T-shirt Quilt Mistake and Lesson

I’d like to offer a haiku about my quiltmaking.

T-shirt quilt
How you challenge me
Time lost from mistakes

In reality, I didn’t lose too much time. It’s not like I have a hard deadline to finish this quilt. Though, I would like to move on to some other projects and stop kvetching about this one. Everything seemed to be going along so well…

… I prepared what I was going to sew, checked the machine and bobbin, made sure I had plenty of thread, and started sewing. What I didn’t do, was double check my layout. In other words, did I connect the right columns together?

First two columns - pay no attention to the crooked graphic

My excitement was short-lived as I realized, “Nooooo, I hooked up the wrong columns! ACK!” I definitely didn’t want to take out the seam ripper. The thought of undoing a seam the length of a large bedspread was not my idea of fun especially when I had taken so much care to sew the straightest line I think I’ve ever done. Ugh. I was so irritated with myself. I stormed upstairs, told my husband what happened, and he so nicely listened to my novice-quilter nonsensical ranting. Then I calmed down and thought, I’ll figure it out. I always do.

Lessons Learned (so far)

  • Make plans: Make your gameplan, have something to follow. At least you have a starting point and a goal.
  • Follow plans: I don’t have loads of uninterrupted time, but step-by-step, I was making progress.
  • Be ready to “call an audible” and accept the change: You know, make a last minute change or decision. Okay, so I’ve used a football analogy. (I guess my husband’s football obsession has taught me a few things.) So, if the plans somehow don’t work out, sometimes it’s just better make new plans. In this case, I swapped locations for columns 2 and 3, then 5 and 6. I wanted columns 1 and 7 to stay in the same place due to t-shirt sizes.

I’d like to think I’m a little less wound-up than I used to be, because, if I was doing this maybe 5-10 years ago… I would be taking that seam ripper and starting over. I’d be cursing, and beating myself up for a fairly insignificant mistake. It’s a t-shirt quilt after all. This might be one of the more forgiving projects I’ve undertaken. Tell me there are quilters out there who just make lemonade out of lemons, so to speak.

New t-shirt quilt layout

Why am I sharing this? Because in a way, it’s like everyday life, right? You make plans, you think you know where you’re going, but then boom! You get sidetracked (by something significant or not) and you have to either compromise your plans or improvise new ones.

*sigh* Who knew hobbies could be so deep?

UPDATE ** I forgot to mention that there is a great crafty giveaway at Craft Critique! Open until October 10! **

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4 Responses to “T-shirt Quilt Mistake and Lesson”

  1. Susie
    October 6th, 2010

    When I quilt, I always lay the blocks out on the floor just how I want them to be, but I inevitably mix up the columns and the placement when I bring the pieces to the sewing machine. I never seam rip and just live with the way it works out. No one else ever notices. Also, wonky lines are charming, and you are brave to make this as t-shirt fabric is a pain to work with!

  2. Juliet Tiu
    October 6th, 2010

    Right, no one else notices! Totally, Susie! Once I got that and was okay with it myself, I moved on. Most people probably do. That’s the charm in quilting, right? I love wonky lines too. And, yeah, t-shirt fabric is really tricky. Glad I used interfacing. It was time consuming, but so worth it.

  3. Susi D
    October 6th, 2010

    Oh how true this is. Yesterday i started working on a dress i’m making for a friend…first time with a new pattern and i did one of my “you’re gonna regret this later” shortcuts. i always trace out my patterns with sharpies…ok no harm no foul right? but then i marked some of the symbols (for matching pieces up!) with sharpies too. Which of course showed up when i’m trying to assemble the stupid thing. Grr. I’m such a dummy. PLUS, i realized this after removing the basting holding one of the gathered sections together!!! Meaning not only do i have to seam-rip out two sections, i have to then re-cut the fabric, re-gather the main portion of the dress and assemble it all again. Grr. So i feel your pain.

  4. Juliet Tiu
    October 6th, 2010

    Oh man. Damn those new patterns. I can appreciate that. Re-cutting fabric (and reworking) stinks! Grrr. Susi, I think your dilemma is more noteworthy than mine, and that is probably why I haven’t ventured into sewing clothes so much. I would totally do shortcuts and probably, like you, regret some of it. Hope it goes better the next time around! I gotta see pictures!

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