Need advice

Old 08-24-2021, 10:42 AM
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Unhappy Need advice

I'm new to msg. brd. I joined because I need advice. I washed a quilt which had never been washed. The colors are not as vibrant as before, and now the cotton batting inside puckers. Is there any method, no matter how tedious, to take quilt back to former self? It's a block quilt. I washed it in Woolite. I dried it in dryer. Would washing it again with Woolite Dark restore color? Would ironing it when it's wet undo the puckering?
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:37 AM
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Welcome from Texas.
I'm not sure what you mean by the batting inside puckering but it might be that you did not quilt it close enough together. If you mean puckering as in the look of an entire washed quiIt then that is another story. All quilts look different after they are washed. They don't have that smooth, unwashed look as before. Personally, I love the look of a washed quilt. I have some old quilts that my DH's mother & grandmother made & the batting inside them has sort of "balled up" over time. I think it's because they did not have batting like we have today.
I can't answer your question about the vibrant look of it. Maybe you could post a picture for us...a "before" washed & an "after" washed would be helpful.
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Old 08-24-2021, 01:00 PM
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I'm so sorry you had to come here with a bad experience. Are you a quilter yourself? It is always possible to undo all the work and redo it, but I usually have learned to live with my mistakes.

A picture would help. It might not help, but trust me I know the devastation of opening up the washing machine to a quilt just ruined visually by running dye...

Typically dye loss and shrinkage results are very difficult to undo, while there are some thing we can do to mitigate bleeding dye damage, no real way to get the color back in once it has escaped.. There are products and techniques you can use to stabilize further loss, but no way back to prewashed condition -- even if you took everything apart.

Many people deliberately do not prewash because they want that puckered effect after washing the completed top. If you are sure the batting is cotton, you can iron it. If not sure and it is poly, that could give you even more irreversible damage so maybe try small test on the back side. You still might not get what you want after ironing. Other than that, the answer is to take out all the work and re-do it, but again, the fabric is not going to return to being unwashed.
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Old 08-25-2021, 10:29 AM
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Thanks for the advice. If it is cotton batting, should I use a cool iron or steam or the cotton setting on the iron? I'm not sure which temp is most effective.
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Old 08-26-2021, 04:19 AM
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I would do a test on the back side first, but I would probably use a very hot iron with bursts of steam. Again, do a test if you can, preferably on scraps if you made it yourself. I don't use it myself, but maybe a spritz of spray starch will help you get the look you want -- again test on something (anything even) before using on your project. You don't want to make more work for yourself.

In this sort of thing, you are really "pressing" or blocking, not ironing in sweeping motions which will make things move about. You want to stamp down, maybe wiggle a little, pick up and do the next corner.

Me and my tools -- I might make a cardboard template with an opening the exact block size I wanted (and then maybe have to cover with tinfoil to thwart the steam). Is harder with an entire quilt, but basically the concept of blocking a piece of embroidery, getting things back into square.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:22 AM
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Welcome to the QB. I too am sorry you are having trouble with your quilt. Iceblossom gave you great advice and as she said there is no turning back. I personally like the 'wrinkly' look of after washing a quilt. If I am making a wall hanging I do not wash it as I want the smooth lines of the fabric. Hind sight doesn't help you with your quilt but I hope you are successful in some restoration of your quilt. Again welcome to the QB.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:29 AM
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Cotton batting puckers when washed. Most of us quilters find that a desirable effect. I don't know of anything that will restore color once it's out of the fabric. You may have to grow to love the quilt as it is, and consider it a learning experience.

Don't bother ironing your quilt, as the puckering is due to shrinkage.

Wash in cold water from now on, to preserve your color.
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