Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The GREAT Canadian Rip OUT

I think the title of this post should be "What I learned today".  I learned a lot and well while learning can be fun - this kind of learning - not so fun.

You see, I had my urgent quilt loaded on the long arm. Remember?

Quilt on the long arm - ready to quilt

Well, look where the quilt is now.....................

Quilt off the long arm - ready to be ripped apart
I came home, all fired up to get started. I had messed around with some quilting designs and I thought I was good to go.  I did part of the first row before dinner and then back at it to finish that first row. Looks good - I'm pleased with the results.

I roll the quilt to the next row and OH NO - say it isn't so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Well, the quilting design that I had chosen, while generic and multi-directional, wasn't going to fit in the second row of the quilt. There is a design element in the second row of the quilt that is not quite the same as the rest of the quilt. When I loaded the quilt, I loaded the bottom first although it did cross my mind to load it the other way. If I would have loaded the top first, then I would have had no problem as the top would set the pattern for the rest of the quilt. Starting at the bottom - well -not so good.   Come to think of it - starting at the top may have had the same issue and then I would have had many more rows to rip out.  What I needed to do what start the planning with the second row and then the pattern would have rippled out.

Either way - GRRRRRRR!!!!!!   I just stared at the quilt in complete silence. Too stunned to even say a bad word. Can I make this work?  No - the pattern was too specific - there was no way.  I thought of several hours of standing over the long arm ripping those stitches out - some of it stitch in the ditch. My back ached at the thought. So I took the quilt right off the long arm and sat down to do the ripping out.  There are five sections - two are ripped out, three to go.

Let's just say that that quilt is no longer urgent. There is no way that I can get the ripping done and requilt it before tomorrow.  I'll just have to fess up that the quilt I entered was not ready!  Oh well - it happens.

But did I learn anything from this?  Lots!

What I learned:
1. If you are entering a challenge, don't wait until the absolute last possible minute to get it done
2. Don't enter a quilt in a show unless it is mostly done - well this one was - sort of
3. When choosing a custom quilt design, think about the ENTIRE quilt, not just one block

I  probably (no most definitely) will remember number 3.  Number 1 and 2 - nope - I doubt I'll change!

It was just one of those RIPPING good days as I had another project that needed some major ripping. I had agreed to repair a quilt for someone. Don't go there!  Just don't!  

Quilt to be repaird

Now what needed to be fixed?  The family dog had a play date with the quilt - the dog won!   The binding got attacked.

Rip in the binding
Even bigger rip in the binding
In total, I think there were 5 different spots where the binding had been chewed. Some worse than others and they might even be more spots.  How to fix this and still make the quilt look good?

I decided (and with the owner's blessing) to remove the binding.

Removing the hand stitching
 Let's just say that this person was afraid those stitches were going to come out (sort of like me!). It took an hour to rip that hand stitching out.  Next step was to rip the machine stitching out to completely remove the binding.

Binding completely off the quilt

Next up, I pressed the binding (leaving it folded in half) and took most of the bits of thread off the binding.

Pressed and most of the threads removed.
The next step is will be trimming about 1/4" off all four sides of the quilt to get rid of those chewed spots. (Again with the owner's blessing) Then I'll fix the binding, removing all the chewed bits and rejoining as necessary.  Serge the edges of the quilt top as there is NO quilting in that border.  If I'm missing some binding at the end, I do have that piece that I got from someone. Same fabric - just slightly different (not faded) color.  Then sew the binding on (and it's narrow - 2 inches, not 2 1/2" like I prefer).  Next up will be the fun task of rehand stitching the binding down. A lot of work - I know, but I couldn't see any other way to repair this without it looking very patchy.

Once that is done, there are numerous chews, bites and cuts throughout the quilt  (I think there are 12 in total).  I'm going to repair the biggest ones, see where I am time wise on the quilt, get approval or not from the customer to continue and then it'll be done.   Did I mention that this quilt is HUGE!  Which is going to make the hand stitching all that more fun!

Did I learn anything from this?  Of course!

Things I learned
1. NEVER agree to repair another quilt

I've repaired several over the years and while it is like detective work - first to find the problem, then to solve the problem - how to repair and where to find the missing fabrics.  That is the fun part. Then the actual work - well that's not so fun.  But put on good music or have good company and it will get done.

The good news about my urgent quilt - since no one will have seen it - I'm going to submit it to a magazine. Why not - the darn thing is done and I might as well get some use from it!

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a great day!!!



  1. HaHa! I normally agree that it is good to learn something but not while under pressure to finish something! I too have had to use the noodle to salvage a quilt in progress:) Now it is not completely done but the problem child has been 95% dealt with. It is now a pretty "hot mess";)

    1. OH Shell! Are we going to get to see the HOT MESS one day???

    2. Well, I will be able to show pictures. I was(am) giving this quilt to my grandmother , so it is heading east in 2(count'em 2!)weeks:). though I do plan to track down more of this fabric and replace this quilt.
      And it literally is a hot mess- She's pretty from a distance but a bitch up close,lol

    3. Oh my - I can't wait!!!! Always nice to know we are all in this big mess together!

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