How to Fix Quilting Mistakes

Quilting is a lot of fun, and if you have the skills and patience, you should always make time for it. One of the significant challenges when quilting is having to deal with a mistake. Can you fix it? Is it common for quilters to mistake any now and then?

Fortunately for you, quilters are always making some mistakes, and even the most experienced ones do have to fix things at times. Without any further ado, let’s see some of the most common errors and their fixes, for the obvious reasons.

You run out of fabric

We’re only humans, and even if you’re run your measurements twice, you somehow end up with not having enough material for your quilt top.

  • What’s the fix?

Why not check the free tools out there? A popular calculator (you may find it in many places) is going to help you know how much yardage you’re going to need for your batting, backing, borders, and binding, there are also tools that count the number of fixed-size pieces that you have to cut from your fabric yardage.

Don’t forget about the go-to fabrics by the bolt as they’re easy to use and you never worry about running out. When you need a particular print, you should take a picture of it and post it as ISO (“in search of”) on social media. You may get lucky!

You get stuck in a corner

Getting stuck in a corner is quite common when you’re free quilting. It’s only too late when you understand that you didn’t allow yourself an out when designing the stage. You end up stuck in a corner and no way to get out. You could also want to move on to the next block, only to realize that you’re in the bad place. What’s the best way to take care of the thread when you cannot move anymore?

  • What’s the fix?

An experienced quilter recommends that you travel along a seam or another line until you get to the right place. Don’t stress much about perfection. You can try many small stitches in the beginning and only quilt afterward. Trying tiny stitches is a good idea, just like burying the thread or stitching in place before cutting are.

What about the mismatched rows?

It’s common for the fabric to stretch when quilting, which may lead to rows not matching with each other. The situation may occur even if you’re using sewing pins for every single seam. You may also end up tearing many of the stitches.

  • What’s the fix?

You can try the no-pin method, and here are the steps for doing it right:

Use your fingers for catching the first two seams together, inserting under the presser foot carefully

You may sew a couple of stitches back and forth, following the intersection of the two seams that you’re going to join

Once you’re done with the backstitching, you should cut the thread and go to another junction.

You need to open up the connected rows to check for the amiss seams. When you’re not happy with the results, you should rip out some of the stitches and start all over again. You may stitch the raw edges together for connecting the rows when you’re satisfied with the alignments of the seams.

The seam allowances are anything but right

Even if you’re going by the rules, you may still obtain a block that is too small. It’s because you just didn’t run the numbers for the seam allowances right.

  • What’s the fix?

Nine times out of ten, you’re going to use a quarter-inch seam allowance for the majority of quilting patterns. Everytime you use the quarter-inch foot, you’re going to obtain a precise seam allowance. Some machines feature a foot that has a quarter inch metal ridge.

When your machine doesn’t come with any of them, you should place some masking tape (a sticky note will do too) on the base, marking the accurate distance away from the right edge of the foot. You may also improve your accuracy by pressing the seams after every single step. It’s essential that you press the iron up and down and not side to side (it’s only going to alter/stretch your fabric, ruining the seams).

The borders end up wavy

You may not be able to obtain a precise edge when the left side of the quilt is two inches longer than the right side.

  • What’s the fix?

Always check to see if the top is even, both length and width-wise. You should also remove any excess before you attach the borders. It’s a good idea not to cut an exact border length; sew a long piece of fabric to the other side (remember to trim off the extra). Doing so is going to help you not ease in too much material (a common cause for the wavy borders).

Should you not have enough extra fabric for the border, make sure you measure the length and the width of the quilt using a tape measure at the center and not at the edges. Cut the limits using the measurements, pinning the center of the border to the center of the side of the quilt. Pin externally from the center and stitch in place afterward.

You run out of thread

Running out of yarn is just as frustrating as having the thread snapping the moment you get into the groove of your quilting.

  • What’s the fix?

Always double check the bobbin before quilting. Sometimes, the thread breaks. Period. You may undo a couple of stitches so that you may knot the thread, tucking it into the batting so that it doesn’t show. The yarn is going to snap a lot more when you live in a dry environment. You can place it in a plastic baggie along with a damp towel for adding some moisture to the thread. Put it in the freezer for a couple of hours before you start quilting.

Related posts

How to Make a Pressing Board for Quilting

How to Make Quilting Templates

Other resources

Common Quilting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Common quilting mistakes: and how to avoid them!

Tips and Tricks for Fixing Quilting Mistakes – Purple Daisies Quilting

Are You Making These Common Quilting Mistakes? – Crafty House