Sometimes the world isn’t fair, and sometimes you have to tear out a lot of stitches. This one time, at quilt camp, I decided i didn’t like the binding on a quilt that I had just sewn down (thankfully, before hand finishing it!), and was faced with the daunting task of ripping out all those stitches. Not only were they nice and tight against the quilt, but they were tiny! 

Just as I glumly lifted my seam ripper, one of the ladies said, “Don’t do that. Try my beard trimmer, instead.”

After a moment, I said, “Um. Your what?” And she pulled out a man’s electric shaver.  After pulling up the binding away from the quilt so that the stitches showed in between a bit, she started running the trimmer along it and had one side all done in about 5 minutes.  At the time, I didn’t think to ask her to do a video (this was years ago!), but I did find this one for you!

Now those of you who know me, or follow me, know that I love tools that are multifunctional, so I totally ran off home and tried it with my fella’s trimmer, which was a different model.  Some trimmers work better than others, but what you want to look for is one that has a little blade like for mustaches.  There are lady versions out there, too, which have a smaller blade, and are a bit easier to use.

Now, there are some caveats.  It is easy to cut through your fabric (as it is with a hand ripper), so be mindful of how close your blade is to your fabric. If you have a bunch of ripping to do (like a whole binding job), the battery ones may run out before yourh’e done. There are also electric seam rippers sold specifically for seam ripping as well as for removing larger sections of embroidery.  These are more expensive, but they also have some bonuses, such as not running off batteries, and having a little more oomph.

Have you tried this?  How’d it work for

Mandy Leins is a Stash Books author, Craftsy Instructor, and longarm quilter. Visit her on her blog, Mandalei Quilts.

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