More than one way to skin a quilt {the hands-down easiest way to remove your quilt stitches}

Forget everything you know about ripping the machine stitching out of your quilt layers because this is about to change your life.

Remember the time you used that really thick thread for your top stitching? While also using it for your bobbin? And your needle was probably too small? And your tension was definitely off? Whyyy did you do that??? 😩

I’m assuming I’m not the only one who has learned this lesson the hard way. To be honest, I knew things were taking a wrong turn about half way into my quilting, but I kept going anyway. Why, you ask…?

[blank stare] ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

But I can say, if you’ve ever had to deal with ripping out the stitching of your entire quilt sandwich (back, batting and top) I’m sorry. It’s a horrible, awful job. BUT through the power of the internet, I discovered a way to make the process slightly less dreadful.

It’s called Quilt Skinning.

And it’s exactly how it sounds. You lift up both your quilt top and batting and gently cut away at the stitches between the batting and quilt back until your quilt is freed. It takes a fraction of the time and is significantly easier than “traditional” ripping. I started out using an inexpensive curved blade seam ripper, but it wasn’t getting the job done, so I switched to my Gingher 5″ Knife Edge Sewing Scissors which worked perfectly (after I finally figured out the best way to hold them). I also think an X-Acto type knife would probably do the trick.

I made a quick video showing how it’s done. Just be careful you don’t slice into your quilt by staying as close to the batting as possible.

Does anyone else have any faster methods of quilt ripping (or skinning)? I’d love to hear them!

Happy skinning!





7 thoughts on “More than one way to skin a quilt {the hands-down easiest way to remove your quilt stitches}

  1. I have a patriotic bricks quilt that I LOVED but my quilter put wavy lines on it in the wrong direction then told me my backing was too small. She had the bricks turned sideways rather than up and down and it messed the whole thing up. If I spend the time to pick it and have it requilted, will the old holes come out in the wash?


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