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Best way to rip out machine quilting stitches

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Purdue Fan posted on Mon, Aug 8 2011 10:47 PM

I started machine quilting a lap quilt awhile back, but hate the way it looks. I am starting the tedious process of removing the stitches, but I am worried about accidentally ripping the fabric instead of the thread. This is one of the very first quilts I tried to machine myself and I had read about starting the line with very tiny stitches to lock them in. Yeah, ok. But how to do you remove said tiny stitches when you hate the result??? I think I will use the traditional method of popping the thread to the top on my next one! Any advice on how best to remove those little suckers?

Thanks!

Peggy

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Carey replied on Mon, Aug 8 2011 10:54 PM

Wish I could help but I never remove the actual quilting thread even if I dont like the way it looks. Now piecing is another story lol. Good luck hope someone can help.

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when I need to rip out stitches on my long arm, I use an awl.  The point can get under a stitch but it isn't as sharp as a seam ripper.  If you break your stitches on one side every 3-4 stitches, then you can just pull the thread on the other side and it will come out.  It is time consuming but can be done.    

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Having ripped out three rows of stitching my best advice would be to get someone else to do it!!!  Slow and careful and take out the debris as you go or you will go crazy trying to pick out the thread.

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You couldn't pay me enough to take on a job like that.  Are you sure it's that bad?  Is the quilt a gift?


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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I read on another blog about getting in between the batting and the backing to take them out. That seems to work pretty well. Then I flip to the front and do as you suggested in ripping every 4th or 5th stitch. Yes, it's slow, but I will be happier in the long run. The awl is a good idea. I'll have to try that too.

Thanks for your suggestions!! I'll post a picture when this crazy thing is finally done!! And yes, it's a gift for my sister. Boy, she'd better like it! :)

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When I was doing the quilting on my Golden Dragon quilt I sneezed and when right across a dragon belly.  I picked those stitches out , but hope to never do it again.  Sometimes when I start the quilting I look and think ugh.  But once started I keep on going.  What is amazing is that when it is all done. I looks a whole lot better than I thought it did at the start. 

Good luck which ever way you go

Granny M

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Lori replied on Tue, Sep 13 2011 2:08 PM

Did you succeed with the ripping? I have done the same thing and was wondering how you ended up ripping all those tiny stitches! Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Challenged in Chandler, AZ

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Peggy,

Try this and see if it will works for you.  I'm not responsible for fingers LOL......

 

Skinning your Quilt

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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Oh my gosh, that is genius! Dangerous, but genius! I have been working slowly, slowly ripping them out with a seam ripper one by one. Ugh. But I am already glad I am taking the time to re-do it. I will be much happier with it in the end, despite the time involved.

Thanks so much for the video link!!

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Kris replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 2:54 AM

SPUD! Thanks for that video link. 

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Well, the "skinning" of the quilt is going well, thanks to the scalpel blade mentioned in that YouTube video. I have completely destroyed the backing in the process, but the top is fine and it is going so much faster now!! And you know, ripping all those stitches out with a scalpel is rather therapeutic!! It will probably take me another week of ripping before they're all out, then I will start anew! Hurray!

 

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I just finished ripping out a queen sized quilt.  I was to afraid to do it with the scalpel.  I laid the quilt on a 3x6 table.  Lifted the back and ripped that way.  Took three days but I just sat on the couch and watched tv.  Both back, batting and top I perfect condition.

 Elizabeth

From Sunny Southern CA

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Susan replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 12:23 PM

Boy I know how you feel - have a quilt in the same condition.  I just folded it an put it away.  Hoping time will change my mind.  I do agree that I have been in position that I did like the quilting but when the quilt was complete it was great.  I wish you the best of luck.

 

Sue

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Ramona replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 6:09 PM

Peggy,

I see you are well on your way to ripping out the stitches. I hate it for you but you will be happier with the quilt when it's done. I have had to take out stitches but only in small areas on one I did myself and it's a bear.  I did have to take out a whole queen size quilt someone else did for me. They had quilted in a mess of puckers.  You're right, the stitches are small, lol, but necessary. At least with the quilt off the frame you can get between the batting and the backing and cut the stitches rather than trying to rip them from the top. When done you can put the top in the dryer with a wet towel to help remove the needle holes.  Good luck!

P.S. I'm not sure what you meant by "popping the thread to the top" but you should always bring up your bobbin thread before you start.

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