Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From Fix-It to Fabulous...

Here is Joan's beautiful Latte quilt:

Before this beauty was finished, there were a few little dilemmas... Keep in mind that I am sharing the following pictures with you, not to show her mistakes or bad piecing. I'm sharing them to show you that a *good* quilter has the ability to correct them given the proper amount of time, skill, and patience! NO, not all mistakes are correctable and it does take some time and talent. Toot toot, yep, there's that horn!

Let's start with this little woopsie... satin, difficult to begin with, but when accompanied with a shy seam allowance this is what happens

You could scream, blurt out multiple curse words, grab a needle and some super fine silk thread and begin invisible applique by hand at an extremely strange angle (yep, I have done this in the past). BUT, in this case, we tuck it under, and stitch right over top, being extremely careful to keep it tucked under and not stitch through your fingertips. This method results in a beautifully perfect correction:

Next we have super poof... too much of that beautiful satin. This could have been corrected with a little easing of fabric while piecing. But, since it wasn't, it must be eased-in while quilting. You must push the machine with one hand while easing and adjusting the excess fabric with the other hand. Again, constantly watching that the fabric doesn't fold onto itself and also that you manage to keep your fingers away from the needle... VERY important, and yes, I have failed to do so multiple times.

if you manage to manipulate the fabric and keep your fingers clear, this is what results:

Beautiful and flat fabric - Yay! I must remember to make a video of this correction the next time I get a quilt like this. It would make it much easier to explain!

On to the mountains... really, sometimes you have so much excess fabric that you get mountains of fabric that have no where to go but up. Again, it is all about fabric manipulation. You can't just keep pushing the fabric with the hopping foot, it will distort the entire quilt.

So after a bit of manipulation, beautiful things happen:

And that is just a peek into From Fix-it to Fabulous. This will be a new and continual blog entry as I share my experiences with the not so beautiful side of quilting. Please, do not be offended, not one of us is perfect. This is why I am a machine quilter and my favorite quilt is a wholecloth - why, because my piecing stinks!!! Yes, laughing out loud, but it is TRUE!

So... to sum this up, it REALLY bothers me when someone is showing their quilt and I hear the words "see what they (machine quilter) did to my quilt". Ahhhhh.... boiling blood. Just remember, it isn't always the machine quilter that does these things. They just may not know how to correct the piecing problems. And we'll just leave that at that! Love and peace to all of you quilty peeps!!!


  1. a local long arm quilter said once at a guild meeting, remember that if your quilt top does not lay perfectly flat when you take it to your long armer, don't except that she will be able to fix it all and it will lay flat when you get it back, we are quilters not miracle workers.

  2. Wow, amazing work! I found your blog and have been following it. I'm really glad I have. I like this series and will enjoy seeing more. It's good to follow along to see that it's possible to correct some of the challenges that come up. I've learned so much from long arm quilting and I believe my piecing is getting better and thinking through the details about how it will get quilted have helped.

  3. Thanks, Karen, for sharing your knowledge on how to correct these problems. I actually came across the seam problem just the other day while quilting one of my quilts. . . wish I had read your blog first! I did fix it, but good to know a better way to do it. Keep the info flowing!

  4. I have been doing longarm quilting for about 1 year, and I really appreciate the fact that you have shared detailed information like this. It is a great help!

  5. Karen, you did a beautiful job. I wish I could have watched you manipulate the material. I tried manipulating material two months ago on a t-shirt quilt and I DID sew the tip of my finger twice! My first fear was getting blood on the quilt. Again, absolutely beautiful quilting!


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