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Thread: what to do with faded wall-hanging?

  1. #1
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    To discard or not to discard . . . that is the question. Years ago I made a wall-hanging (~44"x44"). It hung in our stairwell, and although not in direct sunlight, the navy blues and reds have become very faded. If it had the look of an antique, that would be one thing, but it has simply faded quite unattractively. Now what? I'm riddled with quilt-guilt at the thought of disposing of it. Is it possible to salvage through tea-staining or some other method? I'd like to use the stairwell wall for rotating seasonal quilts (once I get around to making them LOL), so I don't mind that it's not there. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Bummer! I hate that, especially when it's a wall hanging or quilt that is much loved. Any chance you could post a picture?

    Without seeing it, if you want to salvage it, perhaps you could use the fabric paints to touch up the colors.

    Was this old fabric or fabric from some place like WalMart or is this fabric that you got at a LQS for $9+ a yard? I know the less expensive fabric can really fade fast.

    Do you wash it a lot? If so, what type of detergent do you use? I know a lot of the detergents we use for washing clothes have a chemical in them that fades fabrics over time. I can't remember the name of the ingredient at the moment. I'll have to see if I can find it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    You could try tea dyeing, it would be the least invasive...others have dyed them blue for instance, then all of the fabrics blend together in various hues of blue.

    Can you put a UV film on the window in the hallway to prevent this from happening again?

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I recently read an article about making book covers from antique quilts that were mostly very ratty but still had some good parts left. Maybe you could make it into smaller things like that? Cutting it up beats throwing it out, right?

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Or, can you applique over parts of it, or embroider on it?

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Use it as a bath rug in the bathroom. Most of my bathrugs are not wanted anymore wallhangings or lap quilts.

  7. #7
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Here's a picture of the quilt. The second picture shows the backing fabric next to the front outer border. You can see the difference in color.

    Part of me is saying that it's okay to part with. It's lived a happy life with me and I can let it go. But to where?? Another part of me is saying I should always keep it because, well, it's a quilt (obvious reason #1) and it's one of only 3 in 20 years that I've kept, not given away as a gift. I really don't have much to show for my work over the years. Thoughts?
    Attached Images Attached Images


  8. #8
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I would not discard it! Even if I took it down and never hung it up again, I would not get rid of it. One day you may decide on just the perfect thing to do with it.....

    I made a bear with jointed arms and legs out of an old utility quilt that my grandmother made. The quilt was so old and ratty and threadbare that I had to work hard to find places to cut bear parts that did not have holes in it! I love that bear and every time I look at it, I think about all the time that went into that quilt and I am glad I still have a little piece of it.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Oooo if you tea dyed this it would give it even more of a country charm look!!! I love it!!! :D:D:D

  10. #10
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the suggestions so far. To address a few questions:

    The fabric was from Fabricland, a decent chain that went out of business a number of years ago. Definitely NOT $9+/yd. as I couldn't afford that back then. LOL.

    Because it's a wall hanging and handquilted, it was only washed maybe 3 or 4 times, but in regular laundry detergent.

    The only light source is a skylight about 15 feet up, which poses access difficulty when thinking about a UV film. It doesn't shine any direct light where the quilt has been, but obviously is still a problem.

  11. #11
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    My thought is that you should definitely keep this, especially since most of what you have made you have given away to others. I would suggest moving it away from where it is now, if for no other reason then to keep it from fading further. If you hadn't shown me the backing fabric I would never have realized it had faded, but seeing the backing fabric and knowing how different it looks, I imagine you really do notice it.

  12. #12
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Quilt Guilt. Cute. I would not want to get rid of anything I made no matter bad it got. Someone else said try fabric paint. That sounds good to me. I have never done it, but it is worth a shot.

  13. #13
    Senior Member grammatjr's Avatar
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    Your quilt is lovely. I would not discard it. I think there have been many good suggestions. I do have a question - is it only the border that makes it unacceptable to you at the moment? The stars seem bright still. If it is just the border, maybe you could put another border in it's place? Otherwise, I think a tea dye would be the perfect answer if you want to leave it whole. Good luck.

  14. #14
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    I think it looks fine the way it is. Keep it.

  15. #15
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammatjr
    Your quilt is lovely. I would not discard it. I think there have been many good suggestions. I do have a question - is it only the border that makes it unacceptable to you at the moment? The stars seem bright still. If it is just the border, maybe you could put another border in it's place? Otherwise, I think a tea dye would be the perfect answer if you want to leave it whole. Good luck.

    Thank you. All of the navy's, which include the appliques, are faded. I think I'll try the tea dye. I've never done it before and am a bit nervous, but at this point, I don't think I can make it any worse.
    :lol:

  16. #16
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    I have a few wall quilt that were made with Navy and Black in them They have faded just like this. The one that has the black border has faded to a purple! I hate it. I can't tea dye because of all the decorations I put on it.
    One navy I could tea dye. I might try that, couldn't be any worse than it is now.

  17. #17
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_MO
    I have a few wall quilt that were made with Navy and Black in them They have faded just like this. The one that has the black border has faded to a purple! I hate it. I can't tea dye because of all the decorations I put on it.
    One navy I could tea dye. I might try that, couldn't be any worse than it is now.

    Several folks here have mentioned painting the fabric. I've never tried that method either, but maybe it would work for your black??

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It is hard to paint or dye quilts without it bleeding into other parts of the quilt. It can also make your fabric stiffer using the paints. You can't avoid the quilting stitches either. Just something to think about.

  19. #19
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    And if it all goes to custard and you hate it after it's dyed, keep it to use as batting for another quilt. Or a dog blanket. Or something! :-)

    I really like the idea of recycling, turning it into something else, or using it for something it wasn't intended for. It just seems wrong to throw something away when you put so much work into it.

  20. #20
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Turn it around for a couple of months so the backing fades to match the front. :lol:

  21. #21
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    If we didn't know it was faded--we wouldn't know! I like it like that! I have a few very faded wall hangings, but I try to see them as done in new colors. :roll:

  22. #22
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    It is hard to paint or dye quilts without it bleeding into other parts of the quilt. It can also make your fabric stiffer using the paints. You can't avoid the quilting stitches either. Just something to think about.
    good to know for future reference. thanks.

  23. #23
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Turn it around for a couple of months so the backing fades to match the front. :lol:
    :lol: :lol: I like the way you think!

  24. #24
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    It is hard to paint or dye quilts without it bleeding into other parts of the quilt. It can also make your fabric stiffer using the paints. You can't avoid the quilting stitches either. Just something to think about.
    I'm told the paint stiks aren't supposed to bleed over like that. They look a lot like fat crayons. I've never used them though I have admired many quilts that have. Hopefully someone who has used them will be able to say whether this will work or not without bleeding over.
    http://www.lauramurraydesigns.com/paintst.php


    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Turn it around for a couple of months so the backing fades to match the front. :lol:
    :lol: :lol: :lol:

  25. #25
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Paint sticks are awesome!!! They do not bleed...they stay right where you put them :D However, they do cover up the stitching...it would be next to impossible to avoid that and still cover all of the faded fabric:wink:

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