Craft Disasters: Craftsasters? a.k.a wtf just happened?

Sometimes I really bungle things. I’m sure this comes as a shock, but it’s true. My response to screwing up a crafting project used to be to yell swear words and throw things and then either discard the project or hide it away in a closet or under a bed, somewhere where the shame would catch up to me at some point, but later. Later. Shhhhh. Quiet. I’ll deal with that later.

Now, however, I’ve turned a corner. I’ve hit my crafting zen, and my response to disaster is no longer denial. Now, I make do and mend.  Or at least I try. Granted, it doesn’t always work, but I do feel I’ve been more successful the last couple of years in holding my shit together and making the best of things. I’m 35 goddammit; if not now, then when? I’m a grown ass adult, y’all!

Case in point: that damn minky material in the baby quilt. Sure, I made Elecia sew one of the seams, and I may have let loose some choice words, but I persevered. I pushed through, pinned the living shit out of that stuff, and sewed on through it. I patched in fabric from my stash after the cutting error, and now I’m ready to bind the quilt. Nothing is going to stop me! *evil laughter*

It is important to realize that when you have a craft disaster, a craftsaster, a mishap, as it were, you have choices. Sure, you can wad it up, cut it up, tear your hair out, cry like a baby, and stuff that effed up project into a laundry hamper. That’s choice #1.

OR, you can go with #2: Make it look like you meant to do that! Call it a happy accident, a plot twist, a late-in-the-game stylistic choice–it doesn’t matter. When you stumble while dancing, you just work that awkward step right on into your repertoire and keep on with your bad self. I MEANT for the left sleeve to be inside out–it’s avant garde, motherf*cker!

Then there’s #3: Patch it up the best you can. Repair. It isn’t the end of the world to rip out a seam. If you make a mistake that’s fixable, and you know you’ll be forever pissed with yourself if you DON’T go back and fix it…then yeah, take the time. I once misread a cross stitch pattern and stitched a huge area in the wrong color before realizing it. I kept trying to tell myself, no one but me is going to notice that, blah, blah, blah, doesn’t matter, but the truth was…I noticed it. And I was going to notice it every time I looked at that stupid piece, and I was not going to be happy with it. I painstakingly took my trusty green seam ripper and took out every one of those teensy little x’s and started that area over. I’m still not finished with that particular project, but when I pick it up to work on it, I’m always glad I took the time to fix it. Because now, when I do finish it, it’s going to be AWESOME.

This whole story up to this point is really just to introduce you to Pritts’s House shirt. This was a Christmas gift I made for him last year (and gave to him this year in February or March or so, when I actually finished it).

house shirt

The pattern is from Bombastitch, one of my favorite sources for cross stitch pattern awesomeness. Pritts loves Hugh Laurie, so when I saw this pattern, I knew it was going on a t-shirt for him. I spent hours stitching this thing–hours. T-shirt fabric is stretchy and not easily stitched on, so I had to use some layers of stabilizer, plus waste canvas. I watched many, many episodes of House while stitching this thing, and when I had finally finished stitching, I painstakingly pulled each of the threads of waste canvas out from under my stitches (because I’m too cheap to spring for water soluble waste canvas), and THEN I started to cut away the stabilizer from around the pattern, and THEN…*^&$%^!

I cut a giant hole in the t-shirt, right above Hugh Laurie’s beautifully stitched head.

I couldn’t believe it. It happened in one of those hideous slow motion moments where you see the awful thing happening, but you’re completely powerless to stop it from happening.

I started crying almost immediately. (This was before I had reached crafting zen.)

house shirt oops

barely noticeable!

Pritts and Eliot both consoled me, and Pritts assured me that the hole was nothing a little patch couldn’t fix. I scoffed at him and kept crying (again, before crafting zen).

Upon pulling myself together and purchasing an easy, readymade patch to iron over the scissor mishap, I realized that Pritts was right. It was totally fixable.

house shirt oops 2

inside the insidious shirt

He wears this shirt all the time; it’s gone through the washer and dryer too many times to count, and that patch is still holding Hugh Laurie’s head together like a champ! And no one’s response to the shirt has EVER been, “Oh wow, that would be cool if it just didn’t have that patched up hole…” No one has ever said that, ever.

And Pritts wears this shirt so well, I can’t believe I almost threw it away.



The moral of this story is “Do not despair!” Most things can be fixed. The ones that can’t, can usually be improvised.

What do you do when faced with craftsaster? Any quick fixes or solutions I should know about? Tell me all about it in the comments. 🙂


My Bad

I had intended to share in today’s post some cross stitch patterns that I’ve been working on, but I didn’t get those finished, so alas, I’ll have to save them for another day.

Instead, I’ll share this little quilt that I’ve been working on; it’s been giving me absolute fits!

I bought a quilt kit to make this baby quilt wayyy back in 2007, when Eliot was a baby, thinking that I’d make it for him. Eliot is seven years old now. In seven years, the progress I had made so far on this quilt was to unwrap the fabric from the packaging, read the directions, and proceed to cut the first piece of fabric incorrectly. Then I cursed the whole thing and packed it away somewhere I didn’t have to look at it and face the shame of having measured once, cut Oh, F*#@!.

Now that it’s 2014, and I’m SO savvy and totally know what I’m doing, I thought I’d pull it back out and finish the thing. THIS QUILT KIT HASN’T SEEN THE LAST OF ME YET.

What I’ve learned this week in tackling this once abandoned project is that though my quilting skills have only marginally improved, my tenacity has increased one hundred fold. Ha! Take that! So yeah, I still eff up pretty badly, but now I tend to just keep going.

So here it is so far, photographed with the help of my very reluctant 7 yr old quilt holder:

baby quilt

A few facts about this quilt: the square second from top left is where I embroidered my nephew’s name, as the quilt is now a gift for him, but I photo edited a sticker over it so as not to make his name public. So that block doesn’t look like that in real life. It looks like a green square with his name embroidered in my handwriting. It’s kind of difficult to make out from this photo, but on the other two matching green squares, I’ve embroidered a star and a heart. All three of those blocks were improvised because of the initial wrong cut in the fabric, which landed me with not enough fabric to make the squares according to plan. Oops. Oh, well. Look at me going with the flow of things!

Also, the brown strips and the two brown corner squares are minky fabric, which is now my solemnly sworn enemy. That shit is ridiculous to sew through. And did I mention this kit was a beginner’s kit? Marked “easy”? Those bastards. This is only the second quilt I’ve ever made. Trust me, you do not want to try to piece quilting cotton together with minky fabric the second time you’ve ever quilted. It induces much unnecessary hatred and hair pulling. I was messaging my sister in the middle of the night with swear words, using descriptive detail to explain what I wanted to do to the minky fabric. Seriously. She assured me that unless Baby Boy turned out to be a seamster, he’d never notice that my seams were hideously not matched up, and he probably wouldn’t care in the slightest. Then we had a discussion about how a seamster sounds like a mob-connected quilter who has tattoos that say things like “I share needles.”

Back to the quilt. I finally got the top pieced (albeit badly) and the whole thing pin basted, and have moved on to the quilting part. As I told my sister, I just hope that as he grows older, Baby Boy will know in his heart that Aunt Rachel loves him so much more than the workmanship on this quilt would seem to imply.

Have a good weekend, all! Come back and visit Monday for more horrible tales from the crafting room. 😉