Friday, March 28, 2014

Rip it

The week before last, I was minding my own business, trying to wrap up the knot garden quilt I had no business working on (because I have actual deadlines this month, some of them are even quilt deadlines so who knows what my problem was) & I was about to put the two large pieces together to make the top....or that center of the top (I might add a border.  I almost never do but apparently I am really avoiding something else.  I wish I knew what).    &  that's when I spotted it, right there in that corner block. 

It takes a minute (it took me months, as I obviously sewed it into the quilt like this & never noticed). 

As it happens, this was one of the swapped blocks & I even remember who sent it (I rarely do, especially with the big swaps) because she is a quilter whose work is far above mine, quality-wise.  everything of hers I have ever seen is lovely.  Which just goes to show this can happen to anyone.  Including me. 

It is an unhappy truth that it is easier to rip out the work of an experienced sewer, the person less likely to make a mistake.  It is not fair, but there it is.  This is because it is easier to rip even, smooth, straight stitches.  Stiches that bump & bubble & get really small because they are hung up on a seam are the absolute worst to rip.  Pulling this block out of the quilt top (thankfully it was in a corner, but I would not have let it stop me if it wasn't) was a piece of cake.  Ripping & rotating the flipped four square went quick.  The whole process took maybe an hour, maybe a bit more but as I did it in pieces (ripping while watching tv, sewing the straight seams in the middle of chain piecing something completely different).  The top is assembled & now I am rolling around a border idea that may or may not work out.  You'll know when I know.

Several months ago I finished a quilt top that I had made for myself, was really looking forward to having completed & using when all of a sudden, the steam just went out of it for me.  I could not figure out why. I would look at it & be unable to decide how to quilt it.  Then I worried about the white not really suiting me....  I am not suggesting my sub-conscious was at work here or my private eye or whatever it is.  All too often I get all fired up & stall.  So often that -unless there is a paycheck involved- "fire up & stall, repeat as necessary" is pretty much how I get things done (or not) on large & small scales.

The stall turned out to be helpful, because after a while gazing at the quilt top & then pictures of the quilt top, I spotted an error that would have made me nuts if it was already quilted (the before picture is here if you feel like checking it out). 

The oranges were not in the right places; the dark orange was where the light orange should be, etc.  It did not help that the dark & the light were more like a dark medium & a light medium.  I could have left them, yes, but why?  Once I saw it...& it's not like it was already quilted.  So out came both offending blocks, I reversed them & dropped each back in where the other had been, borders & all.

Let me say again, it is much easier to rip out what is well stitched.  Let me add that it is easier to rearrange blocks that are exactly the same size...which is really just another way of saying that first thing.   I think I can safely say I have ripped at least one major seam in every quilt I have ever made.  I have never regretted ripping what didn't make me happy; I have wished I could go back & rip out now what I should have ripped out then.  Yes, very philosophical, but still.

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