27 June, 2019

Quilt CATASTROPHE!

That title got your attention, didn't it? How about the picture? Yes, I am afraid it's true, this precious quilt did have a catastrophic occurrence! Read on and fear not, as you already know I am a happy-ending kind of gal and the quilt has been saved, but this post contains much needed information for future reference should a similar thing happen to you! As you might remember from a previous post, I have just finished this "Dogs in Sweaters" quilt and carried it along in the car with us on our recent road trip so that I could hand stitch the binding to the back during endless hours of seat time. The quilt was folded and packed in a tote bag in the back seat where I could easily access it. Also in the back seat was Hannes, on his stationary platform and an insulated water bottle filled with water for his travel bowl. Fast forward to the picture above. Imagine my shock and dismay when I unfolded the quilt to discover that there was a slight leak happening behind me; one that landed, where else, but on the red flannel fabric resulting in this uncontrolled dye bleed. After I had a mini-meltdown I recalled an article by Vicki Welsh: "How To Save A Bleeding Quilt". Just reading about plunging the quilt into hot, hot water caused my blood pressure to rise, but, at this point I had little to lose.

I followed Vicki's instruction implicitly. The bathtub was filled up, hot water was added and 1/2 C of Dawn dishwashing liquid. I agitated the water by hand, closed my eyes and submerged the quilt. In an effort to keep every square inch below water I put bin LIDS over the surface of the quilt and put the bins on top of their lids, filling them with water to weigh them down. Then I waited, twelve hours! After an inspection, which revealed some improvement, I decided to repeat the process just to be on the safe side.  After twenty four hours I drained every drop of water from the bathtub and rinsed in cold water before spinning the water out in the washer. It was placed on our patio table to dry in the afternoon sun. 
You can still detect a faint rosy-stain up near the top in the center of the back of the quilt.
Here is a close-up of the after the rescuing procedure. The faint line that is visible over the back of the dog is more a matter of shadow-through from a pressing error on my part during the construction of the quilt; I should have pressed the seam allowance toward the flannel; but the "bleed" is gone and I can easily live with the shadow-through, all things considered. I am counting my blessings and calling this an unqualified success!
There is still a reminder on the backside, but since this will hang on the wall I'm okay with that. 
The rescued quilt ready, once again, to be finished and hung.
Let the binding continue! I'm breathing one HUGE sigh of relief, I have learned my lesson in spades. Read through the linked article above, it might just be your best time spent today. I will be ever mindful going forward of pre-washing before I piece anything. In this instance, I purchased the flannels in a pre-cut stack and really hadn't giving washing them a thought. I won't make that mistake again. If in doubt, especially with a RED; test, test and test again! A little proactive checking ahead of time will keep your blood pressure in check. I am happy to serve as an example for the greater good!

Life is Good!

11 comments:

cityquilter grace said...

point well taken...

Paula, the quilter said...

Vickie's article saved my Baltimore Christmas album quilt when the hand dyed inner border bled. And that was after pre Washing!

lmno said...

You are correct. Test and test again. I purchased a blue once. Wet, it did not run. The tiniest drop of soap, it ran. I buy all fabric from reliable quilt shops. Good quality.

( Terri ) Ellen Goodding Anderson said...

Thanks for the tip. The quilt is beautiful.

Millie said...

And people ask me WHY I wash every single piece of fabric before I bring it into my studio...

However, I made a red quilt.(It was a red sticks quilt and had slashes of white and other colors sewn into it.) And every time I washed it I added two color catchers, and they always came out pink. It took at least a dozen washes (over three years) for it not to "bleed" any red.

Little Penpen said...

I've had trouble commenting from my phone, so I'm not sure if you got my last comment. But... I can almost feel your heart attack that you had when you saw the red running!!!! I'm so happy it came out for you!

Lindah said...

Whew! That was a close call. Those little guys are so cute!
I have Vicki's article saved, as well as a couple of hard copies stashed away for "just in case," which I hope will never happen.
I find that I'm using pre-cuts more frequently these days. I do wash the fat quarters, but I'm thinking that I should gently wash the smaller ones by hand and save myself from a lot of trouble.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Vicki's article has saved SO many quilts -- we all owe her a giant THANK YOU for sharing her knowledge. Very happy for you that your quilt can be counted among those saves!

straythreads said...

Great save and thanks for the link

Shasta Matova said...

This is scary to me, because I never pre-wash. I just read about someone who made a Bonnie Hunter quilt - I think it was Good Fortune - that bled so much that the quilt background is now pink. Luckily, it was evenly distributed on the front of the quilt. It seems like it is happening more often lately - they must have changed something in the way they manufacture reds. I will try to remember to wash the next time I start a quilt! I am glad you were able to get it out of your pretty quilt.

Tanya said...

Wow! That is amazing that you could save that quilt! I'll try to remember the solution though I won't be able to get DAWN dishwashing liquid... Scary!