Fix It or Let It Ride?

I have been steadily working on the bike quilt. I like the stitching on the spokes. I’m not sure whether they need some actual spoke lines on top of the quilting. Maybe a thick line of something couched down or a thin strip of fabric appliquéd or even drawn with a marker. I am going for more simple, less complicated, so maybe the stitching is enough.

I can’t believe I did this. I trimmed up the appliqué and now it doesn’t extend into the quarter inch seam line. Aaarrrghhh! How many blocks have I done with this technique? Thousands! And I still make this mistake. I’ve had students in my class go home to finish their project (you know who you are) and do the whole tulip like this. When they start to sew the blocks together, it’s “oh s#*t” time. I had an idea– what if you sewed the blocks together, then sewed bias tape over the seams, encasing the appliqué edges. It would look like stained glass. That could be cool!

But not for this quilt. I can handle fixing one block. 

Big sections were coming together. I spent about 2 hours pinning center squares in the dark, outside blocks. I don’t like it. The border looks so heavy…and dark…and confining. I thought about switching out the center squares. I really don’t want to carry the bright, wheel fabrics into the border because I think it will be too strong. Maybe lighter gray squares? That doesn’t feel right either but I might try it. Those center squares! They can make the quilt but they just have to be tried out visually to be decided on.  What I think in my head will work, usually doesn’t. 

Stand and stare.  And stare some more.  What is going on here? Then it hit me. I’ve drawn the pattern wrong!

My sketch had the bike wheels extending into the border on the sides but not into the bottom squares. Well crap. It’s “oh s#*t” time. Do I just leave it or fix it? Will it change how dark and heavy the border looks or actually make it worse? 

Here’s the plan. I’m going to sew new blocks for one wheel and see what I think. The proportions feel so off now that I can’t even think beyond that. Back to work.

Back to gallery


  1. Andra H Rudershausen says

    I am SOOOOO loving this quilt. It has movement and color and a certain happiness that just screams summer. I am feeling the border
    needs to be less regimented. All the squares with a square in them don’t blend with the rest of the design. I would use color as well.
    Maybe blue…s and yellows to speak of sky and sun…. not sure but not the dark and heavy. Sorry, just my opinion, feel free to disagree…
    I wouldn’t want to detract from the colorful wheels, in my opinion they are the focus…. but something lighter, more colorful, and less of
    a concrete border, more of a fade….xoAndra

  2. Lynne Laino says

    Terry, I feel completely unqualified to even comment on your amazing work! Whatever you decide will be amazing! As for the single block mistake, of course you will fix it because it will drive you crazy if you don’t, we’re all the same in that department! I love the spokes just as they are, they are perfect! There, that my useless 2 cents on the matter!! You are incredible!

  3. Donna Hallowell Thomas says

    I love it just how it is. I do agree for lighter center border blocks…what about a light blue? Don’t re-do the wheels, it’s so cute as it is.

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