Sunday, June 26, 2016

I have a horrible cold, so I'm not going to go anywhere near my baby granddaughter until I'm over it.  That gave me a weekend at home, and on Friday night I pulled out some books to look at, in the hope that I would find a new project to inspire me. I've  whittled the UFO list down to 17 items, (I ditched one that was just a single block) and that seems such a pitiful number to get anxious about.  I can afford to add a few new things to that list without it feeling overwhelming.  In fact, I think anything under 20 is just fine.

I finally settled on the cover quilt from this book;

and worked out rough sizes and pulled out some scraps from the scrap drawers. 

The main fabrics in this are mid-brown tones, and I have a huge number of them in the stash.  It won't be a problem to find a few dozen of them, plus some bluey greys.  There are 100 pieced units in this quilt, and I could probably make it like a charm quilt, with no fabric used more than once. But I won't, because I'm chopping up scraps until there are no more left, and that means the fabric will get repeated until it's all gone.
Last night I made some sample blocks, just playing with the pattern and trying to decide the best way to press all those seams.

 I thought this red might do, but it's just too vibrant for the more subdued look I'm going for.
These two reds are more like it, but I have reservations about the old Jinny Beyer one on the left. 
It has to be 20 years old at least, and I bought it and some companion prints from my friends patchwork shop in the '90s.  One of the companion prints I used in a quilt and it bled everywhere and stained every fabric it could reach; that made me a bit wary of this one.  Time to test it and see if it's as bad as the other one.
 That's pretty conclusive; this print is going to bleed.  The question is, will it stain adjacent fabric?
Before I washed the fabric I stapled a scrap of washed white fabric to one corner; the test fabric should be washed, so there's no sizing or finish to protect it from the loose dye in the water.

And the answer is yes, it will stain other fabric, and not a nice red either.  It leaves a dirty orangey mark.

Now I have to ask myself it this is such a disaster.  I will wash the red fabric and remove the loose dye.  It might continue to lose dye in subsequent washes, but this may just add to the look I want for this quilt; old, used, well-loved.  I think I will use it, but it's much better to be aware that it might bleed than to just cross my fingers and hope it won't.
Back in the early patchwork days Jinny Beyer was among the first people to bring out fabric ranges dedicated solely to patchwork.  The earliest ones were dyed to decorating and fashion specifications, because the manufacturers had no idea as to how they would be used, as part of heirloom quilts.  So those first fabrics faded and bled.  The industry soon realised their mistake and made their fabrics more colourfast and lightfast, but some of those first fabrics are still in stashes, still waiting to give up their dye.  This one is about to be used, finally.


Sue SA 6:21 AM  

Good luck with all those tiny half square triangles and finding the right red.

Karen in Breezy Point 7:53 AM  

Good for you checking that fabric--I would have blundered ahead and been very sorry in the end! I love the new project you have chosen--lots of HST's in your future, but it should be a good stash buster!

Nancy Anne in the Finger Lakes 8:00 AM  

Do you have Shout Color Catchers in OZ? They are made by S C Johnson. They capture the dye expelled from fabric into the wash water and keep your creations from being stained/streaked/made ugly by dyes migrating to other fabrics! If you can't find it in your local market or Amazon please let me know as I'd be happy to hook you up!

Anonymous,  8:40 AM  

Why don't you wash the entire suspect piece with Retayne if you don't want it to bleed. Isn't that the surest method of avoiding the bleed?

nestki 2:06 PM  

I usually wash the bleeding fabric in first hot, then cold water, over and over in a bowl or the sink until the water runs clear. Once or twice I have found a fabric that never stopped bleeding. If I am washing a quilt that I didn't make for the first time, I use the color catchers in the washing machine and check how much dye they absorbed during the wash.

jude's page 3:26 PM  

Do hope you are feeling better soon, that little baby will grow so fast. I have one (Granddaughter) that is almost 12 months old, and it only seemed like yesterday that she was born.

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