Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Quarter Circles Quilt and the Big Rescue

I put the last stitch in my Quarter Circles quilt on the evening of December 30th. So exciting! Then, on December 31st, I washed the quilt like I always do. Absolute disaster. There was so much bleeding in this quilt that I could hardly believe my eyes. And yes, of course I used color catchers.
Quarter Circles
So... I threw it back in the washer with even more color catchers. I'm not sure if it made any difference because while some areas looked marginally better, others seemed to look worse. {Was that even possible?} I wish I would have thought to take pictures so you could have seen the before and after, but frankly, I was too traumatized. Anyway, Googling for answers helped me come up with this. It was the best article I could find that didn't involve using Synthrapol, a product I couldn't get to for several days. I tell you, the woman is a miracle worker when it comes to understanding the details of fabric bleeds.
A close up of some details....
After repeated soaks in extremely hot water {something that feels very counter intuitive} and a clean/clear type detergent, my quilt finally stopped hemorrhaging.*gulp  I made very sure that the last clear soak was 12 hours just to be absolutely, positively sure the dyes were finished bleeding.
Looking at the texture...
I am still very sad that my quilt doesn't have that brilliant strip of contrast from that narrow creamy white sashing. That was one of the best parts of this quilt and was also {probably Murphy's law} the fabric most affected by the red bleed. It really, really hurts that my lovely quilt has a small amount of fading throughout and it's brand new. However, I am extremely happy to have found such a good remedy and be able to see all but the tiniest bit of pink tinge completely removed from my quilt. My family assures me that no-one else will ever notice that little bit of pink, but of course I can see the difference and probably always will.
Love seeing the hand quilting on the back.
So shocking too, to have that much bleeding occur when I faithfully pre-wash all of my fabrics before I ever use them. Wowsers was I ever naive! At first I thought that the culprit was my border fabric, but after re-examining the quilt multiple times, I'm sure it was another one (or two or five) of the reds inside the blocks. Besides, I've used that particular red before alongside a cream muslin and never had any bleeding whatsoever. And believe me when I say that I will NEVER 'casually' wash another red and white quilt again. Oh no. A good long soak first, my dear friends, is the only way to safely remove those nasty floating dyes, maybe even at the fabric {pre-quilt} stage if there are reds involved?
That sashing!
So.. As you can see, the quilt survived all the abuse heaped upon it and will live to grace my bed or wherever else I think to use it. Looking at the quilt, I am very glad I decided to stick with the bigger width stitching in the circles and the smaller little squares in the background. The texture just makes me smile.
Interesting how some fabrics fade into the background and some don't.
Which is good because there will always be this little ache of what could have/should have been with this particular quilt. I'm grateful to my husband for being so nice about giving up our master bath for basically an entire day. I think he was afraid that I would cry and he really hates it when that happens.
Just a tiny bit of contrast now in the skinny white sashing....
He even offered to buy me a top loading style washing machine so that my quilts can be washed in a larger amount of water. I think I will stick with the one I have, but gotta love that my husband understands how much work {and love} I put into quilting.

Just to be clear, this is still one of my very favorite quilts I've ever finished. It really feels like a quilt that managed to turn out as well or better than what I originally envisioned--low volume background with subtle contrast, graphic red and white sashing to 'pop', an element of vintage charm in the less-than-perfect circles and of course that older style blend of fabric prints. I do love the slightly romantic, soft, cozy look and feel to to it. Now, of course, it will always have a story attached to it as well. So very glad I was able to rescue it from complete ruination....

48 comments:

  1. It is wonderful Audrey, wonderful ! XXX

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  2. It is so good that you managed to get a lot of the bleeding out...your quilt looks wonderful. Thank for the link to the info on how to remove bleeding, whom would have thought very hot water, detergent and an extra long soak would do the trick?
    Your one persistent chick! And your Hubby sounds like a caring guy!

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  3. So glad you found the synthrapol. Your quilt looks wonderful! Your hand stitching really make this one very special!

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  4. I am sorry this happened, it can be heartbreaking! I think it is a gorgeous quilt and you are right, you will most likely be the only one who sees it. I once had a quilt that did not bleed until I washed it for the 5th time!
    I love that pattern, what is it called?

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  5. I have also come across the "RUNNING REDS!" I do love the texture you have created, and I can understand that this will be one of your favorites forever. Love it!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story of the Quilt Trauma Center! I am so glad that you were able to save your beautiful quilt from almost all of the damage. Actually, I can't see any damage at all now.

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  7. Every quilt has a story, yours just got one early. It's still such a great quilt.

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  8. So sorry for all you had to suffer through to get the quilt to a point that you can be happy with. It truly looks like a gorgeous quilt. I love it.

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  9. Now I am scared to death because I am working on a red and white quilt right now! Do I soak in synthrapol because I wash? Or hot water?

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  10. I'm so sad that you had this terrible ordeal! I'm happy that the outcome was good though. I love this quilt and I think it looks great now!

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  11. If it's any consolation I think your new quilt is absolutely gorgeous! It's horrible that your pleasure in finishing has been tainted... but... it still looks great. Glad you found some advice on fixing the problem and very glad you shared it too. We'll all be better prepared for the dreaded colour running disaster now. Thanks......xxx

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  12. I think your quilt has an aged look that is wonderful. Makes me want to cuddle up with your quilt. I read the blog post that you linked to and found it very interesting. I have been hearing more and more about how good the Dawn product is. I did have trouble seeing differences in the fabric samples in some of her photos. Probably better to see them in person but I take her word for the results.

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  13. Thanks for the link. A friend just called yesterday and wanted to know how to get bleeding red dye out of her quilt.
    In the end your quilt is just lovely and now it has a good story to tell.

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  14. I really like it. I have a few quilts that have the bleeding that only I can see- but I know it is there. So heartbreaking when it happens.

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  15. Siento tu dolor al ver tu colcha desteñida
    los resultados son magníficos , en la foto no se aprecia que tenga aun restos de color
    tengo que ver el producto que nos cuentas
    yo siempre utilizo remedio antiguo
    (baño de laurel) así arreglo mis desteñidos
    la colcha es fantástica
    saludos

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  16. Wow. Scary to think that could happen with pre-washed fabrics.
    Personally, I like the more muted look, but that's just my boring old taste.
    Enjoy your quilt, Audrey. Like any not-so-perfect child, the "blemish" will not make you love it any less.

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  17. Oh my what a story!!! So glad that there is a happy-ever-after to it!! Your quilt looks AMAZING...heirloom quality!! Love it!

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  18. i can't see the bleeding at all and it looks amazing! love the textures and prints.
    I'm really surprised we still have problems with red bleeding.
    good save - Wonderful quilt

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  19. It's such a beautiful quilt. I love the color contrasts you planned. Thank you so much for the link to get rid of bleeding.

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  20. That would have been awful to pull it out and see the bleeding. Especially seeing as you already prewashed your fabrics. I'm glad you could save it. It's such a beautiful quilt.

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  21. Sorry your quilt had trials and tribulations. It looks mahvelous anyway!

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  22. oh my gosh what a time you had, but you would not believe the money and time spent on staining my cross stitch pieces to look old so you got your new/old look for free! I think it looks wonderful and I'm sure it is just as warm to snuggle under as it was in its new state!

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  23. Audrey - glad you were able to rescue the quilt with it's bleeding problems and get it to a stage that you felt good about - what a disaster it could have been! It is a WONDERFUL quilt and I can see why it's your all-time favorite. Congrats!

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  24. Oh you poor thing......oh if I was there I would so make you a cup of tea and lots of sympathy. That is just heart wrenching at times. But you have kept going and you have triumphed. Red is a notorious unstable dye, have you ever noticed how red signs fade faster, red cars too....I know because the only colour my husband sees in cars is red! Now I actually happen to remember something from all my crime watching shows...a very bad addiction of mine, that cold running water washed away the evidence. So I am surprised that hot water worked too.....but maybe the hot water sets the dye so it stops the bleeding. I really must stop reading so many crime novels! Lol.

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  25. Sounds very stressful! But it looks perfect to me - such a beautiful quilt and beautifully quilted!

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  26. So sorry for all your grief with the bleeding, but gosh, it is a beautiful quilt.
    blessings, jil

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  27. I'm glad you were able to save it, gosh all that hard work!!! Your quilt is just beautiful. Thanks for the link too :)

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  28. Good story with excellent outcome. I know why you love your quilt. It IS lovable. Lots of memories attached to it too. I have red bleeding on quilts. No one seems to mention it, but I wonder whether it is related to thread. I have appliqued some berries usoing red thread and the run seems to be around the stitching more than the entire berry. Just a thought..

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  29. It's still a gorgeous quilt, so glad you were able to rescue it. Such a horrible feeling when you find the reds have run. X

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  30. I am sooooo happy that you got the bleeding sorted out. This is one of my favorites that you have made.

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  31. I am so sorry you went through that trauma and so glad you got it sorted. Regardless, it is still an absolutely gorgeous quilt. And a nice hubby!

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  32. I gasped as I read the story of this quilt ! I'm so glad there is a happy ending. The quilt is beautiful. Thanks for the link to the information on bleeding as well. I appreciate that you came to my blog :0 Colleen at piecemakerquilts.wordpress.com

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  33. Am so glad this beautiful quilt came out okay. Thank you for sharing the whole process as you were making it, and even the near-disaster at the end. Your beautiful attitude about it taught me a lot. Hope you will enjoy your quilt for many years to come!

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  34. This has happened to me in the past too! I was fortunate to have a friend across town with the stuff. While...it still isn't perfect....it is better and I can live with it. Your quilt is beautiful!!

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  35. I'm so glad there was a happy ending to this quilt story! It IS a beautiful quilt Audrey.

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  36. I just did a leap of faith and washed a hand appliqued and hand quilted red and white quilt, 4 color catchers, and a good splash of synthropol in the cool water, and not a single spec of color bleeding!! All the color catchers came out as white as they started and none of the red fabrics had been pre- washed. as I said a total leap of faith that was answered this time.

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  37. Oh my! I'm so glad this story ended up well. Thanks for the great link. I have loved this quilt ever since it's beginning. Your wonderful quilting really made it fabulous.

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  38. It is one of my favorites of your quilts too! It would be this quilt that would give you this problem...... I still think it is beautiful and I am so glad you managed to get rid of so much of the bleeding. And thank you for the tip, I have bookmarked it, just in case this ever happens to me (I never pre-wash..) I am sure the products that lady talks about cannot be bought over here but in such an emergency I will just have to ask my American friends to help out.... Fab quilt and beautiful quilting too!

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  39. I am so glad that you were able to rescue your quilt. I totally understand the heartbreak of a quilt that has bled red throughout. Your quilt really is a beauty!!

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  40. Oh my goodness I was holding my breath while reading this post. So glad that most of the dye was removed... yikes!

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  41. I'm so glad you rescued this - it's one of my favourite quilts ever!

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  42. I felt so heartbroken for you when I first read about the bleeding problem in your other post. We put so much of ourselves into our quilts, so when something like this happens it is almost traumatic. I am was so glad to read today that your were able to rescue this beautiful quilt. It is just lovely and your handquilting puts it over the top!

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  43. I am so glad that you found a solution...I certainly would have freaked at the onset of it :(

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  44. My goodness, what a story! A good reminder to always be cautious with red and white. I've heard that different water composition can make fabrics bleed again -- maybe your water has changed since the fire. Anyway, it's good to know that you were able to soak it out, and that soaking does indeed do the job. Whew!

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  45. Oh geeze, I know EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL.
    Thanks for the tip on the article, I will file that for future reference!

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  46. Hi Audrey what a beauty!! Thanks for the heads up on the bleed! I am making a red and white quilt this year so I think I will do plenty of soaking!!! Clare xx

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  47. I love everything about your quilt! Despite the bleeding, it turned out great. Your hand stitching is just out of this world, it gives me great pleasure just to look at it. Awe-inspiring!

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