Few things are sew humbling as ripping out stitches.
I wasn’t going to blog this because it’s a fail, and who wants to share their failures?
Then, I realised that some people need to see others failures to learn from it, or maybe just feel like they are not alone when they fail.
I was once at an all day sew, and a lady was making a jelly roll race quilt. You know the one when you sew all 42 strips end to end and then take the two ends of the really long strips and sew them together, and on and on? Well, this lady sewed her first two strips right side to wrong side. About 1600 inches of stitches had to be undone.
I kept this in mind as I unstitched the quilt top I had just finished.
Oh yeah, I said “Finished” but in reality I hadn’t added the borders yet.
Here’s my “OCD much?” story:
I have been wanting to make a nice lap quilt out of the Sunbonnet Sue blocks I got about 5 years ago. They are all wonderfully hand turned, and I bought them from a lady at her garage sale. She had made them many years ago, and sashed them, but gave up on it. I also bought some of her oil lamps, which I love. She may never know that part of her legacy will be with me in those oil lamps and this quilt – if I ever get it done.
I removed the sashing because I wanted the quilt to be bigger.
On and off for 5 years, I have thought about how to make a quilt out of these blocks.
EQ7 allowed me to make all kinds of alternating blocks, and see them before sewing them.
I finally decide on a block that would complement all the Sue’s, then moved on to the fabric selection.
Oh the fabric selection!!!
Of course I needed 30’s prints, and I auditioned many. I ended up chosing primary colors, because I like them. Yes, not many primary colors in 30’s prints, so what I really wanted was tiny prints, and I don’t care what era they are from.
Yellow was the hardest. I went to my local quilt shop for it, and couldn’t find a suitable small print yellow, but found a darling green with little yellow flowers in it, and a turquoise I couldn’t say ‘no’ to. I bought 2 yard of the darling green, and 1 yard of thr turquoise, then later bought another yard of each incase I wanted them for borders.
I started piecing the alternate blocks, and was fine until I got to the part where I would snoball all the Sue’s with . . . what color? I cut so many possible squares to audition that I could make a whole ‘nother quilt out of them. and I’d have to, because they are 2 3/4″ square and I sure ain’t cutting all those blocks down to a more usable 2 1/2″
I was back to needing yellow. What I had in mind, and the stores, nor my stash would indulge me, was a yellow with a bit of red in it.
So, I finally just picked a tone on tone yellow out of my stash and snoballed all the Sues, then sewed the whole top together. It was pretty nice looking.
Then on my way home from work Sat., oh did I mention I was stupid enough to volunteer to work saturday? Why, yes, yes, I was. but there is pretty fabric calling my name . . . .
I decide to double the batting, and to be cheap, I will get a king size piece, and use my coupon. It was already half off, but with a $20 off a $60 purchase coupon, I could increase my savings.
It was there, at a store I’d been to many times, that I found my yellow print.
I bought it, and the 30’s print flannel backing, and it was probably my slowest drive home.
Sew, while I sit here removing stitches, lets explore the may ways stitches can be removed, shall we?
There’s the “pick and pull” which I almost always start with.
It is the most gentle, yet the most time consuming, but it does leave the pieces clean, and ready to be resewn.
Then for speed, I move on to the “Pull and Poke” where you pull apart the layers, and poke the threads with your seam ripper. One pull after a poke will get you several stitches farther than the pick and pull.
If you place your elbow on the fabric at the edge of a table, you can undo a 45″ row of stiches in about 10 minutes. Good to know, right?
or the even faster, but more dangerous “Spread and Slice” which is like the pull and poke but uses a blade to slice through the threads. If at least one of the fabrics is expendable, you may consider it – at your own peril.
They make a tool for this, but I prefer my #2 size exacto.
Most of these leave messy edges.
While I am on this subject, do you know what that ball on one end of all the traditional seam rippers is for? It’s to put down in the seam to be able to push with the pointy part sticking up so it doesn’t catch on the fabric. I don’t trust it. I put the pointy part down to pull up the threads I am removing, so that I can see it isn’t catching the fabric.
and then I caught a miserable cold, no actually brochitus, which lasts weeks, so things moved very slowly.
Finally, all 48 little triangles have been carefully seperated, and replaced with the better yellow, and now I have moved on to obsessing about the borders . . . .
#RIP #SunBonnetSue #AlmostHome