, it looked worse. It got to the point where just looking at it made me sad, so I left it in the closet and did nothing with it. This is even sadder! Bernie's event was just the kick in the pants I needed to do something to fix this little quilt.


How do you fix quilting that bad? There's only one way-- you rip it out.  Really.  So that's what I did!

It took forever to take the stitches out (and made a crazy mess) but it was absolutely the right call.  I gave the top a new backing and batting (because the others just were not usable after all that ripping) and then pulled out the walking foot.

So much better!

It worked so great, and I feel so much better about this little quilt. There are still plenty of mistakes this time around, but I'm not going to point them out.  Instead, I'm going to enjoy the fact that I have saved this quilt and can be happy to use it again.

New backing, reused binding

I did reuse the binding, which is that fun green that I think gives the quilt a little zip.  For anyone who's curious, I did reopen the seam that finished the binding to make it easier to put on, and then I sewed the new seam at the end.  It was just a bit too long for the restitched quilt, so that was a good choice.  I meant to do a machine binding, but I stitched it to the front by mistake, so it got hand stitched to the back.

Crosshatching in the border

Some of you may be wondering why I put so much effort into a small quilt that's just going to get used on my table and isn't really very important.  All I can say is that it made me sad and I sort of felt sorry for it, plus I was really embarrassed by the poor quilting.  I should have stopped when I was quilting it the first time, but I didn't, and that was a failing on my part.  In its new form, this quilt no longer feels like failure, and isn't that the worst part about the mistakes we make?

So, that's the last chapter in the story of this little quilt! I hope the story was encouraging to some of you, or at least amusing. It's a happy ending, both for this little quilt and for me, and I could not be more pleased. Hurray for that walking foot, right?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.  I'll be working outside until the rain comes, erasing some gardening errors out there.  There are things to be torn out and dirt to be shoveled.  This is a good thing!

Sharing at Bernie's linkup, and also at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday.


Margo Yang said...

Been there done that because, I, too, had to rip out all the quilting that I'd done on a charity quilt for my guild. It took me a whole week to do that. The best part is a friend from the same guild volunteered to do the quilting for me. :-)

Margo Yang said...

Sorry, forgot to say that your new quilting looks wonderful

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I'm so glad you rescued this quilt, Mari! It's adorable and definitely one you should show off. It's hard to do all that ripping, but looks like it wax worth it in the end.

Rebecca Grace said...

Holy smokes -- you ripped out ALL the quilting and started over again?! I am so impressed. The walking foot quilting looks fantastic and I'm so glad you were able to summon up the will to do all that frog stitching and requilting to get a finished quilt that you were proud of, not just from a distance.

But I do have a couple of little tricks to share next time you want to experiment with free motion and your skills aren't quite perfect: 1. Monofilament thread is totally your friend, because it matches everything and the wobbles and quirks just seem to disappear. 2. Get a set of Pigma Micron fine tip permanent ink pens. They are archival quality, no bad chemicals to harm the quilt over time, and you can use them to color the thread of stitches so they disappear into the fabric. I use them when my stitch in the ditch wobbles onto the other fabric, or anyplace where my FMQ accidentally wandered across the edge of a fabric where it did not belong.

Elizabeth V Kelbaugh said...

I can't believe you ripped all that quilting out but I am glad you are happy with the finish now. Looks great!

Bernie Kringel said...

Wow!! This is dedication Mari. It looks wonderful too. I know the feeling of just being so disappointed in the way something looks. I have one or two in the closet that I just don't like. But, I can't get myself to throw them out. I am glad you fixed this one. It is so sweet. Love the green binding too.

Frog Quilter said...

Your re-finish is beautiful! Love it. Congratulations for taking the time and patience needed.

Laura said...

Whoa, Mari! That was a lot of effort for sure! And the finished result is wonderful; especially how you feel about yourself! That is the best reason for a quilt makeover!

Vicki in MN said...

Kudos to you for taking the time and effort to rip all that out. But it made it all worthwhile that you are now happy to use it!

Quiltdivajulie said...

As a quilt maker who has literally unstitched all of the 3" blocks of a 48 x 64" flimsy in order to lay out the top differently, I totally get your taking out the beginner-style FMQ in order to use your enhanced walking foot skill set!

MissPat said...

Like everyone else, I'm impressed that you made the effort to unstitch all of the quilting and redo it with the walking foot. It looks great and now this lovely item will see the light of day. Don't give up on free motion quilting though. With practice you'll be amazed that suddenly the jerkiness is gone. It also helps to slow down a little and develop a rhythm, which again comes with time.

Louise said...

This makes me feel better about my Snafu! Ripping it all out is a drastic but sometimes necessary move. I'm so glad that you're happy with this sweet little quilt now. Having a sad quilt is no good at all.

Danice G said...

Wow, that really is dedication and patience to rip out all of the original quilting. The new quilting does look wonderful. FMQ is so different of a process than walking foot. Sometimes I think walking foot actually looks best on modern quilts. So glad that you are pleased with the pretty quilt now.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

You are very brave! You need courage for ripping all these small stitches! But you were absolutly right, as your little quilt is a beauty, and you love it now! I'm that kind of quilter too, making mistakes quite often ;)

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

I applaud you for ripping and redoing! Hubby and I ripped a full size quilt in 2006 when I first purchased my HQ16! What a disaster! It took us 3 days and after that I became proficient in ripping a quilt while quilting on the long arm with my rotary cutter! It is easier than using a seam ripper!!!

I have strived for perfection in my quilting journey. I find that when there is a mistake made, correct it immediately! Also, I know better than to just close my eyes and go forward as I will never be happy with the quilt!

You did well, the little quilt is happy and you will enjoy your work so much more!

Happy Quilting

KaHolly said...

Wonderful save! Enjoyed your story, and I really like the quilt. It would make a delightful new baby quilt no matter what color!

Preeti said...

FMQ is my Waterloo. Just the thought of tension issues is scary. So I completely understand. Walking Foot is my friend too :-D
On the upside, that is a fun backing fabric :)

Andrea said...

I'm glad you posted about ripping quilting. I too have a quilt that I've never finished because I think my quilting is not good enough. Here, in Australia we are in mid-autumn, so it's time to think about pulling it out and ripping.

laughing gas quilts said...

That was a great save! It's a sweet little quilt that must be happy to be back in your good graces, but I can only imagine the effort it took. Taking out machine quilting is the absolute worst, but this time it was totally worth it.