Not inspired by it? Rip it.

One of the things that a lot of new Long Arm Quilters hear / learn is:  Don’t rip it!  Or “Leave it over night and look at it again in the morning.  If it still offends you, then rip it.”

I’m going to be a little controversial here.

I have to say there have been a few projects on my frame in the last little bit that have not inspired me.   I can’t really say why.  Maybe it’s just the stress in my every day life seeping in or maybe it’s just a lack of practice lately.    Sometimes I’ll quilt something that makes me think I forgot I was quilting for a few minutes.

You know what I do then? I rip.

Here’s why:  There’s something about my mind that if I don’t like what I did on a quilt or yes – even a practice session, that will make me stop quilting.  Not just stop and step back and think What?  I will leave it for days until I feel like doing it again.  Then when I see what I did, I don’t feel like it again and the cycle repeats.

I did this last Friday.  I hated – truly hated what I’d quilted.   It was like my brain shut off while my hands kept quilting.   I found everything that I could in my studio to do other than go back to it.  I actually pieced most of a lap quilt for Pete’s Sake! – If you know me, you know I never say I’m a piecer.  I can’t sew a straight line – that’s why I quilt free hand! 😉

This Wednesday night, I ripped it.    Yes.  A practice sandwich.  I actually stood there for 45 minutes and removed stitches.


And you know what?  That sandwich is interesting to me again.  I can’t wait to get down there and see what I can do with that swirl in the upper middle of the photo.

The other thing is:  Ripping is an important skill.  No one loves to do it but it’s a heck of a good idea to be good at it and not do your only practice on a show / customer / gift quilt.  It’s good to come up with a way to do it where your elbows aren’t resting on the quilt and stretching it out of shape and you’re not stretching YOU out of shape!

5 thoughts on “Not inspired by it? Rip it.”

  1. Variegated thread can only do so much. You’ve really got the hang of the swirls and loopy feathers (or whatever they’re called). I used to doodle loopy designs similar to these. The difference is that you have to move the “paper” while the “pencil” stays still. Tricky! It’s so much easier to move the pencil while the paper holds still.

    1. You’re right, it’s way easier to move the pencil. That’s one of the first things that I learned when taking classes for quilting. She’s just a big pencil. I find a pencil a lot easier to dance with than the paper, especially a king sized paper. 😉 That’s the secret. Dance. Dip and swirl and that’s what comes out on the quilt too. 🙂 A good dancing day comes out like what’s above – the part I kept anyway.

  2. Wow, that is absolutely gorgeous!! Seriously, you’ve got talent. The swirl in the upper middle reminds me of Minnie Mouse, but with bigger ears and a pointier nose. I’m sure she’ll go away as you continue. I’m not a quilter but I have ripped at times to the point of insanity — putting holes in the fabric (sew, rip, sew it again, rip it again, repeat). Then I just have to take a break, start over and it’s usually okay the second time. 🙂

    1. Thanks Sheila! It’s so good to hear from you again!

      The variegated thread really does make me look better than I am. I’m not sure how it works but somehow, it always looks better than a regular thread. 🙂 I agree with your Minnie statement, or maybe Kanga or Roo?

      I was pretty proud of myself on this one. The thread came off all in one piece (the top anyway) and I nicked the sandwich only once.

      I find the same thing with some projects – quilting or sewing. There are some that are so crazy making that you wish you’d bought twice the fabric, or just had someone else make it. 😉

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