Oh Baby, Baby!

With the spring, along come the babies…well, they actually can come any time. I was trying to get this “Nursery Windows” pattern ready for Mother’s Day (appropriate, right?) Well, life and tension got in the way…quilt machine tension. I had to pick out ALL the quilting. GRRRR. Such is life!

However, the pattern is great. It pieces up so quickly, especially because the brick-like spacing doesn’t match many seams. The big block saves you from having to cut up babies, which would not be good, or any other cute novelty print. The windows are simplified log cabin blocks, great for chain-stitching, too. They’d also be wonderful filled with embroidered blocks. If you have some baby gifts in your future, this is a good pattern to have. On sale this week only for $3.50. CLICK HERE.

Top corner of “Nursery Windows”cc2318
by LJ Christensen

My unfortunate tussle with tension was my own fault. I didn’t test the stitch well enough and didn’t find it until I’d quilted the WHOLE quilt. Did I learn my lesson–yes! Will I have to unsew something again? Definitely.

Ripping out stitching is an inevitable part of sewing. One of my relatives once said that she couldn’t sew because it made her “nervous.” No kidding! It does have its frustrations. We’ve all sewn on a piece upside down or too much or in the wrong place. It happens!

The good news is that if you haven’t CUT, the problem is generally reparable. So arm yourself with good seam rippers. Yes, plural. My sweet husband put six of them in my Christmas stocking. He thought he was being funny, but the truth is that it was one of my best gifts. I need them at the sewing machine, at the quilting machine and by my recliner, where I sit to rip…and I’m always misplacing them. I personally think they should have flat handles so they won’t roll off the table so readily. I DO try to place them on my pin magnet, but I’m only successful some of the time.

While I haven’t found flat handles, I do insist on really fine rounded points–FINE! Some of the old ones they used to make were just too big. Take a close look–they aren’t all the same size! Bernina always had a really good delicate one. Another thing I really like is to have fine-nosed tweezers. I found some on line at Nancy’s Notions I really like, but I noticed Tula Pink has some out as well, so they are available elsewhere. They are great for picking up the severed threads.

I also try to have some really tiny fine-pointed scissors on hand. Sometimes it’s easier to cut here and there before ripping. Over the years, I’ve found that if you’re trying to pull out lengths of thread, it’s best to pull the bottom or bobbin thread because the tension never seems as tight. (Believe me, it wasn’t on my quilt!) Sometimes I pull from the bottom and then pull from the top and back to the bottom. I wonder how many miles of stitching I’ve ripped out in my life?

Let’s not even talk about alterations. The UNsewing is usually more extensive than the sewing in that case. I alter because I have to, not because I like to.

But don’t feel bad if you have to redo a seam. We all do. It makes us patient. It makes us strong. Yeah, right. It makes us crazy!

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