March 14, 2011 § 13 Comments

Porcupine Quill

A while ago at work someone asked me what I thought of the Clover Seam Ripper.  My answer was that I have heard it is good and that everyone I knew that owned it, loved it.  A little bit later the same person asked me again. And this time I said that I thought it was a good seam ripper but that I had never used it because I don’t use a seam ripper.  After I saw the look on her face, I knew that I had given the wrong answer.  The expression on her face was saying, “Well, aren’t you special. You never use a seam ripper. You must be perfect.” Which is NOT what I meant at all.  I literally meant that I never use a seam ripper to rip out my sewing.  Sometimes the words just come out all wrong.  Lest you also think I might be perfect, these are my ripping tools of choice.

I recently had to rip out a few of my tile blocks because it took me awhile to figure out how to cut the partial filler blocks with my ruler rather than using the book’s template.

What I used almost exclusively for years was my small Gingher embroidery scissors.  Then my mom became a longarm quilter and she introduced me to the Porcupine Quill. That is now my favorite ripping tool of choice.  And more recently I picked up a Hera Marker/Quilter’s Awl and the pointy end of it works well too.  What I really dislike about seam rippers are the tiny little bits of thread that are left everywhere. So I pick out the stitches by sticking the pointy end under every 2 or 3 stitches and pulling the thread out in one long piece. I  know other people who rip with their rotary cutter. That just scares me!  What do you use to rip?

Rippit Tools of Choice

On another note, I put together a series of photos in movie format to show how I laid out all of the blocks of the Hexagon Tile Quilt.  I can’t seem to post it here, but it’s over on my Flickr stream if you care to take a look.  It is also a perfect example why a larger design wall is better. I had to start pinning blocks to the drywall.

And if you are wondering what this horrid thing below is… My niece was in town last night with her college choir doing a Spring Break Tour. We just had to drive her by the Fremont Troll after dinner. Seattle sure has a few must-see weird places of interest. Her and her travel buddy were hoping to have a few minutes to see the gum wall this morning before their bus left for Oregon.

The Fremont Troll

§ 13 Responses to Rippit

  • DebbyMcC says:

    I use the scissor method…with gingher emb. scissors, too, I might add =-) The troll is fantastic! haha! I have seen the gum wall in San Luis Obispo, CA…fascinating…in a sorta gross way…

  • DebbyMcC says:

    And, ok…the tile blocks?? LUSCIOUS!!

  • Jane says:

    Your tile blocks are really nice. Gorgeous quilt! Oh, I pretty much rip like you do, pulling out the thread in as long a piece as possible.

  • nicolette says:

    Lovely video of the block placement!

    I use seam rippers, yes more than one, they are all over the place! I use the not so sharp side and try to make a long thread to avoid all those little pieces. I will give my hera marker atry to see if I like it. I’ve heard a lot about gingher scissors but never seen them here yet.

  • Viv says:

    Interesting method for seam ripping. I use my Bernina seam ripper, cutting every 2nd or 3rd stitch, and I hate the little threads. I might have to try some of your methods!

    Love the tile quilt, I’m still a bit afraid of Y seams. I’ve only done them once before. Maybe you could do a tutorial with some pointers??

  • Jo says:

    At a retreat a few years ago, a woman was using a little battery operated gizmo to rip. Turns out it was a mustache trimmer. Almost as scary as the rotary cutter… but she loved it.

  • Alexis says:

    I love the idea of the porcupine quill and avoiding all those little thread! I am going to have to give it a try. So fun to see the Troll, my brother lives just a few doors down from it!

  • Lisle says:

    I rip with whatever’s handy, generally snipping with my tiny scissors on one side, and pulling out the back side. But I’ve used a yarn darning needle LOTS, because it fits right in there, and sometimes I use a smaller needle than than, but I poke the eye end of the needle through so I don’t catch a thread with the point.

    If I’m doing a long, straight piece of ripping, I use my small rotary cutter. You just have to make sure it’s sharp, and that you don’t go too fast. It’s pretty darn effective and quick.

    My mom always told me that a good seamstress rips out almost half of the stitches she sewed, so I always figure I’m about a sewing goddess by now, since my percentage is frequently much higher than that. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist sometimes…

  • Karen says:

    I do use a seam ripper, but might try one of these. I watched the video – this quilt is fabulous!!!!

  • Jeannie says:

    I rip like you do with whatever is handy.I have used a seam ripper, but I have also put little holes in fabric with it. The blunt end darning needle that I use for seaming knitting works well and I just bought a quill. I think the quill is gorgeous. Love the troll. I miss Seattle. The tile quilt is beautiful. Have a great week and I hope you don’t have to rippit much.

  • caren says:

    Ilove the troll! My favorite ripping tool is my grandmother’s seam ripper. I don’t use it alot. I had to rip out seams. I would, rather, sew a new block. Or use the mistake as a planned error!

  • Anna says:

    Depends on what i am ripping. Usually a seam ripper, cut every 5th or so stitch on one side, then pullout the other thread, and shake over the bin.
    If I am being brave, a scalpel blade. Very very sharp. Not for tired peoeple!
    That troll is seriously cool!

  • susan says:

    where do you find porcupine quills? i use a cheapy little seam ripper i got from joanns. its the only one i ever use.. i could never use a rotary cutter for that!

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