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Thread: Help! Need advice on how to fix a quilt top

  1. #1
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    Help! Need advice on how to fix a quilt top

    This is only my third project...why I decided I could conquer a queen sized quilt without any problems is beyond me. Anyway, I pieced the quilt together and after having it on the floor for a few days, finally saw a big problem. I laid everything out before putting it together, how did I not see it then? There appears to be an "unfortunate" pattern in some of the blocks. Seeing how my Mom was born and raised in Germany during the War, I just cannot leave those blocks as is. How do I fix just three or four of the blocks without taking the entire quilt apart?
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  2. #2
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    I have very carefully picked out the stitches around the "wrong" block, then resewed it, finally stitching it back into the quilt. Be careful not to stretch any of the fabrics. Good luck with this - the quilt is very pretty.

  3. #3
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    Wow that is a beautiful quilt. I don't think Mom will notice. I know what you mean about a German woman's perfection!! You can always tell her you wanted to test her. Just to make sure she was still as sharp as ever!
    You certainly can leave the blocks alone. I would not try to take it apart as you might mess up your measurements inserting a new block and find yourself in more of a pickle. You probably are a perfectionist just like your mom. At our "mom's knee"...that is where we learn. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I'm German, like your Mom. If it really bothers you (it doesn't bother me) how about appliqueing something into the center of each of the offending designs? Maybe a star or a heart or just a simple square in another color.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    you quilt is very pretty. if you had not pointed out the issue, i would never have seen it. and because your fabrics are patriotic, i would not change the questionable blocks.
    Nancy in western NY
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  6. #6
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    I can't see that it needs a "fix" so won't make any suggestions.

  7. #7
    MTS
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    Well, I'm not German, I can certainly see the problem, and it would bother me, so I can totally see why you want to fix it.

    Sandyms uses the same method I do.
    I call it "targeted specialized surgery."

    Just some random notes from my experience in this field ;-)

    You want to gently open the seams around the blocks, extending it an inch or two on all sides.
    This will allow the block to gently fall out without any pulling, and still leave you some room to maneuver the new or redone block back into the same space.

    Because those sashings are pretty thin width-wise, and solids sometimes tend to fray more than prints (in my experience), I would probably do one block at a time.
    That way you keep the quilt top relatively intact and stable while removing and inserting.

    Just keep track of where you are on the back and front - I've accidentally opened the wrong seam.
    Nothing to do but laugh and sew it back up again.

    Try to allocate the couple of hours it will be take all at one time.
    I've found it's much easier doing it in one sitting then walking away and coming back, and having to figure out where you where (which, btw, led to opening the wrong &#@&& seam!!).

    Work slow and methodically, and you'll find it's really not a difficult process at all.

    Good luck!!
    Last edited by MTS; 11-28-2012 at 05:05 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Wow, I wouldn't have seen it if you hadn't pointed it out, but now that's ALL I see. I can understand your concern!

    I'm not sure how to fix it without taking it apart again. What would it look like if you took the blocks apart, cut them into HSTs and put them back together in a new pattern?

    What a heartbreaker, the quilt looks beautifully made.

  9. #9
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    Will someone explain what the "problem" is.

  10. #10
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    I can see where some of the blocks resemble a swastika. However, with the fabric being what it is... it may not be that obvious to your Mother. Rather than remove blocks/strips, I like the idea of a few stratigically placed appliques. Maybe you could fussy cut some of the flag squares used in your border? Let us know what you end up doing.

  11. #11
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think it is a lovely quilt. I see the symbol that you see, but in this beautiful quilt I don't feel that it has any bad connotations. However, if it bothers you, then it needs to be taken apart. I've surgically fixed one block by removing the stitches all around and reinserting it (when the block was turned wrong), but when there are several to fix it might be easier just to do them all at once by taking the whole thing apart.

    However... why not wait a few days, think about it, and see if it still bothers you? I think you've made something beautiful that can destroy the power of that symbol, at least for you, if you let it. There are many beautiful old quilts that intentionally used the swastika design, before it became associated with the Nazis. It's not clear from your post whether your mother is still living, or whether the quilt is intended for her. If it is indeed going to her, you might ask her opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillCountryGal View Post
    aybe you could fussy cut some of the flag squares used in your border?
    Since I'm new to quilting, I have to ask....what is "fussy cut?"

  13. #13
    Super Member Gail B's Avatar
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    I would follow the advice of MTS & Sandym and redo the blocks. You will be happy you took the extra time to fix the blocks. It won't take that long to do them & you will be really happy with the results.

  14. #14
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    I would applique something patriotic to America in the center of each offending block and maybe a couple of other places in the quilt. BTW, I had to look REAL close to see what you were talking about. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do. It's a beautiful quilt just the way it is, IMHO.
    aka Gale

  15. #15
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I'm alot German and it doesn't bother me. I would do as someone else suggested and applique stars here and there to break up the offending blocks. I would not take it apart to redo the blocks. People can be too sensitive about anything, I don't get it.
    Another Phyllis
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    Hi, I (firstly) want to introduce myself as I am a newbie on your forum. I have sewn for 35 years, and in the last two years have really taken to quilting. I do own an older LA in which my greatest fascination is with stitching free hand whole cloths. However, I do make quilt tops and quilt them, and my favorite is paper piecing.
    On this quilt top I do see the unintentional swastika. You are concerned about the design and your mother's feelings so that is what is important, and why it is important to you to change it. I would do the same as recommended by others and gently open the seams to fix. To keep the block or pieces from becoming distorted, you could spray the block with light starch and press, then open. This will help the pieces keep their shape while you manuever them to new spots. Look forward to seeing the revisions!

  17. #17
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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  18. #18
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I am not sure how you are going to make them not look like swastikas without changing every block--in essence, changing your whole quilt. Isn't that the design in the middle? I'm sure it has a name...just the ones that are dark are more easily seen.

    If you carefully take apart the offending blocks, what are you going to do? By relocating the darker colors to the middle and putting a lighter in the middle, you still have the design. So what will you accomplish?

    Maybe I'm not seeing it like you are, .but I see it in every middle. SO, if you you don't like it, do like some suggested and put appliques in various places and take the focus off the middle of each square.

    How can taking out a few squares and readjusting the colors "do" anything at all? You still have it. That is the design of the quilt.Name:  IMG_20121128_071304with circles.jpg
Views: 554
Size:  1.64 MB

    I'm sure much of it depends on your perspective. I think it looks like windmills or boomerangs.
    Last edited by justflyingin; 11-28-2012 at 07:40 AM.

  19. #19
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    Thanks everyone, for the great advice and kind words. I asked my husband and he said just leave it, no one is going to inspect it as thoroughly as I do. I did send a photo to my mom and asked her how she liked it and if she "sees" anything wrong with it before I finish it. She is the kind of woman that will tell me like it is. Love her! Thanks again, I'll keep y'all posted.

  20. #20
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    It took me abit to see what you are seeing as the "unfortunate" design that emerges in a few of the blocks. But without you telling me .. I would never have noticed. .. but my monitor may not be showing quite that same colors.
    I know that once you notice something.. you can't help but having it now shout at you.

  21. #21
    Junior Member eyes's Avatar
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    Pretty quilt and I wouldn't change it. I think when it is finished it won't be as noticeable to you. And if anyone sees nothing but the swastika they're looking for nothing but trouble to begin with!
    Linda Lee

    "Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

  22. #22
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    First, I don't think the blocks resemble swastikas. They're missing that outer leg on all four sides. To me, it just looks like some kind of spinning block.

    Second, it's too bad that anytime one looks at such a symbol, all we see is the negative connotation of Hitler. Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.

    I hope your mom likes it as is. As others have stated, I'm not sure how you could change it without completely remaking the entire quilt.

  23. #23
    Junior Member eyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    First, I don't think the blocks resemble swastikas. They're missing that outer leg on all four sides. To me, it just looks like some kind of spinning block.

    Second, it's too bad that anytime one looks at such a symbol, all we see is the negative connotation of Hitler. Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.

    I hope your mom likes it as is. As others have stated, I'm not sure how you could change it without completely remaking the entire quilt.
    Thank you!
    Linda Lee

    "Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

  24. #24
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    It's settled. I'm going to try to fix the quilt. I sent a photo to my mom and she saw "it" immediately. To some of us, it's not a big deal. But to someone like my mother that had to grow up witnessing the horrors of what that symbol stands for, well, it still scares her to this day. The quilt is actually for my husband for his TV room, but I don't want my mom (or anyone else) to be offended. Wish me luck as I start picking stitches.

  25. #25
    Super Member Charming's Avatar
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    OMG.....you brought out memories from last year. The kids kept picking on me all season last years after I made the same mistake and I still tease them and put this quilt every year on a different table. Here it is....and of course this year I have a small nativity on it
    Anyways back to the solution. I did that on few blocks last week just carefully removed the stitches and the took out the blocks fixed them and sewed them back....doable really but with attention.
    Good luck
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