The reality is, I spend a lot of time ripping. Stitches go in. Stitches come out. Stitches go back in. It can make me crazy. But it's a part of quilting. New quilter? You're going to be ripping stitches. Seasoned quilter? I bet you're ripping those stitches too. Maybe not as often, but I bet you're pulling those stitches. It's the grown up, quilting version of a do-over.
One thing I have learned is that the right tools make the process much less painful. Who knew that not all seam rippers are created equally? For me, the sweet spot of seam rippers is my little Clover ripper. Small, fine point, and the handle is nice and smooth. Perfect weight and balance. Excellent for quickly ripping out a seam or pulling a few stitches.
But then I needed a big gun. Something that can take some serious stitches out. In comes the surgical seam ripper. It's a scary little tool. It's a sharp scalpel that can snip some serious stitches. But you have to be very careful, because it also does a nice job of cleanly slicing fabric. (Don't ask - but repairs have been made). A pair of tweezers is a must. And finally, the craziest thing. A sponge that I can run over the top of fabric and it picks up all the stray threads.
Whether it's pulling stitches from a quilt on the longarm or ripping out a seam I messed up when piecing, it's all a part of the process. However, it's actually a nice thing about quilting. You don't have to be afraid of sewing that seam or putting those blocks together. If something isn't right, it doesn't take long to rip it out and try again. Snip. Pull. Restich. And it's like it never happened. Now, if only life was like that...
My point of this post is this. Making mistakes is part of quilting. Don't expect perfection of yourself. Don't give up on a project because you have to rip out a seam. Or, in my case, 100,000 stitches from an entire quilt. Just enjoy the fact that you can do it over. That you don't have to be perfect.
My name is Amy Martin and I am a quilter. I am actually an odd combination of professional quilt finisher and beginning quilter. I began my quilting journey from the end of the quilting process, by finishing quilts with my longarm machine. I then began piecing for customers, and discovered that I love the entire quilting process. Join me on this journey of quiting.
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