Almost two years ago, I signed a contract to teach on a quilting cruise to Hawaii. Almost immediately, I had an idea for our quilt project for the trip.
For the first time, ever, I wrote the pattern for a mystery quilt. It didn't start out as a mystery, but as the pattern evolved, the mystery format worked perfectly.
The cruise was supposed to sail in April. 2020. Lordy.
2020 being what it is, the original sail date was cancelled, and a new sail date was reserved for November 2020. Time will tell if the revised plans hold.
Yet another mystery.
Because of the delayed sail date, I had plenty of time to finish up the quilt and pattern. At this point, the pattern is done and the quilt top has been done and sandwiched for quilting for a while.
About a week ago, I pulled out the quilt sandwich and began in earnest to finish the quilting. My quilting plan started with straight lines - lots of them.
As I went along, I noticed a little tear in the quilt top! What the heck!?! (I maybe used some stronger language, at that point; use your imagination.)
The tear was maybe 1/4" long, and it was more like a cut - like from scissors. And only the top layer. But how did it get there?
By the time I finished using the walking foot and switched to free motion quilting, I found at least 5 or 6 similar cuts in the fabric, spaced maybe 10 " apart and following a rough line across the bottom end of the quilt.
I have NO idea how these little cuts got there. Some were right though the center of a piece, and some at a seam. All of them random. None go all the way through the quilt sandwich. Maybe they happened before the quilt was pin-basted? Surely I would have seen them as I prepared the quilt for quilting. More mystery . . . and frustration.
I don't know how they got there, but I needed to figure out what to do about them. I had a few choices:
- Take a few steps backward and remove and replace each piece? Nope. With the lines of straight quilting already complete, that was too much of a backwards step
- Applique a new piece over each cut piece. Nope. I suppose this could have been a good solution, but one or two of the cuts crossed over seams. The applique shapes would have been very strange.
- Try to repair them another way. Out of ideas, I took this route.
Here's what I did:
I cut a small scrap of fusible interfacing, enough to cover the cut with a little extra.
Then I stuffed the piece of interfacing between the quilt top and the batting.
I carefully inserted the interfacing without increasing the size of the hole, with the fusible side of the interfacing facing the wrong side of the ruined fabric piece.
And smoothed it out.
I pressed the interfacing to the inside of the torn fabric piece with a mini-iron.
I needed a little more insurance to stabilize the raw cut.
I had to dig for it, but found a very old tube of Fray Block in the back of my sewing cabinet.
Of course, this stuff is a little like super glue, and it took a couple of pokes with a pin to get the goop moving again.
I placed two or three drops of Fray Block on the reinforced tear and let it dry. I added a colorful pin nearby to mark the spot.
As I complete the quilting, I'm making sure that the quilting adds more security to the quilt sandwich at the 'booboo.'
Ya know, I'm still at a complete loss about these tears. It's a frustrating mystery. But, considering all the 'special' challenges provided by the year 2020, I shouldn't be in the least bit surprised.
Pin Cushion #17, Shut-down Series
This week, Number 17 is done. I've used this 'pumpkin seed' style before. This time, I added an extra row of chain stitch and running stitches in each seed. Purple is one of my favorite fabric colors. I'm surprised I don't have more purple pin cushions in the mix!
22 to go!
To find the step-by-step tutorial for the four-patch pin cushions, jump over to the blog. Scroll down to the first Puffy Fours post on March 5 to follow the four-part how-to series from the beginning.