Adventures in Seam Ripping (with a Happy Ending)

It seems if I work on any quilting project long enough, I find a way to really dislike it at some point along the way. It used to bother me, but now I've decided that it is just part of my process and likely because I've spent too much time with the project and need a change of scenery. This leads to a lot of unfinished projects, but that's a topic for another day.

Original quilt top with scrappy sashing
When I finished this quilt top after a weekend at the MMQG Quilt Retreat, I really wasn't happy with it. The low volume scrappy sashing didn't do what I had hoped and it detracted from the embroidered squares, which were intended to be the feature of the quilt. I had also fussy cut cornerstones in the sashing out of some really adorable duckling fabric that completely disappeared.

I convinced myself that I was just in "that stage" of discontent with this particular project, and needed to move on. I thought I'd be crazy to change it at this point and waste all that valuable time I had spent working on it at quilt retreat.

So it sat and sat on the design wall. I just couldn't get myself to quilt it. I think I knew deep down that quilting would be the point of no return...

If it were any other quilt, I think I would have accepted the poor design decision, shrugged it off as a lesson learned, and carried on. But, this is a very special quilt made for my niece and hand embroidered by various members of both her mother's and father's family. It was going to be presented at her baptism. It was going to be a keepsake.

I could envision someone looking at the quilt 50 years from now and saying something like "gee, the sashing, that's different" (as only a good Minnesotan can). I couldn't bear the thought. I spent New Year's Eve with a movie, glass of wine, and my seam ripper.

We all make decisions on a quilt that we'd like to take back. Sometimes it's worth letting those go and allowing that mistake to become part of the quilt's story. And other times, it's important to do what it takes to have no regrets and love every bit of the finished product.

I knew I made the right choice for this quilt and I don't regret a minute of ripping and rework. The new sashing faded to the background to let the embroidered squares shine. The little duckies in the corners came out of hiding. It felt good to cave to my perfectionist side and (for once) have it pay off. In the end, I loved the quilt.

Quilt Back
Final quilt top

And most importantly, so does baby Kendra. That smile is worth every stitch!

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