Friday, March 4, 2011

Frog sewing and repurposed tools

I am still quilting on Circle of Life.  I got a lot done on my two days off.  But unfortunately, I did not like the quilting on a couple parts.  So out came the seam ripper and a couple of repurposed tools from my nursing job, and I set off "froggin"!  We call it "frog" sewing, because what we are doing is "rip it, rip it!"  Dreaded words to a sewers ears, but sometimes it just has to be done.  I have worked too hard on this quilt to settle for so so quilting.  I can and will do better!

The most important tool to have when you are frog quilting is a sharp seam ripper.  I have several different types of seam rippers, but I used Alex Anderson's 4-in-1 tool for this job.

It has a tiny sharp point that allows me to get under the stitch without gouging the fabric below.  And the handle is hefty enough to make it ergonomic, so I didn't get a cramp in my hand from using it.

Being a nurse practitioner, one of the skills I have is suturing.  You know, I love to sew, whether it is on cloth or people! LOL!  Most of the instruments that we use are one time use only, and they get sent to medical waste management.  Seems such a waste.  So when possible, I will sanitize the better tools (some of the instruments aren't even worth using the first time) and give them a new life in my sewing room.  The scissors come from a suture removal kit.  They are perfect on a lanyard around my neck for making a quick snip when hand sewing or at the machine.  The forceps is actually a needle holder.  I use it for pulling threads, tying knots before burying them.  The business end does not have the ridges (striations) of a Kelly forcep, so it doesn't shred the thread.  And sometimes I do use it as a sewing needle holder when I am trying to pull a stubborn needle through some fabric. 


  1. You are hilarious, Maggie! Sorry you had to frog sew, tho.


  2. Great recycling!
    It always amazes me how some seam rippers are so much better than others. Quilters Home rated a bunch of them a year or so ago.

  3. I loved my 4 in 1 tool by Alex until the tip broke off on the ripper. I have moved on to another Fons & Porter... until that one loses its tip. I'm hard on rippers. Must be because I do "froggin" alot... but you know it has to be right, so a rippin I will go. I like to find good uses for old items... it seems like such a waste to just throw some things away.

  4. Hi Maggie,
    Once I realized that my dr's office tossed the tools used to remove stitches, I asked for them. Two years ago, I got the suture scissors and a great pair of tweezers. This time around, they used plastic tweezers and a scalpel. Even though they were going to throw away the scalpel, all they'd give me was the tweezers. I use them all in my studdio.

  5. I admire your tenacity at taking out the quilting you didn't like. I have wondered how good Alex's tool is. Sometimes I feel like mine is gargantuan when I try to use it! Can't wait to see your finished product!

  6. thanks for following, I love your Circle of Life quilt.

  7. Great recycling! Froggin takes time; but you will be so much happier with your quilt in the end.