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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Despair over an old bleeding quilt!

Over the years, I've come to fear bleeding fabrics!  I prewash now, more consistently ever since I made a memory quilt for my mom in 2011.  Apparently I didn't prewash all the reds and the black fabric I used for one of the borders.  When I washed it before giving it to her, one of the reds bled as well as part of the black border!
I was really, really upset, because I had spent a lot of time picking out blocks that 'described'  my mom's life - lots of garden related blocks - she would make a garden in sand!  Travel fabrics because we travelled so much with my army father and she had immigrated to Canada in her mother's uterus!
There's a little block on the side of the Carolina lilies for each of her 4 children, with references to our lives.  I used the block design you see below for all 4 kids - but then chose fabrics and printed out images and logos from their jobs to highlight their lives.  You probably can't see these well for my sister, Lyn, but it shows her work as a nurse, a nursing home administrator, her life with her 3 sons (I personally believe that any woman who has 3 sons should automatically receive angel wings!)  her love of knitting, sewing and quilting!
Anyway....fast forward to this summer.  My mom died last year and I have her quilt back.  I did a last search for a solution and found it!!!!!  Colorways by Vicki  If you look down her tab for 'Tutorials', you'll find her article 'Save My Bleeding Quilt' and you can print it out.  I read it and didn't really want to use this solution for this queen size quilt, BUT....  So I experimented  with a small wall hanging that also had some bleeding on it and it worked!  Beautifully!  So into the bathtub it went for 24 hours.  I did rinse it twice in the bathtub, but then I gave up and put it on the delicate cycle and cold water.  My neighbour let me hang it out on her clothesline.
Pros:  the commercial fabric bleeds, came out of the quilt, even after 5 years.
Cons:  the fabric blocks that I printed on my inkjet printer faded.
Conclusion:  I love this method and will use it whenever I have to!  Although I said that I prewash all my fabric and take care, you will see by reading the article that you still sometimes get bleeding!  And if you use the rubbing alcohol and flour recipe to baste the quilt top, batting and backing together, then you really have to wash the quilt after you finish quilting it!

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