Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Fixing mistakes - yes, no or maybe?

I make good use of my seam ripper on a regular basis and don't get too worked up about it. Who hasn't sewn a square to the wrong side of a unit, or sewn a fabric wrong side down?  It just takes a quick minute to fix a little mistake and move on.

Can you spot the "oops"?

Recently I've made a couple of sewing mistakes that were not so quick to fix.  When I shared my "oops" on social media, people told me to just leave the mistake in and move on but I just couldn't do it.  Once I saw it, I couldn't un-see it and it would have bugged me forever. 

I still haven't fixed the mistake above.  It's a subtle one, and I didn't notice it until I had added the side borders.  That bottom row of sashing is upside down.  I thought a few choice words and put the project in time-out.  I'm pretty much over my sulk now, and it won't take a huge amount of time to take out the row and flip it around, but a few deadlines have displaced this project on the priority list for now.  Getting the pattern to my tech editor, for example.  Hovering will be released later this year.

This mistake is a little less subtle! It looks like it should be a quick fix, just remove the last row of the block and flip it around, nothing I'd usually get worked up about.  It would not be the first time I've had to do that.  The snag was that I had experimented with clipping seam allowances to help seams lie flatter at the points.  Those clipped seam allowances were not conducive to disassembling and reassembling things.  It was just easier to remake the block from scratch, including all 24 little HST.  Guess who's not going to be doing much seam clipping in future, just in case I need to rip?

Loads of people told me to call it a design element, make the rest of the blocks the same, and plan a layout to run with it.  That's an interesting idea, but I had already made all the other blocks the "right" way.  "Running with it" would actually have been more work, having to make more blocks to match.  

Plus I had a plan, and I don't think the "new" block would have worked in this setting:

Starlit Courtyard by Canuck Quilter Designs

That said, when I remade the block, some of my background ended up wrong face up.  I left it that way!

So, I'm curious.  Are you on team "leave it" or team "fix it" or even team "it depends"?  To be clear, I'm not judging, just curious.  I firmly believe in quilting for joy, so whichever approach lets you enjoy your craft, go for it!

Happy quilting,



  1. Pretty much always in the camp "have a tantrum and then fix it" you, once I see it, it's going to bug the crap out of me. That said, the last one I left would have required a lot of un-quilting as well as un-sewing, so I just had the tantrum and then moved on. To each their own, though!

  2. If I see it, if possible, I fix it because I found out a long time ago that I'll hate that I didn't fix it later. I have remade blocks many times but sometimes it's just not possible or feasible so you have to leave it. With all of that said, I'm a strong believer that you should do whatever suits you. ~Jeanne

  3. Most of the time I fix it, but there are times if the fabric is wrong side up and it doesn't really show as in tone on tone light fabric because most likely it won't show after quilting!

  4. Mistakes unfortunately happen a little more than I would like. I only noticed a mistake in a quilt I made for my granddaughter after it was all quilted, not fixing that one.

  5. Mostly Team Fix-It for me! Like you, I know that I won't unsee it later. Yes, often a hissy-fit (major or minor, all dependent!). Then get over it, fix things and then move on. Mostly, I say! :) Love your new scrappy blues. I know your Starlit Courtyard, when we get to see it IRF (In Real Fabric!). Can't wait!!

  6. I'm definitely a fix it girl. Lots of engineering in my background.

  7. Once seen, try to fix it! Unless, of course it's just buried in too deep then it might just be - after the appropriate tantrum -just get over it, and move on. To each his own though.

  8. Funnily enough, I just sewed a piece wrong side up. Carefully ripped it out and reset. Knowing it's wrong just drives me nuts, so I've got to fix it.

  9. I'm on team depends....sometimes yes and sometimes no. That border row is hardly noticeable and depending on where the quilt is going, I could leave that. I couldn't leave the other and would be sick about clipping the darn seams to make it easier...not. So, the answer is sometimes yes, and sometimes no!

  10. Hi Joanne, in theory I'm a let it go kind of girl but then I'm not publishing patterns. I might not have changed the oops on the first quilt, but would definitely change the second. I'm also getting used to using my seam ripper and sometimes a mistake is a sign of being tired and needing a break...or not. Thanks for sharing.


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