Saturday, October 24, 2009

Machine Quilting -- Fixing Boo-Boos

Everybody makes mistakes -- seems to be one of those rules that we end up obeying even when we don't want to! So I will show you how to fix them when quilting. I do it the same way, whether I am straight stitching or doing free motion -- as soon as I realize I have made a mistake or wandered off the path, as it were, I do two things. First, I fix it right there by getting back on the line and stitching it correctly. Second, I mark it with a boo-boo pin.

This particular boo-boo pin is a regular size 1 safety pin with a plastic pin jacket attached to it. You could also make a boo-boo pin by tying a piece of yarn in the little hole --what you are trying to do is to make this pin really noticeable so that you come back to it. I usually keep a count of how many pins are in the quilt I'm working on so that I don't miss any. It's really embarrassing to go to a quilt show, see a customer's quilt hanging in the show and notice one of your own safety pins right in the middle of it because you forgot to go back and clean up -- don't ask me how I know this! You can probably guess......

After I'm done with all the quilting, I sit myself down with a seam ripper and a pair of scissors and hunt down all the boo-boo pins. I take each pin out and remove the extra stitches. Doesn't extra stitches sound so much better than mistake? Since I have already fixed the problem area "on the fly", my quality control just consists of a little stitch removal.

Almost finished -- actually this looked pretty good to me until I took the picture; the camera picked up some additional stitches to be removed.

After taking out those couple of stitches that showed up in the picture, this mistake is totally fixed and I can go on to the next. Once all the pins are out, I know the quilt is done!

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