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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.
If you do need a seam ripper to do some "unquilting", Seam Fix is my favorite brand and I carry some in the store.
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