How many times . . .

are you willing to take a seam out and re-sew it? As I sat at my machine taking a seam out for the third time today, I got to thinking – am I the only one that does this? I’m guessing probably not, but I have referred to myself as “anal Amy” on more than one occasion :)

Fourth time was the charm today, thank goodness that was the only junction that gave me repeated troubles!

I am curious though – how many times?


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By |2017-11-17T09:14:32-07:00November 18th, 2009|sewing|61 Comments


  1. jlk November 18, 2009 at 5:30 am - Reply

    My limit is twice. After that, I call it part of the charm of the quilt.

  2. Jean November 18, 2009 at 6:21 am - Reply

    Depends on the quilt and my mood. The trouble is if I bothered to take it out once and then it still isn't right, I feel like now I HAVE to get it right and I will persist. But if I'm impatient and it isn't too bad, once is enough.

  3. Caron November 18, 2009 at 6:33 am - Reply

    If I have ripped once and it STILL doesn't work the second time, I set it aside and walk away. I will then come back to it when I am fresh and not frustrated. That seems to do the trick!

  4. Zarina November 18, 2009 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Almost none. But the most common is ripping out where the foot ran away from the quarter inch seam when it hits a pin.

  5. Terriaw November 18, 2009 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Oh man, I hate it when that happens! I think I have taken seams apart three times. Dang, that's so frustrating. Good for you for perservering!

  6. Jan November 18, 2009 at 6:39 am - Reply

    I say as many times as it takes to get it right. I figure that with the money I have spent to make the quilt and the times I have invested that I should want to get it right. I'll work on it until it is right no matter how many times it takes. I'm kinda OCD and anal too.

  7. Barbara Myltschenko November 18, 2009 at 6:50 am - Reply

    5. Really it's my limit, if I haven't donen it right after the 5th then I'm done. And I'm super anal as well, it's an endearing quality!

  8. Jan November 18, 2009 at 7:01 am - Reply

    I've always thought that anyone can sew, all it takes is the ability to read, some imagination and patience. I think my philosophy translates, perfectly to quilting. My quilting doesn't require much reading, just more imagination.

  9. Kelly O. November 18, 2009 at 7:03 am - Reply

    I think twice is my limit–but I'm not a picky sewist….although I should be–I'm just not.
    i'm okay with haphazzard in most situations…

  10. karenfae November 18, 2009 at 7:15 am - Reply

    If I am making a quilt by machine I only rip 2 or 3 times and then I get fed up with it and do it by hand which is my preferred method.

  11. Cara November 18, 2009 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Twice is the max for me, both with my patience and for stretching the fabric. I'll confess that about half the time I'll leave something if it's not too bad, or upside down and backwards. I'm a believer, or more truthfully inaccuarte enough, that they oops make the quilt special.

  12. Angie November 18, 2009 at 7:30 am - Reply

    I almost never do it. I'm not that picky. I did rip out the quilting on an entire quilt, though, so I do have issues sometimes.

  13. Jackie November 18, 2009 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Oh Amy, You can't believe how many times I have taken out the same seam. I think that we all consider ourselves anal at some point during the quilting process. We all can relate on some level. Glad the fourth time was a charm!!

  14. mom November 18, 2009 at 7:37 am - Reply

    Oh dear…do we REALLY need to talk about this? LOL!

    Actually I have gotten much better about it telling myself – especially with quilting projects – that imperfections give character! (which, btw, proves itself true in people!)

    Have a great day!

    Tammy ~@~

  15. The Calico Cat November 18, 2009 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Twice – I worry about the integrity of the seam after that. (stretching & needle holes.)

  16. Andrea November 18, 2009 at 7:53 am - Reply

    twice is my limit, but only if it's really bad. And for blocks, I usually have a bunch of blocks left over so I save the gimpy blocks for the very end in case I need them, and THEN I will rip and fix.

  17. Dotty Jane November 18, 2009 at 7:58 am - Reply

    I feel your pain! I hate ripping but I hate not having it right even more. The "charm" is however many times it takes, I guess!

  18. call me crazy November 18, 2009 at 8:05 am - Reply

    First I apply the 'galloping horse rule' :) but if I'm really unhappy with it, twice is my limit~ rip twice, sewn 3 times. That's it. :)

  19. 2miracles/Tove November 18, 2009 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I am not usually super picky but I have had seams that just wont sew correctly for one reason or another. It is very frustrating. I have ripped on one earlier in the summer that I swear it was about 6 times. I actually sprayed the peice with water and let the fabric dry, becasue it was so stretched out. In the long run it was ok but I was frustrated.

  20. Leslie November 18, 2009 at 8:11 am - Reply

    very rarely….if it is really bad i will take a seam out but i try not to.

  21. Erin November 18, 2009 at 8:17 am - Reply

    3 times, max. After ripping the same seam on the same section of fabric, I get scared that I'm compromising the integrity of the weave. Also, I'm lazy :) I hope that galloping horse is moving FAST.

  22. beth November 18, 2009 at 8:22 am - Reply

    depends on the project! usually I just let it go!

  23. Gerry November 18, 2009 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Looks like three times is just about the norm for ripping. any more than that and my fabric disintegrates. Besides, that's ends my patience.

  24. MomBrose November 18, 2009 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Ha! Depends on where it is. I've been known to TRIM the entire seam off so I don't have to rip it. :D Just seems faster some days. :) But I think the most I actually ripped a seam was twice. You crack me up!

  25. Kucki68 November 18, 2009 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Totally depends – on a) mood b) recipient c) deadline. Normally 3 is my max. If it is not right then, oh well! I am fairly relaxed so often not even a second time. It depends on if you can see it from a galopping horse…

  26. Sameday November 18, 2009 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I was making napkins last night with a trim for some christmas gifts, I messed up three in a row and threw them all to the side – no picking for me last night – but I will get to it – I always think the same thing, how many times would I rip out a seam to get it right – if I want it bad enough, as many as it takes…..

  27. Beth November 18, 2009 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Nope. I sew clothes (quilting is brand new to me), and I can't stand for seams to not line up! Even on deadlines, or underarm seams that no one will see, I take them out and redo until they match. So the number for me would be countless times!! Guess its just the perfectionist in me!

  28. Luv 2 Kreate November 18, 2009 at 8:51 am - Reply

    I will rip 1 time unless it is REALLY bad, because of the advice I received from a teacher in a quilting class. She said it doesn't have to be perfect and if you can't relax it will take all the joy out of the hobby…and for me it was :) I have had to really work at giving up my perfectionism, but since I have I do enjoy it so much more!

    The quilting police are not going to be knocking on the door if it isn't perfect!

  29. Amy November 18, 2009 at 9:23 am - Reply

    It depends on how bad it looks on the third try! Really bad? Take it out again? "Good enough" gets worse and worse looking the more times I try. Something I would have taken out the first time might be a keeper by try 4 or 5. :)

  30. Natalia November 18, 2009 at 9:24 am - Reply

    I HATE unpicking! Cat taught me to use a glue stick instead of pins, just dab a little glue on there and it holds like a charm and it washes out!

  31. Cheryl Arkison November 18, 2009 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Only once. If it doesn't work the second time then I move on.

    Okay, I lie. It depends on what I'm doing.

  32. Cheryl Arkison November 18, 2009 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Only once. If it doesn't work the second time then I move on.

    Okay, I lie. It depends on what I'm doing.

  33. Cheryl Arkison November 18, 2009 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Only once. If it doesn't work the second time then I move on.

    Okay, I lie. It depends on what I'm doing.

  34. Anina November 18, 2009 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Oh my! Until I'm either happy or so frustrated that I ditch the whole project.

  35. Thimbleanna November 18, 2009 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Anina used my answer! As many times as it takes or if it doesn't meet my standards, I'll just ditch it!

  36. live a colorful life November 18, 2009 at 10:24 am - Reply

    I will rip it out twice. If after carefully lining seams up and pinning the heck out of it, and it STILL doesn't match, which for some reason sometimes it doesn't, then I call it a day and move on.

  37. Rebekah November 18, 2009 at 10:39 am - Reply

    depends on the project….I think I ripped out a set of christmas stockings I made at least ten times to get it right (and right side out). other times, once or twice is it for me

  38. Rita @ Mochi Studios November 18, 2009 at 11:05 am - Reply

    You have a lot of patience! I usually sew over the messed up seam. I've mysteriously lost my seam ripper and haven't replaced it yet :(

  39. ~Michelle~ November 18, 2009 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Depends on what I'm done – if its a quilting bee block for someone else & I have limited fabric…until I get the darn thing sewn correctly! Otherwise, until I decide to chuck it for the day :)

  40. Jessica November 18, 2009 at 11:24 am - Reply

    while piecing, maybe twice. but for hand quilting I'd rip it out until it looks the way i had imagined it. actually, i don't rip i guess, i just "unsew" and pick out the stitches so i can use the same thread.. i guess we're all anal and picky in some ways..

  41. Kimberly November 18, 2009 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I usually limit it to two times. I am not too great at seam ripping. I tend to pull on it too hard and end up fraying or distorting it. After 2xs of that, my fabric cannot usually handle anymore! :)

  42. Michelle November 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    I would say 3 times. If I am still not happy with it and it is a block. I may take apart the whole block or cut fabric for a new one.

  43. Sara November 18, 2009 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Two to three times – but, I have to put it down in between – cause I get too frustrated.

  44. craft-crazed November 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    The only time I take a seam out is if I sew something on upside down… which I do when Im not paying attention… Im very easily destracted :)

  45. Regena@QuiltnQuiltthings November 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    I think my limit is about 3 or 4. but then it depends on who it's for. If is for a client or catolog pic. then it needs to be right. ;o}

  46. lisa November 18, 2009 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    three, and then I cut another whatever and start over.

  47. Vicki November 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    It just depends for me. When I do paper piecing sometimes I eyeball the piece a little too small and I have unpicked those and redone them, I have also sewn a small corner piece on to make the fabric cover the foundation if I don't want to keep redoing it. With regular piecing I don't stress the matching too much usually though. :)

  48. Karen November 18, 2009 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    I am anti 'reverse sewing' but if it is absolutely necessary I might.

  49. Sarah Star November 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I'll only resew a seam twice…any more than that and I'm worried about the seam being compromised. If it *really* looks bad, I'll find a way to recut and sew again, but if it's just a little off, why bother? :) You know, the whole "galloping horse" thing.

  50. Blue Is Bleu November 18, 2009 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    The sad thing is I'll rip out the seam as many times as I need to for me to get it right… it's a pain! But if I don't, my eyes will zoom into the problem area immediately and I'll hate the quilt so much lol

  51. amandajean November 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    i don't seam rip that often, though perhaps i should, LOL.

  52. em's scrapbag November 18, 2009 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    If it really bothers me I'll rip it. But most times I figure my quilts are like my hubby perfect with lots of character.

  53. jaybird November 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    all depends on what the project is for… i tend to leave things unless they are going to be shown to lots of people.. then i fix everything!!

  54. Greg November 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Being a guy, I know not the word 'give up' or 'quit'. One of my current projects, I ripped and have re-sewed 9 times. And have finally settled on a pattern. My 4-patches are done so I'm done ripping and sewing. Until I find a better pattern!

  55. Army Wife Quilter November 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Boy I really laughed at some of these comment because they are what i would say too. Vicki said she adds pieces to corners for paper piecing. I love to do that then unpick. And as far as unpicking it depends on what it is for who it is for and how bad it looks. I am not really picky unless I am making it for something.

  56. Quilts for Sale November 19, 2009 at 6:39 am - Reply

    I do the same, but three times is my limit. If it still hasn't worked by the third try I feel it was meant to be that way. You've made me wonder if I should change that number to four. :-) Don't think I will though, depending upon the project, of course.

  57. randi November 19, 2009 at 7:13 am - Reply

    It is a patient day on my part if I seam rip once. Often things get tossed aside and restarted if I get to that point. I know, that is silly, but it works for me. :)

  58. Linda November 19, 2009 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Almost never! Ok, so when the back of my quilt (especially around the borders) gets caught in the quilting so it's folded, I use an eyebrow razor to quickly take the stitches out….whoosh!

  59. mommymae November 19, 2009 at 9:56 am - Reply

    until it's perfect.

  60. Kalleigh Hathaway November 19, 2009 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Hardly ever – it takes the fun out of quilting for me. I've even left pieces that were BACKWARDS in scrap quilts. When I do, it's generally because I've caught something in the seam that doesn't belong there.

    I confess that if I'm tempted to pull stitches because of poor piecing I'm more likely to give up the project altogether. And frankly, one of the reasons I stopped doing block swaps is the pressure to scrutinize my work for perfection in someone else's eyes. I've really changed the way I quilt over time so that it is more fun and less precise.

  61. Stephanie (A Ditchin' Time Quilts) November 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Amy, you're not the only one! Once I was trying to reupholster on ottoman and would sew it wrong, take it apart, get frustrated and then walk away. By the time I would get motivated to sew it again, I would do it wrong again. This happened three times and I told myself I would not stop til I did it right. It was my first time trying it and it turned out but out the seam ripping that went on!

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