Love My Clover Ripper, 3-15-21

I have had a very discouraging weekend of quilting. First of all, why do I let charm packs suck me in? I am so tempted by them and when I open them I remember why I hate them so much. Yes, I’m the same person who “wrote” multiple charm books! I find many duplicate charms, the same pattern in every color way, and always a couple that stick out like a sore thumb. Such was the case with Lakeside Story.

I cut out a simple split square, pieced it, was one block short, quilted it and then I found the missing block on the floor!

I fell so in love with the birds on the white background that I went back and got 2 yards of it. So….on to my next project! After searching my books, patterns and Pinterest, this was the pattern I decided on.

I made all the 2-1/2″ squares different red fabrics and of course when piecing them I could not press to the white side so all those seams piled up on each other making them very difficult to match perfectly. I pinned, I matched, I checked and rechecked, I basted and when I knew they were perfect, I sewed the seam.

And the one shown here next to the bird fabric is the ONLY one I sewed right!!!!!!!

Here are my blocks:

I could cry, I could scream, I could throw it in the trash!!!!!

I love my Clover seam ripper.

53 thoughts on “Love My Clover Ripper, 3-15-21

    1. Mary Cooper

      A friend joked that when she died and her family was cleaning out her house they would find a seam ripper next to every chair.

  1. Brenda C.

    Oh dear. put the kettle on, take a deep breath and sit and meditate while you rip. In the end, it will be a beautiful little quilt.

  2. Debbie G

    I love my Clover ripper too, Mary! We have a great relationship. And I agree with you about the charm packs. I have a drawer full and know I’m not alone!

  3. Charlene Sexton

    Welcome to the group. Your are perfect. Only mess up every 100 years. The rest of us just keep it quite and rip and rip.

  4. Diane Deibler

    Mary ,you have much more patience than me. That’s why I don’t quilt. Only make masks and mend my grandkids clothes!!!

  5. Peggy S

    Hello again! Win a few & lose a few, Mary! Sorry about having to “unsew” your very pretty red & white quilt. Maybe that was a sign to sit down, put your feet up & have a beer!!
    The first quilt looks great, too. Especially with the Minnesota state flower showing up!! The Lady Slipper.
    Twin Cities are getting dumped on big time today. It’s coming from your direction, so I bet you are getting buckets of it too. . , Hang in there, stay safe & be still!!
    Peggy S

  6. Evelyn H

    You don’t want to hurt your seam ripper’s feelings, but you could set the blocks in a different configuration and make a new pattern. =)

  7. Judy

    Your error reminds me of the times in sewing slacks that I have sewed the wrong seams together. It has happened more than once. 😅. Hope your weather today is better than here. 31 degrees with rain, icicles hanging from the trees. 30 years ago this month the weather brought down power lines and we had 10 days without power. I did get some sewing done when my daughters and I visited my parents for a few days. Do not want a repeat of that time.

  8. Jo in Wyoming

    Been there, done that. It’s a club, welcome.
    It’s snowing again. 35” isn’t enough?
    I have 17 bags of quilt jobs to do…will I ever get caught up? Thank goodness the power is still on.
    Take care everyone

  9. Gloria B.

    Love how the fabrics will work in they pattern! Save the ripping for upcoming basketball watching time – not when your favorite teams are playing.

  10. Betty Klosterman

    Whenever you are doing something and it isn’t going right, it is time to put it down and do something else. Patience is a virtue and sometimes, it just isn’t there. And isn’t sewing supposed to be fun. ? ….. These things happen. When I’m sewing and start making mistakes, it is a sign to take a break. Such is life. We make more progress by not doing anything.
    We got about 7″ wet snow and it is still snowing. Areas around us got a lot more. On Saturday it rained and we sure needed that as we’re in extreme drought conditions. Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska really got it. They all need moisture, too. And all the new GREEN grass is sticking up thru the dead stuff. Spring is almost here.
    Take care, everybody. Betty from Rapid Citiy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty Klosterman – you are so right! Except I never know when that time is!

  11. Jane from Blaine

    I feel your pain, Mary, as I’m certain many others do too. Thank you for being real! You made me laugh and my husband also laughed. He has apparently heard much of the same from me! (And worse I’m sure.)

    Best wishes 😘

  12. hedlen

    I searched for one missing block for two hours, when I finally found another fabric and cut out the missing block. Urrrrr! When I went to the bathroom later that day, it lay on the floor–apparently stuck to my dress when I used the facilities. It happens to the best of us.

  13. Amy M

    Can we devote a series to sewing charm squares or precuts for that matter? I hate those pinked edges. How do you get a consistent seam? I’ve heard concentrate on the peaks or the valleys and just be consistent but that is easier said than done unless you want to sew really, really slow. Then they all are not cut the same size even within the same pack sometimes (more so with layer cakes) but especially if you are mixing lines. I’ve had some have selvedges. I am really considering buying an AccuQuilt just to cut simple things like 5″ squares and 2 1/2″ squares and strips. It would be a purchase for myself when I retire. Right now I’m just trying to study them and figure out which one I would need! I enjoy cutting it but I am slow and can’t say I’m as accurate as I should be.
    I also love Clover’s seam rippers, I have them stashed everywhere. I like the round one the best but I’ll take the flat one if that is what is closest. Have you heard of the 3 strike rule? The mistakes requiring “major ripping” not just one seam but like the whole stack sewn wrong would be one strike. Three strikes during one sewing session, means it is time for a break or to quit for the evening if it is late : )

    1. B. J. Berlo

      Hi Amy! I purchased my Accuquilt GO when my arthritic hands just couldn’t do a lot of cutting with a rotary cutter. It was a birthday present to myself and I’ve never regretted it. I do a lot of projects with 2 1/2″ strips and with 6 layers and cutting 3 strips at a time = 18 strips!!! In about 1 minute!!! And, it was on sale!

  14. Nancy TD

    We all rip with our Clover’s. Tore a whole quilt apart. Saved the stars and trashed the background. Discovered the strips were not a perfect 2.5 inches either. Every time I get sucked into precuts Iam so mad at myself. They are never true to size.
    Sewing a quilt today. Good so far.
    The snow keeps coming in SE Mn. Sure got spoiled with the nice weather. Did a lot of yard work and enjoyed being outside.
    Enjoy your day!!

  15. Kathy in western NY

    Like your bird fabric so you have good intentions of making a nice quilt.
    I started reading through the comments and kept waiting for Betty’s to come up and sure enough there it was cause I knew Betty would have the right answer.
    But I do feel charm packs suck you in and like Amy , we could all carry on about them! I take one apart, find it difficult to match colors and then it doesn’t match up after sewing cause of the pinked edges so it gets frustrating. It’s got to be 5:00 somewhere so have a beer.

  16. Lois Ann Johnson

    …and THAT is exactly why I could never be a seamstress–or a quilter–or even a crafter! I have absolutely NO patience. I admire all of you who can do those creative projects, but I decided at a very young age that it was not for me. I do better at cooking, baking, etc. That is my creative outlet. And music, of course. I love seeing all of the beautiful creations you post on your blog, Mary. Thank for sharing your talents with us. It is a good day for staying inside, snuggling with a puppy. Bailey and I had a nap and then we baked a Banana Cake. She is a lot of help as well as a lot of company. I hope this last snowfall will melt quickly.

  17. Jean

    Mary you make me laugh! Actually I learned many many years ago that if I was going to quilt then I was gonna have to rip! It’s just what is.

  18. Katherine Gourley

    I love my clover ripper too. I have many rippers, but the clover is sharp and and not too large. Kansas Troubles charm packs always work for me. I have a quilt I never finished in pastel florals. It required 3 charm packs and was a dud because of all of the duplicates. Some prints were duplicated 3 times in different colorways that looked like a damask. I never had the variety needed.

  19. Mary Howland

    I think I need a nap as I didn’t see anything wrong with your blocks. After reading a few comments I went and looked again. I recommend chocolate with the ripper. Works well that way.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary Holland – I’ll take your advice seriously! Haha!!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Therese Mitties – I got it in Clear Lake, IA but it’s a Moda fabric and is probably available in many shops. I am 2 hrs 15 min from Rochester.

  20. Holly in TH

    I can so relate. Some projects just seem cursed. And I also love my Clover seam ripper.

  21. Deb Harrison

    Your bird fabric has me wanting to find my Charlie Harper fabric……but which moving box is it in?????
    New to be ufo!

  22. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Oh my gosh, that’s tragic!!! I’d be very upset, too! I just finished a disappearing four patch and how much ripping did I do because I carried each patch to the sewing machine and promptly sewed up the wrong sides of the blocks? Not once. Not twice. Too many times to count. What a pain.
    Just imagine, if each of a few of your followers took an incorrectly sewn pair, the whole thing would be ripped in two minutes flat! The power of many hands. No power in socially distanced hands, however, unless we’re praying you don’t go mad unstitching!

  23. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

    I can relate, Mary. My husband makes seam rippers on his lathe. All of my Friendship group picked his seam rippers as their favorite tool:) I have three, does that tell you anything about how often I rip??? LOL
    You can rip while you watch March Madness:)
    I love the bird fabric and your two quilts. They will both be beautiful.

    It is cold here today, but I walked so I could see my “pups”. They always love to see me coming with my treats.

    Be Still:)

  24. Margaret in North Texas

    Most times when stitching isn’t going right, it usually becomes worse. Put it down and do something else.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Margaret in North Texas – well, I haven’t touched a thing since I discovered the mistake – I just didn’t notice soon enough.

  25. Cherul

    OMG! It’s happening at my house too. Honestly I have been sketching and re-sketching this quilt idea 5 times. And even with the blocks in order on the design wall I sewed them backwards. Rip. Then I put the wrong color dashing around the center block. Rip. Then I realized the whole thing was meant, per my drawing to have 2” strips not 1.5” strips-which were already cut. On and on. I’m too old for this aggravation!

  26. Mandy Stewart

    It’s happened to us all. I made a quilt for my niece several years ago that became “The Quilt From Hell”! Such a simple pattern, Debbie Mumm garden blocks set with 2 1/2” green squares, simple. One of the greens was a grass pattern to offset the garden blocks…that darn grass ended up being side wise and I didn’t notice until half the blocks were put together. I ended up unsewing those darn grass blocks I know three times. I haven done a green quilt since.

  27. Betty Klosterman

    While re-reading the comments, I thought of how one lady here rips out seams. She carefully clips about every 5th stitch on 1 side of the seam. Then she just pulls the pieces apart and bingo, no cussing! Try it, you might like it.
    Betty in Rapid City

  28. Alice

    Betty, that’s how I unsew. Recently I decided to stipple a baby quilt & after about a third was stippled decided I didn’t like how it was turning out. I put flannel on the back of my baby quilts…it took forever to rip that out! I used a larger stipple & was much happier. I have been doing quilts for all the new babies at church, but thinking I may stop doing that…last 3 couldn’t be bothered to send a thank you note! Now that bothers me!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Alice – that would be the end for me, too, Alice! When I don’t get a thank you from someone, that’s the end for me – no more gifts!

      1. Diane and Squeak

        I am a little behind on reading comments. I agree with no more quilts if no thank you notes! My sister says as the months go by with no thank you for a wedding gift, the baby gift becomes smaller and smaller!

  29. Christina Coats

    For Anyone who has to unpick, I suspect that’s all of us and like me not always successful, That is a thing of the past. I have the Bridgewater stitch remover. Blooming marvellous, dare I say it , I love unpicking now! It’s so fast and no likelyhood of nicking the fabric. It whizzes down the seam needing to be uñpick or a couple of stitches. It’s a must if you are making Bargello quilts.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Christina Coats – a reader was wondering where she could find that bird fabric – I hope she reads these comments – maybe she could mail order from you?

      1. Christina Coats

        Hi Betty
        Its a rechargeable gadget, which i wouldn’t be without. It resembles a mans beard trimmer. you lay it on the bottom fabric once you have zapped the first few stitches, hold the top fabric and press on, it immediately starts unpicking the stitches. It is so fast and FUN! I am not sure if you can buy in the States. Here in the UK I purchased from Sewing Street. It is a TV programme on everyday 8am-12pm. It truly is my fix for the day. So inspiring, and amazing fabrics from Liberty to every new Moda on the market. I am in love with Tilda fabrics, so beautiful and every new set will blend with any previously bought.
        Will try and find the trimmer’s website for you and maybe it can be purchased by you. Once again I would not be without it.

        1. Betty Klosterman

          I looked it up on the internet and we have it here at JoAnn’s. We’ll have to look into this. Oh, all the wonderful things out there that we don’t know about. Thanks for the information. Betty

          1. Christina Coats

            Hi Betty
            So glad it’s available to you. Maybe they would demonstrate it for you. Be sneaky take something you need to unpick maybe?. I feel sure once you used it you will invest in one.
            Happy unpicking

  30. KathyG from Oak Creek, WI

    I use my little stork scissors for ripping out stitching. I don’t know why.

    I am in love with that same fabric. I work in a quilt shop and when it came in I had to have the bird print. It’s wonderful!

  31. Janet of MN

    What wonderful comments on ripping. It’s what keeps me humble and yes I get a lot of practice. When buying Clover seam rippers, I buy 3 at a time – that tells you something. I absolutely love this blog with all the common sense people involved. Thank you all.

  32. Linda in Estherville

    I killed, I murdered my Clover Seam Ripper late last night. I was machine embroidering, I was tired, I just layer the topper on top with just pins…did not hoop, did not use a bit of glue nor spit…just pins. I ended up with a clump of stopper and stitches married to the cover plate in that space the needle goes. I had to poke the clump from that space….and snap went the hook, broke off at the top. I spoke the old girl was the first ergo ripper by clover…she served me well. Ugh, I am working on an order….I don’t do WalMart, and it is 70 miles to Hobby Lobby. It’s icky, I doubt our little quilt shop has rippers, I will try her later—-I will be out to get my second shot today. Otherwise, it will be Amazon for quick shipment. I don’t want to wait for it to come from a quilt shop. Weeks….course, it would give me a reason to buy fabric to offset the cost of fabric! Hmmmmmm??

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda in Estherville – I can feel your pain right through this IPad! How maddening! I will admit to having many rippers – many of everything because I am too far away from a source to buy replacements as you are. Wish I could fly one over to you right now!!!

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