I’d love to tell you I never make mistakes when I’m making a quilt but that wouldn’t be true. Sometimes PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) are unfinished because there is a problem with the project. There is not enough contrast, it’s put together wrong, it’s boring, there is a mistake, whatever. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, I just have to acknowledge that it’s there and figure out a way to fix it so I can move on and finish the PIG.
Not all of the projects I’ll show you today were PIGS but they do all have ways to fix problems. Sometimes it’s as simple as tearing out the problem and redoing it. That’s a good fix if the problem is small but sometimes it just makes me crazy to even think about all the tearing out and resewing if a mistake is large.
Most of the fixes I’ll show you today involve covering the mistake/problem. They are add-ons to the original design and often I like a project better after I’ve made a mistake and had to cover it.
1. Applique – If At First – This quilt didn’t have enough contrast. My friend/coworker, Gigi designed the beautiful rose applique that totally rescued this PIG. I wrote about it in the October/November 2013 issue of Quilters Newsletter. It’s still available in digital format at quiltandsewshop.com.
2. Embroidery – Victory Garden – this simple quilt design (from the book Chantilly Lace by Michelle Griffith) goes way over the top with addition of embroidery, pin tucks and gathered patches. This one was never a PIG but it shows how little touches can make something simple into something wonderful. On problem PIGS, I’ve embroidered on a separate fabric and then carefully stitched that embroidered fabric over the top of the mistake.
3. Pins – Celebrating Mom – This quilt is all about breast cancer awareness so I gathered the handful of pink ribbon pins and added them. If you are trying to cover a mistake, place the pins strategically. There are lots of different pins to use, like old costume jewelry, tie tacks, even earrings for pierced ears.
4. Ribbons – Celebrating Mom – I used narrow satin ribbon to mimic the pink ribbon pins but you can use any width and type of ribbon. Fold it, tie it in a bow, or lay it flat and stitch it down. There are lots of possibilities.
5. Lace – Onie’s Hankies – I talked a bit about this quilt in my blog here. Lace can be used in the same way as ribbon – fold it, lay it flat or gather it. You can use anything from very narrow lace to yardage.
6. Vintage hankies and linens – I’ve used these several times when they are beyond repair but have good parts.
7. Buttons – Quiltmaker’s Garden – I forgot to bring an example of buttons but look at the pretty quilt that is hanging on the wall here at the office.
I love this quilt and the pattern is still available at quiltandsewshop.
I’m sure the buttons aren’t covering a mistake on this quilt but if you have a PIG because points don’t meet like you want, you can cover them with buttons. Buttons come in all sizes and styles from very rustic to very elegant.
8. Three-dimensional embroidery – Jenny’s Pillow – I made this years ago as part of a Jenny Haskins certification class. I don’t remember which of the Jenny Haskins embroidery collections I used. She has quite a few on her website. This pretty pillow is another project that shows how something very simple can be made into something special with a few extra touches. The flowers and leaves were embroidered on a separate fabric, cut out and then stitched onto the pillow top.
9. Crystals and pearls – Jenny’s Pillow – The Swarovski crystals in the centers of the flowers on Jenny’s Pillow don’t cover an error but they certainly can be used in that way. Crystals and pearls are available in several sizes and are simply glued in place.
10. Metal embellishments – Stars Got in My Eyes – This quilt is one of my very favorites because of its story. It was part of a challenge at my local quilt store. The name of the challenge was Oh My Stars. I decided I wanted to do stars everywhere. So I made the 16” center square with pieced and foundation pieced stars. Mom added the first border. Each and every fabric she used has stars on it. She appliqued stars. My sister, Angie, added the 2nd border with more star fabric and appliqued stars. Finally, my son Zac cut stars from copper, gold and bronze colored metal. I hot glued the metal stars in place. Again, they aren’t covering a mistake but they could be used in that way.
There are my ten favorite fixes. I’m sure there are more. Did I leave out your favorite? Please tell us about it if I did.