Bleeding reds and an idea I’m percolating

You guys know that I am making a Triple Feathered Star for the guild’s raffle quilt.  And, it’s going to be red and white.  And that my practice piece was not red and white…enough.


I use Burgundy instead of red.  I have for a long time.  Burgundy doesn’t bleed like red.  There is no actual red in my stash.  It’s all burgundy, tomato red, or pink.  Shades of red that don’t really bleed very badly.

The committee helped me pick fabrics and sent me home with them to begin the block.

And, I washed, and washed and washed…five times.  And, the color catcher was still pink.  So, on Saturday morning, I put each one in its own white corning ware dish full of hot water.  And, three of them bled.  So, I wrote the committee and asked what to do and whether people that tried retayne were having good luck with it…and suggested we change the color from red (that one didn’t go very far).

One of the members sent me this link.  Okay, I’m game.  So, I pull out my dye pot and I put about five gallons of water in it and I heat it up almost to boiling and I turn off the heat, add a little gentle dishwashing detergent and submerge those fabrics in and exhale.  And, I agitate them for as long as my arm will stir.

I pulled a sample of the water every hour for the first few hours, then went to bed. I poured the sample on a clean white paper towel and each one was clear.  I got up the next morning, stirred the pot and took another sample and it was slightly pink.  That was at the ten hour mark.  Somewhere between then and twelve hours, the water got much pinker.  I rinsed the fabrics and again, put each one in a white dish of hot water and let them soak.  Then, I wrung them out.  No pink.

So, they got dried and ironed and on Sunday afternoon, I cut out all but the big outer edge sections of the quilt and have started the straight line piecing from which I’ll cut sub-units.

From now on, instead of continuing to wash fabric until it stops bleeding, I’m going to try this method.  It’s much more water conservative and that’s really important here.

The other idea I’ve been toying with is based on my fabric collecting.  I don’t really buy any serious fabric quantities anymore.  I have a large stash to shop from.  But, I have sticky fingers when it comes to fat quarters.  And, every time I go to some special quilt related event, I tend to pick up four or five fat quarters.  One here, one there, spreading the little money I spend on fabric among as many vendors as I can.

They aren’t bought with a plan and they don’t mean anything.

Except they reflect the mood I’m in that day better than anything I can think of.

January quilt shopping trip with the family.  I was putting the Civil War Stars quilt together and was in a Civil War repros kind of a mood.


March.  Clearly spring flowers and growth are on my mind.


So, what if I took these little “moods” and instead of washing them and sorting them into the stash, I actually make something out of them?  Just a little something to commemorate the day.  Maybe it’s a block or a doll quilt or something miniature.  I haven’t thought it that far out yet.  But, at the end of the year, I’d have this “something” that would tell about my happy quilt related times.  And, tell a story about who I am.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Hi-ho.  work beckons.  I am so not excited.

At least, not about work.



lw said...

That link was great, thanks for including it. I also avoid reds for the same reason you do, they don't seem to want to stop bleeding.

I've often wondered if I would make different or better quilts if I made them when I bought the fabrics instead of setting them aside till I finish whatever it is I'm working on. One of my best quilts started as a test run for something that never got made; I used the fabrics that I chose right at the moment, and the result was really pretty. Go for it!

kathy s said...

Lane, thank you for posting the link about getting bleeding out. i have a quilt made with my hand-dyed turquoise fabric that bled, whatever i did just made it worse. i am going to try vicki's method.
i read your blog regularly, love your quilts and your observations on life. kat, typing with my left hand for now.

Anonymous said...

When I was growing up, my Mother would soak fabric in vinegar to stop the bleeding. Don't know if this still works, because I grew up during the dark ages. lum