Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Baby quilts 3 -- fixing mistakes

If not for trash TV to listen to while I sew, I would not be nearly as motivated to hang in there through the boring parts in the middle -- where the piecing is done and you just have to sew, sew, and sew some more to get the damn things finished.  Yes, there's a certain calm zen in endless sewing, but it's easy to get distracted and leap up to do laundry or defrost something for dinner unless you have something to hold you to the task.

I'm binge-watching The West Wing now, having never seen it when it was on TV the first time around.  Watching the fictional White House grapple with North Korea, terrorism, budget crises and mad cow disease is strangely resonant with my day job of watching the real White House grapple with real problems.

But let's talk about baby quilts.  I've finished piecing and quilting all five quilts, and have embroidered four and a half names and DOBs.  And unfortunately, have had to stop and fix several mistakes.  They happen to the best of us, but don't you want to just kick yourself when they happen to you?

Here's one from yesterday afternoon:

Bet you don't know many little girls named Elizabh do you?  It took a long time to rip out this stitching, since I had gone over the same line four times.  But I was happy to find that the needle holes weren't too obvious after I got everything corrected.

Earlier in the week I realized that this dark spot, which had been apparent on one of my quilt blocks for a long time, was not just a water spot but something permanent.

I toyed with a turned-edge applique to cover the spot, but ended up with Wonder Under.  Still thinking about whether I need to stitch around the edges or if I can trust the glue to hold up by itself.

Here's last week's mistake: my backing fabric had been plenty big when I started, but had apparently slithered out of position while I was quilting.  When I got out toward the edge I realized that it had slithered so far that I needed to cut out four quilting lines, piece in an inch of new fabric and do the ends of the quilting over again.

But all the mistakes were fixable, and I knew exactly what to do to fix them.  So I got to watch another hour of TV while doing it.  There are worse ways to spend an hour.


  1. I love all the bright colors and prints, and I completely sympathize about the name- I was quilting book titles onto a miniquilt the other day and but Charlotte's Web onto the Borrowers and wound up having the rip it out. The stitches were tiny, but luckily I'd only done one go over so it wasn't as bad as your H. It's so frustrating though! I love the mini applique for covering the spot, but my inclination for a quilt likely to be washed would probably be to stitch the edges just for safety.

  2. The West Wing is a great show to watch to see how things should be done. All your quilts are beautiful - the parts we can see. You should have told Elizabh's parents that they were spelling her name wrong. Or maybe it is a nick name! I agree with Shannon - I would sew over the edges of the applique just to be safe, especially since a baby quilt is likely to get washed a lot.

  3. delightful read today...... ready for something new in the world ......

  4. The only fusible I trust to stay put through a wash without the edges stitched is Steam-a-Seam. And I'm not sure I would have trusted it either if I hadn't had to wash a small quilt I'd been using as a topper over a chest that had gotten wet from a planter seeping on it and causing some of the fabric to bleed. The bleeding came out and the applique stayed put. I agree with the others, do a bit a stitching along the edge.