Monday, May 7, 2012

Winning attitude

I've had to check my attitude a bit this past week.  Things haven't quite gone according to plan.  But I'm proud of myself for seeking and latching onto that ever-present silver lining.

First, lots of great ideas for names for the Charm Quilt.  The Random Number Generator selected commenter #11, Colorslut, as the winner of the 25 Charm Squares from me, which will be going out in the mail soon.

But before the name could be decided, there was a minor incident.  You see, my washer is on the blink again, so I brought the quilt to town with me to wash at the laundrymat along with the rest of my laundry.  I thought I'd be fine since I always pre-wash my fabrics, but I brought a couple of Shout Color Catchers to throw in, just in case.  Of course, I forgot that not all the  Charm Squares came from my stash, so some of them were from fabric that had never been washed.  And wouldn't you know it, some of the fabrics ran.  Not a lot, just enough to annoy me, and here I was, at a laundrymat half an hour from my home and a tight schedule and no extra color catchers, etc.  I had no choice but to take the quilt home with me.

I did a quick search online before leaving town, though, to see if there was something I should buy and soak the quilt in to fix the problem before drying the quilt.  Someone mentioned RIT Color Remover.  OK, I know where to find that, so I picked it up on my way home.  I put the quilt in some water to soak with this Color Remover, sure that soon my quilt would be back to its former glory and all clean and crinkly to boot.

WRONG!

Here's the before picture:

Here's the after picture:

I didn't cry.  I didn't cuss.  I didn't vomit, even though I felt a bit ill when I saw just how many COLORS had been REMOVED from my newly completed quilt and how unevenly they were removed.  Instead, I reassured myself that at least now, I would get to keep a quilt that I had made, since there was no way I was going to give something this UGLY to someone else.  My hubby made a great point - that it could be my home theater cuddle quilt since it is so dark down there that no one would be able to see it.  Now, I'm just kinda wishing I had ruined a larger quilt...but not really.

So now, I'm having no problems coming up with names for this puppy...

All Washed Up
 Faded Dreams
 Butt Ugly

I could go on and on...

Live and learn, right?  Any of you have some TRIED AND TRUE methods to share with me to get just a tiny bit of color running out of a quilt top without going all Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor from Home Improvement on it like I did?

The week wasn't all ugly.  I took Friday off to attend the first day of our annual Guild Quilt Retreat.  My checkboard flimsy
turned into this:

I was surprised at how quickly it went together, but also at how much the top shrank down.  What started out at 40.5" x 36" is now 22" X 25".  There was quite a bit of leftover fabric that COULD have been waste, but not for this Bonnie Hunter protoge!  I cut down what I could to make a pieced border (which I hope to get on there tonight), and the rest went into my 1.5" squares tin.  And being famous for being a scrap collector, many of my fellow retreat-ers gave me their leftovers as well.  I was able to add lots of variety to my 1.5", 2" and 2.5" squares tins.  And I'm happy to say I got it all trimmed up while I was there, so no scraps that still needed cutting came home with me.

Saturday was another "look for the silver lining" day.  I was invited to be a vendor and demonstrator at the Old Middlebrook Village Day in a nearby town.  It is an old-timey event with live music, food, and crafters.  I went last year, too, and it was lots of fun for not just me, but my kids, too.  Wouldn't you know it - it rained ALL DAY LONG!  A few hardy souls came out, but mostly it was just us vendors huddling under our tents, trying to stay warm and dry.  I'm so glad I was a hand-quilting demonstrator - not only did my quilt keep me warm throughout the day, but I also was able to make some progress quilting my Pick and Choose quilt.  Plus, I did sell a couple of things, enough to buy the kids and myself lunch and make a couple purchases from other vendors.  So, I spent a day sewing while my children cavorted about having a ball, and I made enough to break even on the day.  That's not all bad, right?

I will say that yesterday I did nothing except eat, nap and read.  After all the disappointment of the week, I needed some time to recharge my batteries so I could come to work with a winning attitude today.

17 comments:

Becky said...

Whoooaaaa! Bummer! I guess you have nowhere to go but up! Have a happy week!

Char said...

Oh Erin I'm so sorry about the quilt. I don't have any wisdom to share. I've never had a quilt run and I don't pre wash. Thank you for sharing about the Rit color remover.

Cheryl Willis said...

hugs, now I know why I don't pre-wash--I live in denial as long as possible- lol

Auntie Em said...

Oh, Erin! I'm so sorry to see what happened to your quilt, especially after it had been quilted, too.

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

Oh my! I did not know that the Ritz Color Remover would actually take out most of the color on some fabrics. But like you said, at least you get to keep one of your own quilts. Thanks for sharing the info on your process. Hopefully someone will have some good advice for removing color runs.

Lynn said...

Try basting a color catcher over the run. You may need to use more than one if the area is large. Then wash it. Remove the color catcher and see if the stain is gone. If not, but it is better, do it again until the stain is gone.

I have not personally had to do this, but a very close quilting friend did. She said it worked like a charm.

bernie said...

So sorry about your quilt, but thanks for posting about it; live and learn. IMHO it is still a great looking quilt. Love the twister quilt too - I am guessing you used the smaller twister ruler? I just did a topper in batiks with the larger twister - they are so neat! Bernie

Valerie Z said...

When I first saw the "before" picture I thought what wonderful colors and they all work well together...then I saw the "after" picture and could not believe it was the same fabrics! I've never used the product you mentioned and never will after seeing your results. There use to be something called Retayne or Synthropol (spelling?) which helped with color running. Your local quilt shop should have more information for you. The thought was that you washed your quilts in Retayne prior to cutting and sewing. Synthropol was used when washing after quilting to "retain" the colors and miminal running. Sorry this happened to you...enjoy using the quilt yourself!

Shay said...

Oh no! I always have nightmares aboue this happening to me. And at least you can find colour catchers. I went shopping this weekend at two stores and couldn't find them anywhere!

On the up side you get to keep the quilt. And it looks very antiquey and well loved even though it's new. I love quilts like that.

Julie Fukuda said...

My son sent me a box of color catchers for mmy birthday but I have yet to try them out. I understand that all you need to do is keep washing until all the color is caught. My washer is too small to wash a quilt and only takes cold water so I am probably the worst person to give advice. I use mostly Japanese fabric and have not had any problems yet.

Joyful Quilter said...

I know what you are feeling. I had a royal blue batik bleed on to a white background. I didn't get it all out, but Oxyclean removed a lot...after about 5 washes.

Janet said...

Oh Erin, what a heartbreak. You`re amazing at keeping a positive attitude.

Wilma NC said...

What a shame!!! It's still pretty though. Tell everyone it's faded cause your great great great grandma made it a hundred years ago. Then folks will think it's in good shape, lol. Every now and then, I will have a red piece in a scrap quilt bleed onto the backside, mainly on the quilting thread. If is't just a small area, I use a bleach pen and run it over the area. Usually works, but just for small areas. (Out of all that, I'm wondering about your home theater, lol. )

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Sorry about the quilt. I usually prewash my fabrics, too. I washed oldest son's dorm quilt last week (he's had it 3 years now, and it's been washed many times), and I'm glad I threw in a color catcher. The color catcher came out very blue. On youngest son's fabrics for his dorm quilt (in progress), I had to buy a bottle of color setting solution. Boy, what a difference it made. Well worth the $4 at Joanns.

Lisa C said...

I am really sorry about your quilt. I am like one of your earlier commenters - I never prewash (my quilting teacher said it's not necessary if you use only quilting fabric) and I've never had a problem. I can't imagine all that work and have it fade. But attitude is everything (once you decide breaking everything in sight is not a good idea...) and turning it into something useful is a good one. Hope your day improves!

quiltfool said...

Life's little ups and downs. When my colors run, I soak them in a combination of hot water, biz bleach and oxyclean. It won't get everything out, but it will lighten things that ran, so long as they haven't been dried. Color Remover is used when you want to change the color of an item and need to take out one color before putting in the new color. I'm afriad I would have cussed...at least a little but under my breat. And, I think breaking even as a vendor is an accomplishment. Lane

joe tulips said...

Dear Tim, I mean Erin, this quilt is the true "faded charms quilt"
I've never had a color running problem that was so bad I thought it needed fixing. I always figure it will wash back out with the next washing.
You have a very nice quilt in spite of the loss of color...instant age.
Hope your neck pillow is working on the plane.
I am not very good with remembering jokes....and I already told you about Jacob and the egg incident.