Quilting is not only my business, but it's my hobby. I crave it. I love cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again. I am a maker. I'm also a teacher, and I'm passionate about designing patterns and teaching all of you tips and tricks that keep you inspired to cut up fabric, sew it back together again, and just keep making.
I'm not alone in my passion. There are many makers like me that are passionate about teaching and sharing. Many of us love to share fun projects and free tutorials on our blogs, despite the time and preparation involved, because each of you appreciate and learn from them. Unfortunately, offering everything for free isn't sustainable for any of us. Over the years, bloggers have helped rejuvenate the quilting and sewing industry (in addition to many other crafts) with valuable content. Many of us have revived or discovered our love of quilting through amazing bloggers like Amy Smart, Lee Heinrich and Jeni Baker. Through the internet, we've also been able to learn from quilting masters like Sharon Schamber, Alex Anderson, Sue Nickels and Bonnie K Hunter, all from the comfort of our home.
Somewhere along the way, we've gotten use to getting way too much for free. And now "the balance between what we expect for free and what we are willing to purchase" is a bit, well, unbalanced. Free tutorials are great, but shouldn't they be a treat? Like the cherry on top? I think so. I strive to stay teachable. Learning new tips, tricks and techniques is so much fun for me, which is one reason why I love buying patterns from independent designers. I know how much time, effort, cost and heart goes into creating an independent pattern. Whether or not we sell a million, we put the same amount of love and passion into our designs - our only hope is that they inspire and motivate you to make.
Lindsey at LR Stitched created the May is for Makers campaign to support independent designers who infuse creativity, inspiration and institutional knowledge into our craft. Through the campaign, Lindsey is pledging to buy a new pattern from a different independent designer each week during the month of May. I'm joining in, and I hope you will too. With each purchase, we are collectively telling the designer that their work matters. We are also validating all of the time and effort that they put into their brand. No candle ever went out from lighting another. Let's share our light and love! As Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced says so perfectly, "Consider buying a pattern as a way of saying thank you for a free tutorial you learned from, or a free pattern that you especially loved—after all, that free tutorial or pattern was probably only made possible by that designer's paid patterns." (Thank you Lee!)
Each Friday I will purchase a new pattern from a different designer and will share it on social media with the hashtag #mayisformakers. I hope you'll join in and share the pattern that you chose by tagging your post on Instagram or Facebook with the same hashtag.
A while back I was working on a mini quilt, and the backing tucked under as I was quilting it, and I stitched right over backing. Not once, but twice. Ugh! I know we've all made mistakes like this, but can be so frustrating and feel almost impossible to to fix without undoing your hard work. While I was fixing my little "boo-boo", I took some pictures so I could share a few of my tips and tricks for fixing quilting mistakes like this.
Here is my first mistake in all of it's glory. If you look closely at the left hand side, you'll see that the backing folded and tucked under twice. I did a really good job with this one, haha.
I had already done quite a bit of quilting, so I really didn't want to "unquilt" my quilt and have to quilt it again. I always make my backing 4"-6" bigger than my quilt top, which gave me some forgiveness and allowed me to cut the fabric away rather than pull out my stitches.
First, I cut the backing very close to the stitches. Be very careful not to cut your stitches. Using scissors with a short blade and a blunt tip like these from Famore Cutlery help quite a lot.
Cut the fabric away from each line of quilting. Cut closely to the stitching, without cutting through it.
Use your fingers to pull the fibers of the fabric away from the quilting.
Snip your fabric as needed to release it from the stitches. Cutting the fabric close to the quilting will allow it to pull away quite easily.
In this picture, you can really see what a fantastic job I did making this mistake ;). Keep snipping the fabric away while being careful not to cut your stitches.
Almost there!! I kind of like pulling the fabric away from the quilting. It's satisfying, like pulling weeds. I hate to get out there and pull the weeds, but when I pull one out, root and all, it feels so good!
Just a snip or two left!
Next, clean it up and pull away any fibers of the backing from the stitches.
It's all finished and looks so much better. The best part is that I didn't have to remove a single stitch of my quilting.
I hope this helps you if you ever find yourself needing to fix a quilting mistake.