Pinwheel Quilt Quilt Block
Imagine that you have been working on a quilt for weeks. Most of the quilt top is finished, and you’re figuring out what kind of borders you want to add.
As you are standing there admiring your work, you realize that right in the middle of your quilt one patch in one block is sewn the wrong way. Or maybe there is a row of blocks that have been sewn upside down.
This has been a difficult quilt all along the way – whether it is your first project or a quilt with curves, a kaleidoscope, or a complicated star. You have spent hours, sewed very carefully and thought that everything was perfect – until that moment.
Discouraged, you are tempted to rip the quilt down from the wall, roll it up and stuff it in the back of a closet.
We’ve all been there. Well, of course I can’t speak for every quilter, but I would imagine that most quilters have experienced some frustration in making a quilt or two.
The thing is, there are many ways to fix mistakes in a quilt – and there is also something to be said for just keepin’ on going, ignoring the mistake.
Depending on what the mistake is and where you are in the construction of your quilt, some mistakes are worth the ripping and re-sewing and others aren’t.
None of my quilts are perfect. In some, the corners of the blocks don’t match perfectly. In other quilts, the triangle tips are cut off (well, sewn over so they are blunt).
And, yes, I have a couple of quilts where the blocks were sewn in the wrong way. Unfortunately in both of them, I didn’t realize my mistake until the quilt was finished and being used.
And in both cases, when I realized my mistake, I just kind of chuckled, realizing that for all that time before I saw the mistake, we had enjoyed them, so why cry now?
Every once in a while as I work on a quilt, I seem overwhelmed by mistakes, though. Seams don’t match, triangles cut off, blocks all different sizes, running out of fabric, quilt too small, quilt too big (although, that rarely happens).
Usually the best thing to do is to put the quilt down for a day or two – fresh eyes seem to quell much frustration. And once I determine that I will fix the problem, it’s just a matter of going to it.
Here are a few tips for correcting your mistakes:
* Quilts that are too large – remove blocks or borders
* Quilts that are too small – add blocks or borders (it’s amazing to me how wonderful additional borders can look, especially when they are pieced – you can even add a border of blocks)
* Wrong thread – rip it out, or continue to use the wrong color thread – really, will anyone notice?
* Patches or blocks sewn wrong – it really is easy to unstitch them and turn them around; it just takes a little time and patience
And before you get too worked up, ask yourself a couple of critical questions: