Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Fixing a mistake I couldn't unsee

Well, it's been a minute or two since my last blog post.  There has been a lot of non-blog friendly work.  Seriously, who really wants a description of balancing the books or typing up packing slips?  I also indulged in some quality time in the garden, planting perennials, potting annuals and sprucing up the flower beds.  This blog post from 2020 still applies.  Gardening and quilting fill my cup in very similar ways. However, now that chiggers and their nasty, super itchy bites have made their annual debut, I'm a little less inclined to get lost in the yard so I'm spending more time perusing my quilty UFO list.

First up:  Finishing my red scrappy version of Half-and-Half, formerly known as the Two-Colour Mystery quilt.

There's one unit turned 180 degrees from how it should be.  Once I saw it, I couldn't unsee it.  I tried to leave it.  If I hadn't noticed it before quilting, I probably could have learned to live with it.  However, knowing it would be fairly quick to fix, I couldn't bring myself to start quilting until I fixed it.  Of course, the quick fix sat unfixed for months before I got around to it!

I pulled the top out today to plan the repair. Step one, I marked the unit with a safety pin so I didn't pick apart the wrong seams.  

Looking at the back of the quilt top, I identified the order the seams around the unit were sewn, so I could rip them in reverse order.  The dark dotted lines show the seams that needed to come out first.

Here's how things looked with those seams ripped.  I ripped about one inch beyond the sides of the unit I wanted remove.

I ripped the third seam....

...and the fourth one and voilà, the unit was extracted.

Some of the seams ending in the area I ripped were a little loose, so I restitched a short distance on those seams to make sure things didn't fall apart as I wrangled the quilt top to reinsert the unit.  I then rotated the unit to the correct orientation.  I checked three times that I had it right.  I didn't want to reinsert it the wrong way around after taking the trouble to rip it out!

I took everything to the sewing machine and sewed the seams in the opposite order from the order I ripped:  long sides of the unit first, then the short sides.  You can see below why I ripped the seams a little beyond the edges of the unit I extracted.  It gives me a little slack to move things around as I line things up, and it lets me sew the new seam from edge to edge rather than having to deal with set-in seams.

Getting parts into position

First new seam

Two seams done

I pressed both new seams carefully, taking care to press in opposite directions to the seams they would be meeting when I sewed the final two seams, so I could nest seams.  When sewing the last two seams to finish reinserting the unit, I started and stopped the stitching about an inch beyond where I ripped earlier, so that the new stitching overlapped the existing intact stitches of the original seam on either side of the unit.

Here it is, all fixed.

How about a before-and-after view:

It's not a huge difference, but I feel better about it.  I can't believe that after months of dithering, it only took me about 15 minutes to fix!

Next up, piecing a back.  That will be a fun way to flex some creative muscles without worrying about a deadline.  I'm thinking of piecing an oversized half and half block for the center.  After that I'll have to finally settle on a quilting plan.  At my current pace, I might be able to share the finished quilt by Christmas :).  Hmm.  The scrappy red would look good with my holiday quilts.  Maybe I have a target date to finish this!

Are you working on any UFO's currently.  Please share!

Happy quilting,



  1. That's unfortunate you had to take out seams, but luckily, it was a fairly easy fix. I didn't get a chance to sew along, but I do plan to make a top eventually. It's a great design.

  2. I'm glad you fixed it. I've never been sorry when I've fixed a mistake but I have regretted letting a mistake go by, when I've noticed it, more than once. Nice job! ~Jeanne

  3. That would have driven you crazy if you didn't fix it. It's a pretty flimsy!

  4. Understand and if it annoys you then by all means correct it. It’s a terrific quilt.

  5. 15 minutes? That's fast! And I'm glad you got it fixed. I'm one that could be driven crazy by it too, so I understand the need to make it right. My top is still just sitting here, being ignored. I need to get it done, but...

  6. This is such a beautiful pattern.
    It was such a subtle "error", that I had to look a long time to see what was wrong with it. But if you can't live with it, you have to fix it. My mom didn't usually realize her errors until she had things mostly hand quilted. She learned to live with those.
    My problem has been that on more than one occasion I have taken something apart and then actually sewn it back in wrong again--sometimes a different wrong, but wrong just the same!


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