Ready to start the quilting process. . . .
Wait! . . .Hold the phone! So the quilt top is all done. You step back to admire your work and you discover . . . oopsie!
A mistake. . . . Poo.
Not to worry! This is no big deal. But first we must make some decisions. Leaving the mistake in the quilt is always an option. Some quilters like to leave a mistake in a quilt because it creates a record of his or her current situation. For example, one of my friends was in the middle of making a quilt, when a close family member passed away. When the quilt was finished, a mistake in the piecing was noticed. Instead of fixing the mistake, my friend decided to leave it in the quilt, to mark the sad event in her life.
If you choose to correct a mistake in the piecing, it’s an easy to fix. Karen, I think you’ve already decided that’s the direction you are taking with the mistake you found in your pieced top.
So, here’s how.
First, let’s pretend that I don’t like that cream sashing strip right in the middle of my quilt top and I want to switch it out for a different fabric . . .
Flip the quilt to the wrong side, and let’s have a look. It’s a little hard to see, but if you look closely, you can see where I’ve added red dotted lines to show where I’m going to pull out seams. (So, get that trusty seam ripper handy!) I’m going to start with the longer seams at the top and the bottom of the sashing strip–in other words, the long quilt seam, but the short end of the sashing rectangle–break the thread and rip out at least 1/2″ beyond the offending sashing strip corner intersection along that long seam.
See, this is the bottom sashing seam. I pulled out the seam along the bottom of the sashing strip, PLUS about 3/4″ on each side, into the block seam. I’m going to pull out this same amount of stitches at the top of the sashing strip too.
The last seam–the other long seam between the sashing and its neighboring block–is easy to find.
There. The offending sashing strip has severed its ‘ties’ with the quilt top.
I decided I liked the way that cream strip looked, after all, so I’m going to sew it back in. This is where, Karen, you want to get those green strips you wanted to use in place of the orange ‘mistakes’ . . . Be sure the new sashing strip is the correct size as called for in the pattern, then pin the long side of the sashing to the side of the block, right sides together. It will feel a bit more awkward now because all of the surrounding seams and blocks and fabrics want to get in the way! But you are the boss, not the quilt! So don’t let all that extra fabric intimidate . . .
At the sewing machine, push the rest of the quilt out of the way, and focus on the one seam you just pinned, and sew your usual scant 1/4″ seam.
Once the long sides of the sashing strip are sewn to their respective neighbor blocks, you have a partial seam to sew at the top and the bottom of the replaced sashing strip.
Place the partial seam so the raw edges are aligned and the quilt parts are right sides together. . . . nest the seam intersections as you did when you sewed the blocks together.
Pin the seam intersections, and sew the usual scant 1/4″ seam.
If the quilt center is a little off from the size it should be, that’s just fine for this first project. But, do you know why? Can you see where your seams might be too large or too small? Is your pressing nicely done? Was the cutting up to snuff?
The next step is adding the border and we don’t have any pieced corners to match, so it’s no worries if things are off a scontch or two. However, it’s a good habit to assess your progress, and improve as you go. Your first quilt project isn’t going to be perfect, nor the next one, but it’ll be perfect for you! And that’s what really counts!