Seeing as though I’m still riding high on the feelings of having finished a big project, all I can think about now is keeping my momentum going and finishing more quilts. In fact, I had one in mind that I had started last year and thought would a make for a quick finish.

Then I stepped into my crazypants and made a simple project into a much, much bigger one.


ripping it all out

I had started machine quilting this last year, and when started working on it again, I just felt like it was so lousy compared to what I had just finished doing. My stitches were uneven, the tension was terrible, and I just felt like I had to start over.

Hello, seam ripper. You are the one tool that I both loathe and love at the same time.


hand quilting

I guess it makes sense to hand quilt this, especially since it’s the last top that I pieced by hand. Back when I first started quilting, I didn’t have a sewing machine, so I learned to piece by hand. Now though, I don’t spend the time hand piecing because I don’t really feel like it adds that much to the finished quality of the quilt. Sure, I’ve spent an extra 10,000 hours on it while I sew everything together, but you can’t really see it once it’s all finished. I’d rather use my machine to piece (which is often more precise than I could do by hand) and spend the time to hand quilt.


four corners

I’m happy with how my quilting is starting to look now, especially compared to the way it looked with all those mistakes. I don’t think the mistakes were terrible, but I just felt that it was a waste of my time to finish something that I thought was so shoddy. All that time it’s taken me to make this, I’d just be so upset to think that it could have turned out so much better.


more quilting

The only thing that really disappoints me about ripping all of this out is that I feel like I really failed at machine quilting. I know it’s my first real attempt, but even after some practice, I just felt that I couldn’t get the hang of it. Before I make another serious attempt, however, I’d like to take a class so that someone can actually show me what I need to do!

11 Thoughts on “crazypants and the seamripper

  1. tanya on April 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm said:

    Machine quilting takes practice, and even if you have practiced alot, before you do a big quilt, make sure you practice on a scrap that is the same thickness as the one being quilted (layered fabric) and practice on a big square then do the quilt. Don’t give up, I only do little baby quilts, haven’t done a big one yet.

  2. It looks amazing hand-quilted! I know the feeling of trying to work through something that you know could be better. I can never do it for too long, and find myself starting over!

  3. What a wonderful quilt! I understand your problems with quilting by sewing machine. I have all the tools and do practice runs, but when I sit down at the machine, I just freeze up and get tense. Your hand quilting looks so well done. Also, love your color choices. Great work. xo,

  4. you are a woman of conviction! I’m just too damn lazy to rip out all of that machine quilting. 😉
    I’ve found making baby quilts for expectant friends has really helped my machine quilting skills. BUT… nothing beats whipping out my hoop on the NYC subway, and getting my zen on.
    Keep it up, your work is lovely.

  5. I´m awestruck by your lovely handquilting-skills and your patience to do so!
    I took some handquilting lessons a year ago and found myself absolutely impatient about the slow progress I made.
    So I went back to machinequilting. But as I said, my greatest respect to all the handquilters for their patience and passion!

  6. You have beautiful hand quilting! This is something I enjoy doing myself!

  7. Sarah, do you have a photo you can post of what exactly went wrong? Perhaps then we can jump in and offer some suggestions. Do not give up–it’s well worth it to try again with some help.

  8. This is turning out beautifully!! People can do amazing things with machine quilting, but to me there is nothing more beautiful than a hand quilted quilt!!

  9. Ok, this is so perfect.

  10. Line on May 21, 2010 at 2:55 am said:

    Great job again! I loved your tutorial on Sew Mama Sew, and these pictures have been a wonderful complement. Living in France, where it is difficult to find real quilts (especially “hand quilts”), I just wonder how it looks on the other side. Could you show that, please? Thanks.

  11. I’m with you! Can’t machine quilt to save my life! Well, have it turn out looking decent, anyway. it bunches up or the threads break or I don’t keep the lines straight etc… :) much easier to just piece the thing by machine and hand quilt in my book. Although I would like to learn! I hold out hope.

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