Oh a lot has happened since my last post on my Houston Auction donation quilt. After I left you last week, I blocked my quilt and set it in the sun to dry, a mere 2 hours in the sun. And the baby blue silk faded into a putrid color, ugh. Also, I apparently did not wash out my blue wash out pen well enough – there were blue stains on the quilt! I showed the debacle on Facebook and the overwhelming response was it was not as bad as I made it out to be and they would be happy with that quilt.
I actually think not:
This particular stain was not so bad, but there were several of these on the quilt and it bothered me.
There were 4 of these on the quilt and they were unacceptable. To me, the analogy would be this: you purchased a gorgeous dress from Macy’s. When you got home, you discovered a few small stains all over the dress. I daresay most of us would consider that unacceptable. I would expect this quilt to fetch a decent price and I know I would not be happy to later realize that it had stains.
I’ve received many suggestions for “fixes”: applique, paint, stamping, dyeing, overdying, etc. I am not ready to tackle this fix yet. The original quilt is still in time out and I’m not sure when I will take it out. It will probably be in December, after I recover from Houston, Thanksgiving and the many birthdays in my family that happen in that time period.
As to removing the stains, blue wash out on silk is permanent. Some the remedies suggested might work on cotton, but not silk. Silk is an animal fiber and cotton a plant fiber. The chemistry is entirely different. So I will figure out a way to cover the stains. Eventually.
I decided to start over because I do want something to hang in Houston. I previously wrote about how I screwed up my calendar and the quilt that was accepted into the Houston show was not actually available when they needed it, so I had to bow out.
It all started out well…. I replaced the troublesome silk with silk Radiance in a similar color.
When you’re doing circles and the complex trapunto shapes I did, you must mark with something precise; chalk and the like will not do. I opted to use blue wash out for the tree in the middle because no other marking method was visible on all four colors of nubby silk.
I marked the circles using Crayola wash out pens. My friend Betty Jo Tatum had recently done extensive testing and gave them a thumbs up. I did fail to read her blog post carefully – she noted that the orange one was a bit more troublesome to get out. So what did I use? The orange one! (I used other colors as well)
Important to note: Betty Jo does careful, in-depth research and I knew I could depend on her research. But I still should have tested on my fabric using my pens and my water. Lo and behold, when it came time to get that orange out, it was very hard and required elbow grease and repeated treatments. Here is a lesson for you:
Water is a chemical.
Yes, if you think of water as a chemical, it will keep you out of trouble. Things may be fine until you put water on your project and then all manner of things can go wrong: bleeding, shrinking, staining, etc. I think what happened was that the orange washed out in Betty Jo’s water but not in my water. Water is a chemical.
You have to laugh at my Visible Learning Curve: here I was trying to figure out the spacing between my circles. I made quite a few stabs at it before I got it right.
As I proceeded with this quilt, I created even more problems for myself. It was a comedy of errors:
– By using two different kinds of marking products, I had to be uber careful how I treated the quilt. The blue wash out will set with heat and detergent but the Crayola pens needed detergent to remove the mark. That was tricky. I first soaked and swished the quilt to completely remove the blue wash out. I made the right decision on the marking method though; there was not a better way to mark each area.
-That process created another problem. Even though that navy silk border did not bleed on my first quilt, it did on the second. Go figure. It began to bleed in the cool water used to remove the blue wash out . That required that I use Synthrapol to remove the bleeding dye (Synthrapol works better than the dye sheets). Even though I was careful, some of the dye bled onto the Radiance and would not budge. I had to accept that.
-I don’t know why, but the dog gone thing was wonky and I had to block the dickens out of it. It is now well-behaved and square.
-In the process of putting on the sleeve I poked myself and bled all over the place before realizing it. The old spit thing did not work so that required another quilt bath. Sigh.
-I got my sillk from Silk Baron and called them to see if I could figure out why the silk faded so much. I spoke with Andrew (owner I think, forgot to ask) and he has never had that problem with his silk. He sources his silk from India and the color I used is a very popular color. He was perplexed about what could have caused my issue. His webpage does state that his silk should be dry cleaned and he said his silk is primarily used in home decor where the final product would be dry cleaned. So I went outside the box on that one.
Bottom line is that I will probably use Silk Baron again, I love the huge variety of colors they offer. I’ve been using silk for over 10 years and had this problem once before. I will be more careful in the future.
One little finesse-y thing I did: the tree was not showing up well on the brown silk. I went back and put down 2 extra lines of a light gray to highlight the lines on the brown silk. I took it right up to the line where the color changed. You can’t tell what I did but it gave the brown part of the tree the same impact as the rest of the colors.
And here is why you trapunto:
Gotta love that dimension!
Here ya go, side-by-side of the two quilts. I think this clearly shows how that putrid color in the border of the one on the left brings the whole quilt down.
I’ll be sending this off to Houston….just a little late.
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday where all the good links hang out.