Open Call for Quilting Mistake Images!

smallestfrogLet’s face it- we are imperfect people who make lots of mistakes in life. After all, if we were perfect, life would be perfectly boring, right?

So I am in the midst of class development for a new machine quilting class I start teaching in the Fall, called “Avoiding The Oops.”  I realized that I need more photos to illustrate some of the common machine quilting issues seen by quilters.  While I can replicate many common errors for class samples, it would be helpful if any readers had a photo to share on this topic.

Hence my “Open Call” for photos showing any type of quilting oops.  I promise you will be fully credited for your photo, if used.  To send me photos, just click on the contact link, above, and I will write you back.  Or, just leave me a comment and I will get back to you.  If I use your image, I promise to send you my helpful and thorough class handout for this class when I am finished.

copyrightbadkittyWriting this class has been fun!  Once you start listing all the various errors that can be made in quilting, you realize, from the growing length of my list, just how easily it can be to make an oops- no matter how experienced you are.

What is a quilting “oops?’  Trust me, you know it when you see it, quilt it, or view it at a quilt show.   Quilt show judge comments are another good source of quilting “issues,” that you may wish to share, too.

Carla Quilting Oops Tip– When I was a brand new quilter, way back a decade ago, one of my first lessons learned the hard way was to clean my machine head thoroughly and frequently as I worked on a quilt.  Why, you might ask?  What went wrong?

I had a client quilt that happened to be very scrappy.  It had only one or two white areas, but in quilting, Murphy’s Law often comes into play.  I knew enough as a new quilter to clean out my bobbin case frequently, and wipe down most surfaces.  I forgot to wipe under the machine head though, right next to the needle, which had a build up of oily lint.  You guessed it, this greasy oily lint decided to float down onto the quilt top, landing on the white space, leaving a mess once you touched it.

How to Fix?  First thing I grabbed was some cornstarch to soak up the oil.  Once dry, I carefully vacumned up the cornstarch, taking care not to stretch the area.  This didn’t work, so next step was some Dawn detergent, carefully applied with a q-tip.  Another failure, so on to grease removal product B, C, D, and E.  All failures.

The solution for this quilt was to remove quilting from the white fabric and surrounding area, then to carefully remove the triangular piecing with the oily stain, and to use this piece to cut a new white fabric piece.  There was no need to offload the quilt from the frame, the fix was completed while the quilt was loaded.

This new clean white fabric piece was carefully sewn back in, making sure the batting also had no oil/grease residue.  Then the space was requilted.  I kept the stained piece to show the client my oops, and then the fix- in the spirit of full disclosure.

The best part is that my fix was flawless!  You could not tell that there had been an oops, or a repair.  I used the same technique to restore the space as taught to me by a quilt restorer friend.  Anyway, I never repeated this oops again.  Plus, I learned to keep my machine head and surrounding area clean and pristine, too!

Thanks in advance for anyone contributing to my Quilting Oops list and photo gallery.  Regards, Carla






9 thoughts on “Open Call for Quilting Mistake Images!

  1. Does a skipped stitch count as an oops? I needed to change the height of my hopping foot.

    One I did not take a picture of…I had my top rolling on the belly bar so that it formed a valley between the roller and the quilt top…rolled my quilt backwards to do something a little too far under the dead bar and then I could not find my scissors…yeah, I had left them lying on my quilt top, they slid down into the valley and stabbed their way right through my quilt top. Thankfully it was my own personal quilt, not a customers’, so I had the material to replace the injured piece. I now have a magnet on my left handle and my scissors are returned there after every thread clip.


    Susan Ryan in WA Innova 18″ LS Proud mom of a daughter in the Army God Bless You

    • Oh my, Susan,

      I must tell you that I didn’t think about the scissors one. Your heart must have been very sad when you discovered it. Good news though, it is fixable! If you still have the quilt, take a picture of the “hole” and I will offer my advice. This actually happened to a guild raffle quilt- a very strong volunteer was placing the bar through the quilt and the sharp edge tore a hole through all layers. The guild called me in a panic and we used the tear as an opportunity to make lemonade. 🙂 Thanks, Carla PS: yes, skipped stitches are an oops- I have it listed under “Thread oops.” Happy Quilting!

  2. Wish I would have known this sooner so I could have sent a picture…..yesterday somehow the excess batting one side got wrapped around to the back of the quilt and got stitched down while I was doing some ditch work. Thankfully it was just ditch work and not free motion stitching. It is no fun picking out all those little stitches.

    • Debbie, so good you caught that one! I will place your oops under my batting section. 🙂 Yes, batting has its own section, you would be surprised at how many oops there is with batting. 🙂 Happy quilting! Carla PS: Plenty of time for you to take pictures if something goes amiss. Yes, it happens to me, too. I started a quilt and the first border was quilted way too dense, so I frogged the border and re-quilted it.

  3. Great idea…..I could have had one for ya a couple of days ago. I have a Sweet Sixteen and have to be careful that the quilt doesn’t fold back (under) so it gets quilted into itself….ugh! Stuff happens….and then UNsewing happens!!!!!

    • Doreen, are you doing a free float or a partial float? I am trying to visualize this in my head. Thanks for writing and mentioning your oops! 🙂 Carla

  4. Pretty sure I have a picture of the backing fabric flipping over and getting quilted down along the edges.

    The couple times it has happened, I’ve done quite a big design, so I;ve trimmed the fabric and pulled the threads from the stitching.

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