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Thread: Changing Fabric/Fabric Color After Quilt is Complete

  1. #1
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    Changing Fabric/Fabric Color After Quilt is Complete

    Hello,

    I am a novice quilter and new to this forum. My boyfriends mother, Sharon, makes beautiful quilts, and so me and my boyfriend asked Sharon to make one for us to give to my sister and her soon-to-be husband as a wedding gift. We will pay her for costs as well as her time that she put into making it.

    It has been very difficult finding the right color pattern, especially since I live 1.5 hrs away from Sharon so our communication has been via texts. We finally decided on the color scheme, but now that the quilt is coming together, the colors look very different from the pictures, and I know my picky sister will not like it at all. I have no idea what to do because Sharon is such a sweet woman and potentially my mother-in-law.

    Is there anything that can be done either by me or a professional quilter to remedy the situation? Is is possible to somehow modify the color of one patch, so the colors fit better? Any embellishments that you would recommend?

    This is a picture of the quilt so far, Sharon wants to use the same dark green fabric shown as the border. This picture looks closer to the actual colors than the ones I received from June via texts.

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    Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
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    This is the nightmare that every quilt maker fears!!!

  3. #3
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    My advice would be to go ahead and pay her, as planned, thank her profusely and if you think your sister won't like it, keep it yourself. Tell Sharon you fell in love with it and couldn't part with it. That quilt is too close to being done to change much. Plus, see above post.

  4. #4
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    I think the batiks are beautiful. I don't think there is much you can do without ripping out fabrics and replacing them. That is a lot of work.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by suern3 View Post
    My advice would be to go ahead and pay her, as planned, thank her profusely and if you think your sister won't like it, keep it yourself. Tell Sharon you fell in love with it and couldn't part with it. That quilt is too close to being done to change much. Plus, see above post.
    That's what I was thinking also. After the border is on and the quilting is done you may like it better. What would your sister not like about it? The color? The pattern? What does she like? Hope things work out for you. BrendaK
    Be kind to yourself, by being kind to others. When you help others you help yourself.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Scraps's Avatar
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    Smile - pay for it happily - give it to your sister or keep it -------------- would your future mother in law know if your sister doesn't use it?? I would never let on it wasn't what you expected.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Selecting fabric for a quilt is so hard. I always fear that I won't end up liking the finished quilt, even when I can actually see the fabric in person. That is why I ask the person I am making the quilt for to select the pattern and the fabric. That way they get what they asked for, and everyone is happy. It is too late for that...sort of.

    You could do what suern3 suggested, and keep the quilt. Then you could share with your sister a few simple patterns that you are comfortable making...even as a beginner, there are some you can enjoy making. Have your sister select the fabric, and then make the quilt yourself. You could tell Sharon that seeing the quilt she made inspired you to make one for your sister yourself. If you are unsure of sandwiching the three pieces, perhaps Sharon could do that part for you...for pay, of course.

    I really feel for you. Making a quilt is not cheap, and now you have a quilt you don't really like. Have you seen it in person? Maybe it will look better to you in person. Sometimes the border sort of makes the quilt.

    At any rate, welcome to the board. I am sure you will get more advice. Folks here have good ideas.

    Dina

  8. #8
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    My blue isn't your blue.
    Her red isn't his red.
    The Joneses yellow is more orange the the Smith's.

    Nobody sees color just like the next person; therefore it nearly always behooves you (how about THAT old fashioned word!) to pick/choose/buy your own fabrics when you are having someone make clothing, quilts, drapes, chair covers, or baby things for you.

    Let this be a lesson learned, keep the secret "close to the vest" - as they say in card games - and let your potential MIL believe it was perfect. Someday, years from now when you are as close as her daughter, you can tell the story and all have a great laugh about it.

    Jan in VA, who makes commissions for people who are always required to be present when the fabrics are purchased for their quilts.
    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
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    This is a very dangerous and hard to do solution. Ask your future mother-in-love for your scrap fabrics. The colors that your sister will not like and that will keep her from using the quilt can be recolored if your are super careful and have some experience with coloring fabric. You will need to experiment on the scraps first. Find the product that works for you. I would recommend you check out the ones available from Dick Blick. When you find the product that produces the color you want, sew a small quilt section, top, batting middle and back complete with some quilting stitches. Practice coloring the fabric until you can color only the top fabric with no bleeding to adjoining fabric and no bleeding to the bottom fabric. This is very difficult, but it can be done. Considering the patience needed you probably need to have at least a week to accomplish this after you decide on the product.
    There is a good chance of a ruined quilt if you have less than a perfect result. This is usually only done by someone with considerable painting experience or fiber art experience. I recommend you really think long and hard if you haven't done something similar to this before. It is quite hard.

  10. #10
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    It would be easier to remake the top than to change the color!! She may suprise you and really like it. If not take it back, keep it and get her a Walmart quilt that she can return if she doesn't like it! (Was I sounding harsh here?)

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    Super Member sew_Tracy's Avatar
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    In short, tea stain?

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    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Not knowing what your sister won't like , it's kind of hard to say what can be done. My suggestion is to maybe pull the colors together in quilting with a variegated thread or a quilting motif in a single complementary thread color. Sometimes the quilting and thread color can change the entire look of a quilt. Good luck!
    Joyce

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    I'm curious why you say she won't like it.

    There are all kinds of ways to change the appearance of the quilt, but it comes down to what she doesn't like about it. Applique circles, Flowers, stars & moons or complete pieces of another fabric to add interest & perhaps, cover the one you & she don't like. Add another applique color which could be a "zinger" in any design you want. Or use fabric paint to add dimensional squiggly lines after quilting on the part you think she won't like. Or would she like some lace or beading added? You are looking at a one dimensional top now. Quilting with dense quilting in some areas, then less in other with contrasting threads can change the whole appearance.

    My suggestion would be to finish the quilt, show it to her, then let her help you decide how to improve it to her standards. If she doesn't like it, change it to be something you could love. And next time you want a quilt made....go out to the Internet & find a wonderful quilt with colors & a pattern you like. It really makes the color coordination process a lot easier. FYI... I am a beginning quilter too & really am no good at picking more than 3 or 4 colors. I love all the wonderful quilts we see on QB & they have inspired me. Let them inspire you!
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I think it looks great. A picky person is very hard to please, if not impossible. Things like that are better left to her to pick for herself. That's what I think.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  15. #15
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Have the quilt finished as is. It is a beautiful piece of work and trying to change anything now will be very difficult, expensive and time consuming. I wouldn't think twice about giving it to your sister - she may just love it! If she doesn't, take it home and buy her something else. It is just one of those lessons we quilters learn - unfortunately there is no fix. Be sure to smile and tell the quilter what a great job she did as it is very hard to make a quilt for a paying customer - lots of stress.

  16. #16
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    This is 100% great advice. And I agree it is beautiful. Give it with love and pride.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose View Post
    Have the quilt finished as is. It is a beautiful piece of work and trying to change anything now will be very difficult, expensive and time consuming. I wouldn't think twice about giving it to your sister - she may just love it! If she doesn't, take it home and buy her something else. It is just one of those lessons we quilters learn - unfortunately there is no fix. Be sure to smile and tell the quilter what a great job she did as it is very hard to make a quilt for a paying customer - lots of stress.

  17. #17
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I think it looks great. A picky person is very hard to please, if not impossible. Things like that are better left to her to pick for herself. That's what I think.
    These are my thoughts exactly. I'd let my sister choose her own bedding and not try to do it for her if she is THAT picky. (But don't often brides want to pick out their own first quilt).

    Keep the quilt and of course, pay for it without mentioning the fact that the colors are not what you were thinking.

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    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, what a dilemma! I agree that there really isn't anything to be done except be kind, be gracious. Pay her and keep it for yourself or to give as a gift to someone else. Next time, go shopping for the fabric yourself and have another one made.
    Krystyna
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    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat625 View Post
    It would be easier to remake the top than to change the color!! She may suprise you and really like it. If not take it back, keep it and get her a Walmart quilt that she can return if she doesn't like it! (Was I sounding harsh here?)
    this is a great reply and one that I was thinking. Remember that this is a gift from you (and your boyfriend's mother -- even if you "reimburse her for the materials and her time -- what about her efforts!) . Hopefully your sister will have the same thoughts. The quilt is lovely. Even if it were not my favorite colors, I would love it. The pattern and color combination is great.
    One step at a time, always forward.

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    I don't think that is harsh

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat625 View Post
    It would be easier to remake the top than to change the color!! She may suprise you and really like it. If not take it back, keep it and get her a Walmart quilt that she can return if she doesn't like it! (Was I sounding harsh here?)
    You can't please all the people, all of the time, and some people you can never please. If she is so picky it is probably the best to let her pick her own quilt from a store and you keep the beautiful, individual, one of a kind quilt that Sharon has made. I know which I would prefer but then I am old (and wise?) and can appreciate the work that goes into these things.

  21. #21
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    If it were me, and I had asked my boyfriend's mother to make a quilt, I would go ahead and give it my sister as planned. I think in the interest of future family harmony, you can't recolor it, change it or not give the quilt as a gift unless you want to create a terrible situation between you and his mother. If you keep it, or change it , you will have a lot of fast talking to do. Chances are your boyfriend's mother will not see it in use ( or NOT in use ) at your sisters house, so whether she uses it or not would not require an explanation. Besides, as others have said, she may actualy like it!

  22. #22
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    Short of starting over there is not much you can do. Give it to your sister, she may like it. If she doesn't like it take it back and buy her something else. If your boyfriends mother asks why you have it, tell her the truth, your sister didn't like the colors but you did. Don't start a relationship with a future mother-in-law with a lie.

    The quilt is beautiful and like others have said once the border and quilting are done the look will totally change.
    Marie

  23. #23
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    No one has mentioned fabric paints. I haven't used them personally, but I've seen fabric artists embellish landscape quilts by adding shadows on the leeward side of tree trunks, etc. I think the quilting will add so much to this, but if you need something else, think about fabric paints.

    What if MIL is reading this? ! ? ! ?

  24. #24
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I say give it to the sister. If she doesn't like it, will she tell you? If so, tell her to regift it to someone in her new husbands family who greatly admires it...hopefully, her new mother-in-law! Your (possibly) MIL will probably never know what your sister does with the quilt. Just tell her what a beautiful job she did, give her a little more money than she charged you and get on with your life! Good luck.

  25. #25
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Difficult situation. I think I would pick one of the colors that's in the quilt that you think your sister would like the best, and tell her to use it for the border. Then, I would gift it to her, you may be surprised, she may love it, if not, you keep it, and get her a different gift.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

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