QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ouch! One Tiny Mistake...

A little Munch, a little Photoshopping.

You know how it goes.

You get the whole thing quilted and bound

And then

Your best friend points out a tiny mistake.

Today's quilters may take the offending piece out.

But in the past ...
One wonders if she even noticed it.

There was a time a few years ago when quilt aficionados believed these errors to be deliberate.

"In keeping with the tenets of her religion she carefully incorporated a 'mistake' in each quilt," according to a 1982 advertisement in The Clarion.

You don't hear that explanation so much these days,
which is probably a good thing.

Who can interpret the intentions of an unknown quilter?
Sometimes, stuff just happens.

You see these errors in all kinds of pattern,

But some designs are particularly difficult to keep oriented...

Easily running amuck.
(There's more than one little error in the blue and white Drunkards' Path.)

I've posted about pattern problems several times over the years. Click on these links to see more quilt wrecks.



Bees Knees Granny said...

A fitting post for a Monday! Googling Murphy's Law I found, "...and on the eighth day God said, 'OK Murphy, you take over!' Also, "Everything takes longer than it takes" and "There's never enough time to do it right, but there's always enough time to do it over."
Keep on quiltin'

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Love it! I've done it a dozen times and yes, I usually re-do it. I'm not sure why I do since it is generally my nature to be "quirky".

Maria Shell said...

Great post Barbara! For me, if I see it and it is still possible to fix it, I go back and make the changes even it is is on the long arm being quilted. But once it is quilted, it is too late. I think that those mistakes are simply a part of that quilt's story. I also kind of like to see if anyone notices the mistake. I don't point them out and people seem to rarely notice them. Thank you!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

It just shows the human side of all creativity. I am a fixer, even if already quilted Will undo quilting,, fix the mistake , and then re-quilt that area to match.

Donna K. from N. Texas said...

It happens to me unless i have my husband look the top over before i sandwich it for quilting. He has saved me more than once.

Donna K. from N. Texas said...

It happens to me unless i have my husband look the top over before i sandwich it for quilting. He has saved me more than once.

Nifty Quilts said...

I love the "mistakes!" They're what give the quilt a sense of humor and mystery. When I make an honest mistake in my quilt-making, I celebrate it and leave it in. They never seem to work if they're put in purposely, at least for me.

janie krig said...

I agree with Nifty Quilts, about 'humor and mystery' and 'celebrate' it.

audrey said...

Very fun post. I usually find these kinds of mistakes charming, but not as much in my own quilts!

WoolenSails said...

I think that in those days, a lot of quilts were made to use and redoing them would take longer, so they left it and used it.
I leave some in and take out others, it all depends on how much it bugs me, lol. I love the charm of mistakes and for me, Having a "God's eye" is an excuse for my sloppy sewing, lol.


Rosa said...

It' s horrible when happes because don' t kow how but my eye follow the mistake even if is a tiny mistake.
Crear post .

Tinliz said...

I call them "Where is Waldo".

Nancy said...

At a quilt show years ago, hubby and I were standing by a friend's quilt when he smilingly pointed out an 'obvious' mistake to her. She laughed and said he was the only one of many in her family who had critiqued the quilt and never noticed it. This is why I have him look MY tops over before they get into a 'sandwich'.:-)

Millie said...

Love the term "quilt wrecks." I think sometimes we are waa-y to persnickety about everything being "perfect" in our quilts.

Jeanne said...

I'll just say that I am NOT a perfectionist :)

Anonymous said...

I have one friend who's notorious for noticing things that aren't right. I have taken to inviting her for a cup of tea and an inspection a couple of times per quilt. Once before I sew the blocks together (because she was sooo right about the peach not belonging in that quilt) and once before I pin baste.

Nann said...

Once is a mistake. Twice is a design element!
BTW, that Drunkard's Path looks true to its name.

Jan in VA said...

My solution for finding mistakes in my own work is to look at the top while it's hanging on the design wall (reason #1 why I have an 8 ft. wall!), looking into a mirror, over my shoulder. Somehow this 'backward' view makes disruptions in pattern stand out more to me. :)