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Thread: When to say NO to Seam Ripping??? Oh if only I could!

  1. #1
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Unhappy When to say NO to Seam Ripping??? Oh if only I could!

    I wish I could look the other way. I wish I had done all the math before I started. I wish I hadn't used that cursed So Fine poly thread which is unbelievably strong and virtually invisible.

    The long sad story...I am racing to complete a quilt for my son before he comes home in two weeks. Here's the pattern: Third Time Around (ironically!!!) http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/Item--i-AQD-P072

    I misread "square the right-triangle units to 10 1/4" inches on a side" and I squared them to 10 1/2". I did NOT do the math to check that 10 1/2" on a side results in 14 3/4" on the hypotenuse. I sewed up 48 7" square units into 12 13 1/2" squares, put them on point, and sewed a triangle unit to each side to make 2 big squares. The twelve big squares all came out to 19 1/2" which by my calcs was correct. Of course, I was overjoyed at my careful cutting, sewing and piecing esp. on triangles. Pride goeth before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction.

    So I started joining the big squares together and now I notice that the points on the 13 1/2" on-point squares are mysteriously far from where they should be. They don't touch. So, thinking I could cure this little snafu, I just sewed the joining seam wider, but now my quilt looks a little odd because the outside rings of the triangle and the outside of the squares are too thin. Noticably thin.

    I now have to UNSEW two big blocks, then unsew [email protected]##$$%%^^%&*$^@%@ triangles, retrim the triangles by 1/8" on each side and then resew them all on.

    I guess I can take my machine back to the shop to get the repair finished that they forgot to do last week because I won't be using it

    Here's a pic of a piece of the cursed block. I don't have the piece ofthe opined fabric but you can imagine there the points fell if I joined that block to another one. Ugh. (Yes the fabrics are goofy because it is all of the things my son likes - his music, coffee, ducks in the pond, his dog, his favorite brown-bottle beer, some of which stuff I photo-printed, so it is all a labor of love and took forever to collect the fabric...)

    Must I rip? How long will it take to rip about 760 inches of tiny stitches? Will I be sane when I finish?

    Commiserations and horror stories about ripping are greatly appreciated. Misery loves company.
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    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  2. #2
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    Wish I could see what you are talking about. Everything I see looks so pretty. Of course I know what you mean about making errors. Hate 'em! I used to pick out each stitch. Now I lay the sewn pieces flat, cut about every 5th stitch with my seam ripper, then pull the thread away from the back side. Everything pulls apart and makes taking those stitches so much faster.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Looks beautiful to me. I rip like fayzer does and it goes really fast. I have lots of practice, some times I don't pay attention.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  4. #4
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    It looks great. are you sure you want to do all that ripping? I'm always ripping, hence my moniker on here.

  5. #5
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    Call it a design element and go forward. He will love it just like it is.

    Says the woman that was raised by a woman that sewed a lot and did NOT own a seam ripper. When I saw them I thought people were kidding me. I still think long and hard before I use one.

  6. #6
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    if you haven't started unstitching yet ... consider this.

    if all of the points don't touch the it will appear to have been designed that way. it may turn out to be a very delightful design change. the blocks might appear to float on the background.

    i feel your pain ... believe me. when i want something to go correctly, nothing else will do. if you choose to rip, you have my deepest empathy.

    i have, however, sometimes deliberately adjusted blocks so the points never have to touch. less stressful and still looks good.
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

    I also have an eddres you can use if you need to contact me with questions or suggestions that relate to our community: [email protected]

  7. #7
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I agree with Patrice ... if you can make it work somehow call it "your design" (heck - sell the pattern!).

    If not, I'd like to suggest using a razor blade to rip. Yes it leaves a lot of little thread pieces but what doesn't fall off by itself will come off in the wash (eventually). It's SEW much faster than a seam ripper.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Oh dear. If I lived close to you, I'd bring over a jug of margaritas, my razor blade, and my emery board, and help you rip. It would be faster and a lot more fun!

  9. #9
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    I agree with Patrice. sometimes you just have to let it go. unless someone is REALLY familiar with the pattern or has it in front of them to compare, no one will ever know.

  10. #10
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Name:  Rob quilt test.jpg
Views: 1578
Size:  251.7 KB I think it looks better with the points lining up (I did this on the office copier, just folded and taped! no sewing )
    But being short 1/8 to 3/16 on the width of the outside triangles may not be such a big deal. Better he sleep under it knowing his mom loves him than not get it because I damaged the fabric seam-ripping. That photo-fabric is very difficult, and some of the fabric is thin batik, and some printed fabric is ravelling already. Ugh. There's a good excuse!
    Risk aversion!

    DogHouseMom, I got myself a scalpel with a turned-up blade , but I am afraid to use it. Do you open the seam wide, then hope to cut straight? I need a tute on that one!

    Thanks folks, I appreciate the comforting ideas. And the thought of not ripping has made my day!
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  11. #11
    Super Member Arleners's Avatar
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    I agree with the sentiment that is building here. If the "error" is consistent, if it doesn't look bad and the quilt top lays flat then congratulations, you have redesigned a pattern and made it your very own.
    Arlene

  12. #12
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    PatriceJ is giving great feedback. If none of the points touch, it will look like it is meant to be. Your son will love it, and 99% of the people who see it will not even know that it isn't right.
    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ View Post
    if you haven't started unstitching yet ... consider this.

    if all of the points don't touch the it will appear to have been designed that way. it may turn out to be a very delightful design change. the blocks might appear to float on the background.

    i feel your pain ... believe me. when i want something to go correctly, nothing else will do. if you choose to rip, you have my deepest empathy.

    i have, however, sometimes deliberately adjusted blocks so the points never have to touch. less stressful and still looks good.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  13. #13
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueSew View Post
    DogHouseMom, I got myself a scalpel with a turned-up blade , but I am afraid to use it. Do you open the seam wide, then hope to cut straight? I need a tute on that one!
    yup! I can hold the seam open with 4 fingers on my left hand (thumb and first finger hold one side, middle and ring finger hold the other) and rip with my right. I can even "walk" my fingers down the fabric as I rip. Yes, this is how I first learned (didn't know there was a tool for that until I got to high school and the teacher stole my razor blade!), and yes ... I've had a lot of practice.

    The scalpel is even easier than the razor blade - but hold the scalpel near the business end for more control. Go slow ... don't cut yourself and don't cut the fabric.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  14. #14
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Instead of redoing anything, why not enlarge the outer triangles with say black to fit with the larger squares. They will then line up. HE doesn't know what the pattern is supposed to look like and YOU will be able to line everything up without having to unsew endless pieces.

  15. #15
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    I will join the majority. Go with the "floating" triangles. The fabrics you've used will "sell" the quilt. It looks good, decreases the risk of damage (or cutting blocks too small, one of my favorite tricks), and saves your valuable time for better things! My roomate and I discovered the razor blade method when she tried to learn free motion quilting on her quilt, instead of practicing first. The stitches were so tiny and clumped together she was ready to trash the quilt. Working together, one separating and one running the blade gave us three stabilizing hands and one steady cutting hand. No damage to fabric or hands and we saved the quilt!
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  16. #16
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faykilgore View Post
    I will join the majority. Go with the "floating" triangles. The fabrics you've used will "sell" the quilt. It looks good, decreases the risk of damage (or cutting blocks too small, one of my favorite tricks), and saves your valuable time for better things! My roomate and I discovered the razor blade method when she tried to learn free motion quilting on her quilt, instead of practicing first. The stitches were so tiny and clumped together she was ready to trash the quilt. Working together, one separating and one running the blade gave us three stabilizing hands and one steady cutting hand. No damage to fabric or hands and we saved the quilt!
    Your razor blade story is an inspiration. But I think I'm going to redesign per the general comments and skip the rip. When my son looks up close at the quilt and sees the photo fabric of his dog and the ducks and the brews, I doubt he'll be measuring the width of those last strips of triangle. Now, dinner done, and off to the quilting lab!

    Cheers!
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  17. #17
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Good decision!!!!!

  18. #18
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    Nobody but you will ever know the intended design and finished quilt are not as you planned. And never admit defeat as many on this board will advise. They have saved me from making perfect blocks many times and tought me to think outside the box.

  19. #19
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Oh dear. If I lived close to you, I'd bring over a jug of margaritas, my razor blade, and my emery board, and help you rip. It would be faster and a lot more fun!
    Me, too. You could have an "unsewing" bee. But I don't see anything wrong with what I saw in the picture. I'm sure your son won't notice. All he'll see are the hours and the love you put into it.

  20. #20
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    I think your block is beautiful. I love your color combinations. I feel your pain because I too often don't think and measure before I sew. I am amazed that anything I do comes out right.
    Lorraine

  21. #21
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I totally agree with not ripping, especially the photo fabric...been there done that and had to applique a new picture in. The photo fabric does not "bounce back" like regular fabric and you can always see where you stitched last.

  22. #22
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Oh dear. If I lived close to you, I'd bring over a jug of margaritas, my razor blade, and my emery board, and help you rip. It would be faster and a lot more fun!
    So now I know what to do with the razor thanks to DHM, I sure know what to do with a jug of margaritas, what is the emery board for???
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  23. #23
    Super Member tutt's Avatar
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    If your Mom or Grandma made you one would you really care that the points didn't line up? If your son loves you half as much as you love him, he'll sleep warm and snug under it

  24. #24
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    I would let it be perfectly imperfect -- he will likely not notice and it will still represent your love.
    Laissez les bons temps rouler! Or, as we say in south Louisiana:
    Let the Good Times Roll!

  25. #25
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueSew View Post
    So now I know what to do with the razor thanks to DHM, I sure know what to do with a jug of margaritas, what is the emery board for???
    Lol. When you're done with the razor and there's little bits of thread sticking out of your fabric, run the emery board across it, it will pull all the threads off.

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