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Thread: Quilt disaster on newly finished baby quilt

  1. #1
    Super Member juliasb's Avatar
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    Quilt disaster on newly finished baby quilt

    I am just about to tears and could not wait until morning to get started on trying to fix a disaster. I thought I would be posting a beautiful picture of my newly finished and washed baby quilt for a baby coming in December. I am afraid without help it is not going to happen. I bought the supporting fabric from a reputable fabric company just recently.(I won't say who here). I have been working on this quilt day in and out for weeks. I put the finished quilt in the wash (gentle) and the fabric fell apart in several places. I somehow have to fix these places but I am afraid it will diminish from the look of the finished quilt. And of course I have no way of knowing how well the quilt will hold up for the future if it is starting out like this I have never had this happen in my lifetime where the fabric just fell apart and new fabric at that.
    Here is the finished quilt and a few of the dozen or so places where it fell apart. Or is my only option to just start over the baby is due around Christmas.

    Never in my life have I had this happen.
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  2. #2
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Wow, Julia, that's awful! I've never had that happen with new fabric.
    I wouldn't trust that fabric at all and would try to whip up another quilt.
    Really sorry that happened to you. It's so adorable and you did a great job.
    Bummer.

    I have some vintage fabric that still hasn't been used for this very reason. But new?

  3. #3
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    It looks to be the seam lines that have frayed out? If you used a consistent 1/4 inch seam throughout, then that fabric was poor quality . I would contact where you bought it. So disappointing because it is a darling quilt!
    I might cut out some appliqués with a fusible on the back and placed them over the frayed spots. See if they look okay before ironing them down. If they do I might edge them with a thread that matches your backing fabric and stitch around them.

  4. #4
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    I did have one "new" fabric shred in the wash. It was a black solid. I had bought two dark blues at the same time - same brand - and they washed up "beautifully". It took a long time to get all that black lint and thread out of my machine. Ugh.

    If this were my project - I would just start over.

    I know this thread is not about bleeding, but I have learned to wash everything washable before cutting it. I had given some of that black fabric to another member of the quilting group I was in - and she told me that it "shredded" - I thought I misunderstood her, and thought she said that it "bled".

    Vickie Welsh has more than one blog about washing fabric to remove excess dye (or to see if the fabric is a bleeder) before cutting it. And also minimizing bleeds after assembly.

    https://www.colorwaysbyvicki.com/sav...g-quilt.html#/

    I am in the soak the fabrics (like colors together, in case one has bad manners) in hot water for several hours, wash gently, and dry the fabric before cutting it group.

    If you want to selvage the non-background pieces, you could pick it apart while you are watching TV - but you will also have to pick out the quilting.

    I would contact the place where you purchased that fabric - show them your pictures, along with the sales receipt. I would at least try to get my money back - and you might save someone else from having the same problem.

    If "that" fabric is shredding at almost every seam - I would not even try to fix it. Was it fraying a lot while you were sewing it?

    PS: I also wash the batting (if it is washable) before using it.

    Reasons: A: I prefer the flatter look.
    B: I "assume" that the recipient may - or may not - know how to "properly" wash a quilt - and I want to know that what leaves me will "tolerate" most washings. I do fear bleach, burns, and tears.
    C: Fabrics shrink at different rates - some hardly at all - some a lot.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 11-08-2019 at 06:04 AM.

  5. #5
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    Is this only happening where the lighter fabric is sewn together? It looks like that fabric shrunk more than the others and that caused it to pull apart at those non-quilted seams. I'd still figure that the weave should have been tight enough to hold the seam, but if the fabric was on the lighter weight side, a 1/4" seam is not going to be enough to hold with the stress from shrinkage.
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  6. #6
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    Beautiful quilt. So sorry that happened!! I'd like to know where material was purchased 😖

    I love the appliqué idea mentioned.

  7. #7
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    From your photo, it looks like you didn't sew enough seam allowance. You may have used a longer stitch than needed? And did you prewash and dry the fabric before cutting and sewing it?

    I think the idea to applique on top of the ravels is about all you can do now, to salvage this quilt.
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  8. #8
    Power Poster Homespun's Avatar
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    So sorry this happened. I like the applique idea. I have a quillow I made and used 1/2 " seams as I knew I wasn't going to quilt it close together. After 8 years it still unravels at seams when I wash it! Since it is mine, I just zig-zag across the frayed seams once again. Hope you can salvage this quilt.
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  9. #9
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    This appears to be a seam/shrinkage problem to me. Looks like the fabric shrunk too much for a 1/4" seam. I also like the idea of an applique over the shredded areas.

  10. #10
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    from the images it looks like the seams didn't hold, not the structure of the fabric.
    Or...it doesn't happen with the new stuff apparently, but could it be an older poly thread that melted when ironed?

    What a dreadful disappointment, I'm so sorry Julia. Before I considered repairing, I wash it again, see if any more seams let go. Then you'd know if it was worth the effort. You could cut it down into a table topper or placemats, so not a total loss of time and materials?

  11. #11
    Super Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I am as careful as I can be with my 1/4" seams, especially on a gift like this. I have already started the replacement quilt. I am thankful I have a good stash to pull from. I will use my 1930 repos for this one too. The green I chose I have already tested for strength and color. On close inspection the fabric is weak on the grain. It will spring ever so lightly, not like on the bias, and not spring back. I will be contacting the company I purchased this fabric from today or Monday. Right now I am more concerned about getting a gift ready for this precious new life.

  12. #12
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    The quilt can be saved but not without a lot of work and a lot more quilting to prevent it from happening on other seams. Not sure if it is just the light fabric that is the problem, it doesn't look like the colored fabrics frayed but you may have not posted pics of those areas. If it is just the lights, I echo what others have posted to applique a square of light colored fabric over the frayed areas and then quilt it to death.
    I think the batting shrinkage also contributed.
    Heavy quilting will help to stabilize and reinforce the piecing as well as the fabrics. I would probably do back and forth lines in the lights much like I did in this quilt: https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictures-f5/scrappy-batik-hst-quilt-t293883.html and also do a motif that takes up the entire area of the newly appliqued light squares. In the colored areas I would do more quilting with lines (or loops or a meander anything to add more quilting) running perpendicular to the back and forth lines. It might be worth saving and gift to another baby where you don't have a tight deadline. The quilt is way too cute to trash.

  13. #13
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    What a shame. Applique over the seams of some sort would be the best fix at this point.

    The "useful but not fit" solution for me would be to put strips of fusible interfacing into the exploded area and fuse it down and then do a zigzag or decorative stitch over the fused areas. The other saved but not good option would be to put ribbon over it and stitch that down.

    With those fabrics, maybe a rick-rack would look cute over the whole thing, you might have to take off the binding and redo it but that would be relatively fast. I would sew over both sides of the rick-rack, even with just a half inch width for the reinforcing.
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    maybe applique a circle over that one and as others say, maybe large ric rack or more stitching near all those seams.
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  15. #15
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    I feel so bad for you. By the way the pictures show the place that has come apart looks like it is the seams. Did you sew with a basting stitch by error? I know this as I have done this to a quilt that I was working on. I would contact the place you purchased your new fabric from and make them aware of the quality of the fabric. You might feel better by just making a new baby quilt. The quilt you made is so pretty-can you replace the fabrics that you used with different fabrics with better quality? Good luck to you

  16. #16
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    So sorry this happened to you. I had a similar problem with a loosely woven fabric that I saw was fraying very badly as soon as I started sewing it together. I ended up stitching all the seams with a 1.8 stitch length for the straight seam and then running a wavy seam in the seam allowance. Yes, that was a lot of fun, but it worked. No more fraying and the quilt has been washed a lot. Right now, I think I would zig zag over all the frayed seams and edges in your quilt top and give it to someone as a pet bed. It will be appreciated and loved and you can move on.

    After that fiasco, I changed my stitch for all fabrics to 2.0 for all straight piecing. I still use 1.6 for all my paper piecing.

    The other option would be to trim down all the frayed edges as much as possible and if you have enough of the original fabric, then turn the edges under and do a machine applique over all the seams. That would be a pain for me and would be less likely to happen than making it into a pet bed.

    Another option is to go over each of the other seams for this fabric with a tight zig zag and do a balloon or baby doll or some other cute applique over the ones that have already caused the problem. I've seen some cute paint splats on quilts. Good luck with whatever method you choose.
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  17. #17
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    So sorry this happened to you! Did it only happen where you have that particular fabric? I too, want to know where you got the fabric although I think I might be able to guess.
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  18. #18
    Super Member juliasb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
    I feel so bad for you. By the way the pictures show the place that has come apart looks like it is the seams. Did you sew with a basting stitch by error? I know this as I have done this to a quilt that I was working on. I would contact the place you purchased your new fabric from and make them aware of the quality of the fabric. You might feel better by just making a new baby quilt. The quilt you made is so pretty-can you replace the fabrics that you used with different fabrics with better quality? Good luck to you
    The fabric also failed in other places than the seams. I just didn't take more pictures. I have not touched the length of my stitching so I didn't go into any basting mode. As far as fabrics go, I have already started another quilt and I should be alright. I am saddened that I have to do this but perfection is important. As others have stated it is not a loss as this quilt can be used for other things. Just a bit heartbreaking.

  19. #19
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    I'm so sorry this happened to you.

    To me, it looks like fabric that pulled due to uneven shrinkage. It looks like flannel, and yep, flannel can tear when that happens. I would start over, and prewash the fabrics -- several times if it's flannel -- before making the quilt.

    This is why when people say they don't prewash, I do that Lucille Ball grimace (eeeeee ;-)). You can go 100 times without this happening and then one day....best to at least attempt to get all fabrics on the same shrinkage "page" by prewashing.....
    Last edited by TeresaA; 11-08-2019 at 11:04 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliasb View Post
    The fabric also failed in other places than the seams. I just didn't take more pictures. I have not touched the length of my stitching so I didn't go into any basting mode. As far as fabrics go, I have already started another quilt and I should be alright. I am saddened that I have to do this but perfection is important. As others have stated it is not a loss as this quilt can be used for other things. Just a bit heartbreaking.
    If the fabric failed another thing you can do is contact the manufacturer. Sometimes they will replace it, depending on who it is. If the fabric is branded, it's the same quality no matter where you bought it. But sometimes the batch can be bad.
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  21. #21
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    Terribly sorry this happened. I am now afraid to wash anything quilt related.
    If you are in any kind of a guild or bee, maybe there is someone you could ask. You could even try a LQS or a long armer for suggestions.
    I would rather not speculate on what caused it - I am not really sure where to begin.

  22. #22
    Super Member zozee's Avatar
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    I’m so sorry this happened to your quilt, Julia. You worked so hard on it and were very excited to have it done a month ahead of time. I’d be in tears and angry about the poor quality.

    I think you’re wise to have started over. Poor quality covered up is still poor and might rip worse with time and washing. Besides, putting appliqués all over it might not be comfortable.

    You’ll be fine. Deep breaths. Practice the ole Lamaze breathing —heeheehhoohoo, heeheehoohoo.

  23. #23
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    So sorry this happened to you but how fortunate that you washed it before gifting. I would start over too, if I were you. I'm sure you have made enough quilts to know your quarter inch seam is not the problem.

  24. #24
    Super Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I have finished enough HST's for 4 blocks already. I will start squaring them up tomorrow and then try to get another 4 blocks Sun or Mon. Slowly but surely I will get it done and before the baby is born.
    I will show off the new quilt when it is done, and washed, which should be soon.

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    Just wanted to say I am sorry this happened.

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