Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Baby Quilt is Done!

So the Railroad Tracks baby quilt is finished, all washed up and gifted to the brand new momma. Wowsers, was this quilt a problem child. I haven't had that much trouble finishing up a quilt in years. First, the machine quilting started giving me fits with revealing some bias issues. Always something to be concerned about with improv. piecing, but this one was more stubborn than most.
Always something new to learn!
I had to pin, pin, pin and then re-pin when quilting in the opposite direction. Finally I just started using butterfly pins in all the areas that wanted to push the fabric instead of stitching over and through. An expert I am not, but this one just made me sweat. Thankfully there wasn't any puckering in the back at all and only two or three spots on the front that needed a re-do.
Such a bold, bright looking quilt for me
I also made a rookie mistake {bad girl!} when sewing the binding down and forgot to move the needle over. Something about that walking foot being wider than the average 1/4" foot?*sigh  I rarely ever use a walking foot for binding work, but as you can see from the right side of the quilt, it really needed the help to keep the puckering to a minimum. For some reason that light green block had extreme bias issues {that naturally carried over into the border}. Actually, once machine quilted, I went back and added some hand quilting to just that one block. Most people would never notice, but I thought the 'poofing' was a bit out of control. Oh well, just a baby quilt and all that jazz. Who's gonna notice with a cute little baby around?
It's a true-blue finish!
Uh huh. Then it was washed prior to gifting, like I always do. Go ahead and tell me how crazy that is, but I like to know what I'm gifting. And I love the crinkle from washing and drying, sort of a trademark of mine. We all have our ways... That's when I discovered that there was a major bleeding issue with one of the blue fabrics. If you can't see the remnants of where that blue dye bled right into a white block, then I won't point it out. It's definitely there and so very annoying. Suffice it to say that there was definitely moments of rage and despair 'cuz I always pre-wash my fabrics before attempting any quilt making and these things always take me by surprise.
A little bit of hand quilting
 After three washes and a 16 hour soak, the dye seemed to have stopped bleeding. It was from the same exact fabric in two different blocks--little tiny strips of fabric that literally poured dye into the rest of the quilt with great glee. Once I calmed down from that horrible disaster then I realized that those little pieces were trim-offs from my improv. basket blocks. Woohoo. So I went searching and decided to do a preemptive soak there too. Yeah. Not so good news. The beautiful creamy center turned dingy blue and wouldn't budge even after an 18 hour soak and then later, some good 'ol oxi-clean coaxed even more dye out of the block.*sigh again  Yes, I am currently trying to re-make that particular block.....
A sad looking block
During this time I went hunting for any and all of that same wondrous fabric, only to find two different pieces hanging around. One was the original fabric that I bought last summer--it ended up soaking for between 16-18 hours before surrendering to clear water. The other piece, bought a couple months ago {because I liked it SO WELL, ha!} took over 24 hours before it finally quit bleeding. Different dye batches maybe?
Doing the 12 hour forever soak
Folks, this fun looking fabric is a monster bleeder. Run to the hills if you have any currently residing in your quilts. Just kidding. Immediately try the Vicki Welsh 'Save my bleeding quilt' plan of attack and maybe pray a lot too. She says most dyes will quit bleeding with the 12 hour soak and I've always had good luck with her method. This dye was blue and so very determined, words fail me....
A Melody Miller bleeder fabric
I am so scared of blue fabrics right now, it almost makes me break out in a rash to think of what might be lurking in any of my current ufo's. And to think that I was only concerned about the red fabric in that innocent little baby quilt! Hey, it's all washed up now and presumably all the dye is done trying to escape. What do you think, keep it or toss it? Linking up to sew, stitch, snap, SHARE with Linda and Julie. Regardless of all the trouble with this quilt, it feels really good to have another 2018 finish in. And honestly, most baby quilts get used pretty hard. Better to happen on something like this than something we're more attached to.

22 comments:

  1. OMG, what a lot of dramas you have had. I'm guessing you will be a pre washer of quilting fabrics from now on. Have to admit I don't very often. Thanks for linking to Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE.

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  2. I always pre-wash my quilts before gifting - and continue to be surprised that other people don't. For one thing - I often use basting spray - so I like to know that is washed out before use. But mainly I think quilts look better after a wash - and it helps with making any slightly puckering quilting etc look much better too.

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  3. some fabrics give us the worse time - I have had a few do that too and some where solved and some staying in with a faint ring around where it bled when I gave up

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  4. Now I wash all new fabrics in bowls in hot water first so I can see the dye running. I’ve had a couple of fabrics cycling through rinses for a week. The worst three were teal: a flannel, a batik, and a swirly print. One, I had to throw away. It’s a lot of work and hard on the hands but I do it anyway.

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  5. oh dear, you've had a bit of a drama! Hmm-m-I don't tend to pre wash either, I just figured fabrics these days would be ok. Thanks for the Vicki Welsh link.

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  6. With all that trouble I’d toss the fabric. Not worth the worry

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  7. What a nightmare but glad that you were able to catch it in regards to the baskets project!!!

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  8. What an absolute nightmare but a great reason for washing our finished quilts before gifting them. Hard to imagine how horrified and embarrassed the recipient would be if they innocently washed a gifted quilt for the first time and had that happen. Thanks for sharing the link to Vickie Welch's instructions, this time I'm going to print them out and share with our quilt ministry group.

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  9. That is a super adorable quilt, even if it was a problem child!

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  10. The lovely finished quilt hides all the anguish!
    It's so discouraging when this happens and it does seem to surprise me from time to time which fabrics/colours run.

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  11. Wow - that adorable baby quilt has more drama than a soap opera! I buy so many pre-cuts that I seldom think about pre-washing. When I do buy yardage, however, I follow Vicki Walsh's instructions and have saved several fabrics over the years. I also wash finished quilts before gifting. I got one hysterical phone call from a recipient and decided I should be doing the crying instead. Keep the fabric - it's tamed now!

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  12. I get so upset when something bleeds. I try to be so careful about what fabrics go into a quilt and pre-shrink everything. I've found a piece of red that is a bleeder and so went searching to see if it was in anything else. It's in a king size quilt that is custom machine quilted (pricey). I don't dare use it because it will get dirty and then I'll have to wash it. Of course I used white white because I wanted high contrast. So frustrating!!! I noticed that the light green square had more quilting in it but it all looks great and so I didn't give it much thought. Nice to have a finish.

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  13. What a nightmare! And yes Vicki's method does wonders. I did have a top though where one fabric bled, but another white on white fabric was a fabulous dye catcher. After the long soak, the dye came out of all the fabric except that one. I had to pick out all those now pink pieces (in a quilt of valor) and then replace them.

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  14. oh, no! What a dilemma. Good thing you washed it first before handing the quilt over. You just don't know who might be the stinker in the fabric bin.

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  15. I've had more trouble with red dyes, too, but current dark navy is a new problem for me. It's beyond frustrating to have a finished quilt change colors like that. Good plan to simply remake the block in the larger quilt. Your baby quilt turned out beautifully though.
    I've been wary of the double gauze and voiles that are so popular now - they seem like they would be good candidates for stretching. Not sure if that's the cause of your green. Oh, the trials we quilters endure. ;-)

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  16. What a stress that bleeding fabric. I was lucky I've never had issues with bleeding. Luckily you discovered it in time. The quilt is looking good, just right for a little baby. Warm greetings

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  17. Dear, dear, I detest this bleeding of some fabrics, but ran into this a few years ago with some fabric that came in a bag on the doorstop which I thought was already washed. Wrong.
    But I do love this baby quilt, quite different and interesting!

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  18. Oh dear! I've been pre-washing too, but it sounds like that's no protection, and a blue fabric, not a red one. If we started thinking about it too much we might never make a quilt. I think a not-quite perfect quilt for a baby is actually a good thing: I would feel much more relaxed about using it.

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  19. bleeding is the WORST! I have had great luck with blue dawn.
    cute baby quilt!

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  20. What an adventure! I'm sorry for all the trouble you went through, wow.
    I'll be on the lookout and test my dark blues before using.
    Thanks for the heads up.

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  21. This is a good cautionary tale for me. I don't prewash. When I throw a finished quilt into the washer I just throw in a couple of "Shout Outs" that absorb dye. I always thought that had me covered! Now I know better. I'm off to visit Vicki Welsh's site. Thank you.

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  22. Bravo! The quilt turned out wonderful. Green-my very favorite color. So lively and sweet for a little one.

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