Thursday, July 16, 2009

Panda peril!

One of the tops I completed last weekend was my purple patchwork panda quilt-along (from AJ Designs). I love how it came together—so cute!

Purple Patchwork Panda top
Unfortunately, all is not well in panda-land.

panda top bleeding block highlight
My husband put water in the iron, and I didn't realize it (somehow, the steam billowing out just wasn't clue enough for me). So when I picked up the iron, water dribbled all over one corner of the quilt. I figured it would be fine to just press it dry. But, in doing so, the purple fabric started to bleed. Eeeep! It was just a little bit though. So I let it dry and took it to the sink and used some Synthrapol on it (a quilt appraiser/conservator who spoke at my guild a few months ago swore by its effectiveness at dealing with bleeding fabrics). Yay! It seemed to be working.

front of bleeing block
Unfortunately, I used hot water (hitting palm to forehead now) and it started to bleed in another spot. A lot. Gah! This is all extra-aggravating since I pre-wash all my fabrics for the express purpose of preventing such events. Sigh. The best picture I was able to take was of the back of the block... it shows the bleeding pretty well.

bleeding block back
I'm thoroughly disheartened at this point. And I'm also in a quandary. This quilt was supposed to be a gift for a new baby. On the one hand, with some more Synthrapol (and COLD water) and a thorough wash (or even two) after quilting, I think it will be okay. But, on the other hand... what if it's not??? Do I invest the time if I'm just not sure?

The bleeding is pretty much only in one block. I think I have enough purple to make a replacement block. So would it be better to make the extra effort to remake and replace the offending block? Or should I just go for it as is, and see what happens?

What would you do?


  1. Oh my, I would be crying. Sorry I can not help, never had this happen to me. I will be interested it what others have to say though. I hope you figure something out.

  2. DOH!!!

    I would try washing the whole thing.

    I had this happen to me for a gift baby quilt too. :(

  3. You could remake the block but why is it bleeding in the first place?
    What will happen when it gets washed?

  4. Since this is going to be used for a baby, it needs to withstand many washings. When I prewash my fabric I always add a Color Catcher (manufactured by Shout) sheet to the load. Before putting the fabric in the dryer I always check the Color Catcher sheet to see if any of the colors bled during the wash. If it did, I put the fabric through another wash with a fresh Color Catcher and I continue to do this until the Color Catcher is white. I don't think I've ever had to wash the fabric more than three times.

    I know this doesn't help you now. But, if it was me, I'd put the top into a lingerie bag with a Color Catcher sheet and wash the top in cold water and detergent. It's possible the Color Catcher will absorb any bleeding dye, including what residual remains in the affected block.

    Good luck!

  5. Cute panda! Sad what happened. I think I would try washing the whole quilt.

  6. I can't believe it bled after you had already pre-washed the fabric! I would be hesitant to throw it in the wash as a top only. I have done this in the past and have had bad luck with distortion and fraying, which is not to say that you will, too. Re-making the block sounds good, but if there are other blocks using the same fabric, those will probably bleed as well.

    I know this is a gamble, but I would finish up the quilt (layer, quilt, bind) and then wash with the Color Catcher until it is white. If you decide not to give it as a gift, then you still have a cute quilt for yourself...

  7. I might be too late to put in my two cents but since that fabric is used in the rest of the quilt I would probably wash the whole top with the Synthapol and see if that helps. Maybe use several of the color catcher sheets at the same time. I know one lady who put 5 in the wash to catch the dye.