Let The Unquilting Begin!

About two years ago, my parents bought me a great batik kit of fabrics and a pattern called The Friendship Quilt. The stack was large and the colors were very rustic and beautiful.

By November of 2015, I had finished the top and promised it to my husband. He was thrilled to have a quilt of his own.

After getting everything put together, I started quilting a wood grain pattern. But this proved to be a problem for a few reasons.

First, I’m still new at quilting. And a wood grain pattern is not necessarily easy. I definitely bit off a little more than I could chew. Without enough practice before starting, I found myself frustrated each time I sat down to work on the quilt. Instead of enjoying quilting, I was dreading it. So this quilt has been sitting for sometime.

But I have to say, even for a beginner, I feel like my wood grain quilting isn’t half bad.



Secondly, I didn’t plan it out very well. I know, I know. If you’ve read our posts or listened to our podcast long enough, this doesn’t surprise anyone. I’m not a pattern follower and I’m not a big planner. When I started this quilt, I was quilting to the edge of the top. But my plan was to roll the backing to the front to create binding instead of attaching the binding separately. With the quilting running right to the edge, I’ve now complicated the binding more than was really necessary.

And lastly, this is a HUGE quilt. A full queen sized quilt. So the wood grain pattern is a bit much and on top of that, quilting it is taking such a long time due to its size. So not only am I annoyed with the process of laying down my stitches but I’m also tired of feeling like I’m not getting anywhere no matter how much I sew.

Over the weekend while we were living it up on Lake Mead, I had a moment of clarity about this quilt. While I could continue with the wood grain pattern and fight through the frustration, I could **GASP** start over.

Yes, it hit me that I could simply rip out the quilting and start over with a simpler pattern. The idea of undoing all that I have already done is heartbreaking but once I really let it settle in, I started to feel a sudden sense of relief. Now I’ll be able to plan out my quilting a little better so that when it comes time to bind, I’ll have more success and less frustration.

So hobbyists, today begins the undoing of the Friendship quilt. While it’s an sad end, it’s also a huge beginning. The beginning of something simpler yet more manageable. And I’m looking forward to it!

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13 thoughts on “Let The Unquilting Begin!

  1. Sometimes realizing the right thing brings relief from stress, even if it means ripping and ripping. You’ll feel so much better about the quilt, and it will have an interesting story that I’ll bet at least you will never forget!

    • Thank you, Wendy! It was definitely something I really mulled over for sometime but once I really let it sink in, it just felt good to have a plan that would see this quilt finished rather than languish.

  2. Hi Katie,
    Oh, I can just feel your frustration yet relief in your words. I’ll bet your husband doesn’t mind either way – however you are happy with it will make him love it even more. You have a year and a half more experience behind you now. You’ll come up with a good plan. I wish I was close to you – I would offer to take out the stitches for you. {{Hugs}} Roseanne

    • Oh Roseanne! You are so sweet! I’ve got the quilt in the living room now and I plan to pull stitches in the evening while watching TV. I’m hoping that will allow me to get it done fast. Thanks for your support. It’s so bittersweet but I know I’m making the right decision.

  3. Oh I feel your pain. Its a shame, I think your wood grain was going well. But I agree, if you didn’t enjoy it and it put you off, you are definitely making the right decision. And ultimately a finished quilt can be enjoyed – and that is so worth it! Good luck with it all – and most quilters would happily sit alongside and help you unsew!

  4. I’m glad you came to a solution that will make you much happier in the long run! I have a quilt top for Ryan that I haven’t started quilting for fear of ‘messing it up’. I think I’ll learn from you and start simple!

    • Thanks Lorinda. It definitely wasn’t an easy one to make but I’m already feeling better about it. Sometimes simple really is the way to go for big projects. Good luck!

  5. Got to be happy with that quilt. I think it looked great. You are more industrious than me. I try to never unquilt. I just read somewhere that said to remove the stitches from the backside and the top will not be damaged. Good luck.

    • Exactly my method. Pulling from the back also because it’s a solid fabric and easier to see he stitches. It’s going to take me a LONG time I’m afraid.

  6. Well, that’s a bummer, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! Hopefully, you didn’t get more than a quarter done in the quilting. Do share you continued progress with us on Midweek Makers, and thanks for linking up today!

  7. You know, that’s the magic of the seam ripper. You don’t have to get it right the FIRST time; you only have to get it right the LAST time. And there are unlimited do-overs! I know what you mean about deciding to give up on your original quilting design and rip out all those stitches you worked so hard to put in. It’s like a creative divorce from being married to a design idea that wasn’t working for you, no matter how hard you tried, and there are many of the same feelings you go through. But once the stitches are out and all of that is behind you, you get a fresh start and a chance to go in a new direction! All those stitches you put in aren’t wasted, even though you’re ripping them out. I’ll bet you learned a lot, and your skills have improved tremendously from where you started. Good luck on your new beginning requilting this quilt!

  8. Pingback: Let’s Get Motivated Episode #75 | Hobbies Up To Here

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