Seam Ripping & How to Remove Quilt Stitching Properly

Quilty | Seam Rippin' | Episode 139

Mary shares the method she was taught for seam ripping. We all make mistakes. Make sure a seam ripper is by your side. For more quilting tips and techniques pick up Quilty magazine, visit or watch more Quilty episodes at!




  1. Enjoyed the Quilty video.

    My question is unrelated to the video. Where did you get your thread holders that show in the background in the bookcase?

    You do a great job, Mary. Thanks.

    Nancy Merritt

    Nancy Merritt, 3 years ago Reply

  2. I would to say I have never ripped a seam, but my Mom taught me not to lie. Your demo was very helpful. Thanks a lot.

    Corinne Getman, 3 years ago Reply

  3. I would like to see a show about cutting on the bias for when you are having to bind a project that is circular or curved. I was told to cut my binding on the bias so that the fabric would have a little give as I was binding my christmas tree skirt.

    BTW, I love your show, you are doing a great job and these shows are just long enough and very helpful.

    Bernie Kanas, 3 years ago Reply

  4. I rip my seams almost like you have shown, except, instead of pulling the fabric apart, I first flip over to the back and take the unsnipped thread and pull. It all comes out as one. Is there a down side to doing it that way?

    Donna, 3 years ago Reply

  5. I teach this “every third stitch” seam rippin’ to my Sewing and Quilting students (I teach classes at the JoAnn’s in Dayton, Ohio) and had one student tell me that technique was worth the price of the class alone!! : ) I go one step further though; after snipping every third thread, I then turn the work over and pull that long thread from the other side, essentially “unzipping” the entire seam. I feel it puts less stress on the fabric than pulling the two pieces apart. I’ve heard of using tape to remove all the tiny thread bits but haven’t actually tried it myself; looks pretty handy!

    Ann Wiseman, 3 years ago Reply

  6. Mary, You crack me up!! Just the little comments you make as you do stuff.! Great show. thanks, Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Wilber, 3 years ago Reply

  7. I have always done the 3 stitch method but didn’t even think of turning it over and pulling the unsnipped thread! You would think it was a no brainer! I have been quilting for 16 years, even old dogs learn new tricks. Instead of messing with little pieces of tape to get out the thread leavings I have a lint roller handy all the time. It even works great for those stray threads on your ironing board.

    Peggy Dean, 3 years ago Reply

  8. I find it easier to separate the patchwork, after “ripping” every 3rd stitch, to simply turn the work over, and pull the long, uncut thread. Then, if necessary, take a “longish” piece of tape, press it down the length of the ripped seam, and lift off most of the threads with 1 pull of the tape.

    Ruth, 3 years ago Reply

  9. Love your Quilty show!!

    Suzanne, 3 years ago Reply

  10. I have ripped seams for years, and never knew there was a right way! Now i do! Thanks.!

    Sherry Sharpnack, 3 years ago Reply

  11. Thank you so much for this demonstration. I do rip 3rd stitch and pull uncut thread but didn’t know about using tape to pick out cut threads. I will also use lint roller as Peggy Dean suggested.

    Eugenia Read, 3 years ago Reply

  12. I will have to be taking out seven long seams on the quilt I am making and luckily I was looking at some of your old lessons. I’ve been sewing for years and this little 3rd stitch tip will help me so much. Sounds so simple, I don’t know why I never thought of it. I really enjoy your show.

    Jan Bentsen, 2 years ago Reply

  13. I am SO in love with the quilt that is hanging up behind you. Such a lovely use of colors.

    Lauren, 2 years ago Reply

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