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Thread: Fabric Bleed on Auction Quilt

  1. #1
    Junior Member homefrontgirl's Avatar
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    Fabric Bleed on Auction Quilt

    Okay smart quilters, I have a quilt issue and I'm humbling asking for advice.

    I made a quilt (got in done in March!) for our family reunion auction that will be held on July 4th. It was this one: Stars & Stripes Quilt by Missouri Star

    I didn't use the pre-cuts because I've had problems with bleeding before, so I bought yardage and cut my own red, white, and blue strips. I pre-washed everything, but apparently not enough.

    Quilt is back from the LA and I got it labeled and bound. We have cats, so I always wash the quilt before it leaves the house. I used 4 color catchers and the red still bled on the white. So here are my options:

    1. Make the same quilt again. I have some of the strips left. However, my mojo is lacking for making the same quilt twice.

    2. Make an entirely new, easy quilt. I have two jelly rolls that I could use, but I'd need suggestions for patterns.

    3. Pretend I never made a quilt, stuff it in a closet, and go to the auction with no item.

    4. Put the original quilt in the auction and go about my business.

    Thoughts? Advice? Has this ever happened to you? I'm especially sad about the whole thing. The auction isn't for charity, just to raise funds for the next reunion and to have a little fun. I do have a reputation for putting in high bid items though. Thanks in advance.
    Happy quilting everybody!

  2. #2
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    I think you are to wash it in Dawn dishwashing liquid. I believe that is the one that takes the rest of the fading out.
    Please look for this discussion here on the board.

  3. #3
    Junior Member homefrontgirl's Avatar
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    I have some Dawn. What if I dried it in the dyer already?
    Happy quilting everybody!

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You can get the bleed out of the quilt (option #5). It doesn't matter that it went through the dryer. Dryer heat is not enough to permanently set loose dye particles. There are a couple of different ways to do it.

    (1) Here is a link to another thread involving a bleed on a show quilt. Read through entirely to the end to find out how she used Synthrapol to remove the bleed. https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...x-t144836.html

    (2) Another method uses Dawn dishwashing soap. Here is a link to it:
    http://andsew4th.blogspot.com/2015/0...ing-quilt.html

    Edit: Dawn (especially the Pure type that is clear, not blue) and Synthrapol are apparently very similar products. I have purchased Synthrapol from Amazon.

  5. #5
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Color catchers were manufactured for ordinary household laundry, not the massive amounts of industrial dye that some quilting fabric retains. So sorry to hear of your troubles. Even if you have dried the quilt, you can still attempt to remove the dye, the worst thing that can happen is it doesn't work. However, instead of the color catchers, try this method. This is how a hand-dyer removes excess dye from her fabrics.

    Save my bleeding quilt by Vicki Welsh
    Last edited by Peckish; 06-27-2018 at 08:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    When I was young my dad helped with the laundry...... my red white and blue dress had red faded on the white collar. The dry cleaners didn't have time so they told my mom to wash it in Wisk. It all came out. I don't know if you can still buy that product or not but it would be worthwhile if it works for you...
    I would try and save the quilt if at all possible. Jmho
    Jennifer: Organized in my dreams.
    🌷RIP dear Tigger....you are missed!
    Buddybear's Mom ...Yorkie Fur Baby

  7. #7
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    This is exactly one of the primary reasons I treat my quilting fabric with a product that I have previously used to set the dye in the fabric I buy for quilts. The Number One reason I wash all my fabric is the chemical residues which remain in the fabric -- I am asthmatic, and I won't risk having the unwashed fabrics in my house. I always test every fabric I'm using in a quilt by cutting a strip about a half-inch wide and 6 inches long, and immersing the strip in a glass of the hottest tap water available. I leave the strip in the glass of hot water for about an hour, then dip a solid white paper towel in the water. The white paper towel will reveal whether the fabric is a bleeder. If it is, then I use Ritz Laundry Treatment Dye Setter to permanently set the dye in the fabric. I have used this product quite a few times and I've never had a treated fabric bleed. I have no financial or other interest in the Ritz product -- it's just that I have used it for several years and have found it to work every time. Today's fabrics are dyed chemically, not organically, and most of the old-time home remedies just won't work on them. The red and white log cabin quilt (my avatar) is an example of how this product works. Every one of the red fabrics were tested, treated and did not bleed thereafter. Discretion is the better part of valor -- I always wash my quilts using color-catchers!

  8. #8
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    I'm with Peckish---Go to Save my bleeding quilt by Vicki Welsh. No need to make another quilt! I successfully used her method once. Follow her instructions to a T, including putting water in bins ontop of the quilt to make sure every thread stays submerged. I put my quilt in the tub entirely face down because all the bleeding was on the front---further insurance that every thread of the quilt top would stay submerged.

  9. #9
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    Oh how we all have suffered at one time or another. Go ahead and try all these remedies.....they all work on some dye bleeds, but the manufacturers keep getting ahead of us with their new dyeing methods. After you have done your best, go ahead and proudly display it and make no apologies. No quilt that you made with love deserves to be put in a closet.
    And if I was considering buying the quilt personally, I would be glad to know the extent of any red dye bleed. I would pass on any quilt with red because I would assume it had not been washed and I would worry about the "unknown bleed". I would pay a little less, but at least I would buy it.

    I once made a red and white Jacobs ladder king size bleeder and, worse, the blue marker bleed into the batting and backing (documented in my QB Blog). After trying all the products, and weeks of scrubbing and drying, most, but not all came out. I was so discouraged but my daughter came along, saw it, scarfted it up, and it has been on her bed ever since .... about 2 years now. And when I visit her, the quilt is so lovely, I do not notice any of the remaining marks....and she still loves it. So cheer up, chin up, no quilt is perfect, but we love them all!

  10. #10
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    Please update us on what you do. Anxious to hear about it.

  11. #11
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    For next time - - -

    I used to "just wash" my fabrics - but after I had a bleed when using a sizing/starch - I have started soaking the fabrics i(even whites and pastels!!!!)

    n hot tap water for at least two hours before washing them. I use kettles, buckets, or a sink. I like to be able to see what is going on.

    I sort by color - so if one of the fabric releases some dye, it won't be a big issue - more dark green on a dark green is not as big of a deal as dark green on white!

    If one of these fabrics is turning the water an intense color, I isolate it and rinse it some more.

    If it won't quit bleeding/releasing color - I consider it defective and will try to return it to the store. Which is a good reason to save receipts and wash the fabrics fairlyl soon after bringing them home.

    I bought a batch of bad black fabric and did not get around to washing it until years after buying it. So sad, too bad, the seller told me.

    Anyway, good luck with your stain removal. I think that the above methods will work.

    I would still bring the quilt for the auction - sometimes a quilt that is already "broken in" will become the most loved quilt in a home.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 06-28-2018 at 02:51 AM.

  12. #12
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    I'm sure your bleeding prob can and will be resolved with all the info here.

    what really erks me is the fact that the cost of cotton fabric has skyrocketed yet we as the consumer have to take so many precautionary steps after purchase to make sure whatever it is we are planning to make doesn't become a faded mess! And there doesn't seem to be a resolution this....it just gets worse and worse......wonder if yarns are doing the same bleeding.......

  13. #13
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Definitely try Vicki's method that Peckish linked to. Has worked for me and many show quilters too! The key is lots and lots of water to dispurse and dilute the dye particles. If you have a low water usage washing machine that may have contributed to your initial bleed as the excess dye was able to settle on the other fabrics. It just shows the most on the white. Even if you can't get the bleed out, you should follow the advice of Jane Quilter.

  14. #14
    Junior Member homefrontgirl's Avatar
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    ****Update****

    Thanks for all of your sympathy and advice. I appreciate it so much.

    I used the Dawn method and I now have a stain-free quilt! I'm beyond happy!

    True confession: While it was soaking, I did start a new quilt top and sent an urgent text to my LA. However, now that crisis has been averted, I'll be finishing the new quilt top at a later date.

    Geri B - I agree that it seems we have to do more and more to avoid this problem. What is going on?

    Again, thanks everyone!
    Happy quilting everybody!

  15. #15
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update that the Dawn worked. I'll definitely remember that
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  16. #16
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Glad to know the Dawn worked!

    Regarding dyes bleeding these days, some of that is due to regulations regarding the chemicals that can be used. Some of the older chemicals were very harmful to workers' health and to the environment and have been banned in the U.S. However, some of the chemicals no longer used in fabric dyes were also responsible for early deterioration of fabric. So, there are advantages and disadvantages to the chemicals used in today's fabrics. I, for one, am willing to trade some additional bleeding for a better environment and better health for workers. Plus, the extra bleeding is manageable simply by using Synthrapol or Dawn and sufficient water to dilute the dye bleeds.

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    What Prism said!

  18. #18
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    So happy to hear your success with the bleeding quilt.
    Carol

  19. #19
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Me, too! I apologize for getting "on the soap box" with this -- this happened to me on my first bed-sized quilt -- but I found out about the bleeding BEFORE I cut my borders, and the product I used is a safety procedure I go through more for my own peace of mind. I'm not selling it -- I'm not selling anything. I just know it works, but it won't work AFTER you cut and assemble your quilt! I do pre-wash everything because of asthma, but I also check out the colors -- it's a lot easier to prevent (at least for me) than it is to clean up a bleeding quilt. Physically, I can't handle the bath tub so if I have any doubts, I pre-treat! I'm very, very happy that the bleeding came out!

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