Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Devastating Failure

I just want to start this post by saying GO WITH YOUR GUT!
My January UFO Challenge will probably not be done by the due date of January 31st.  I still might surprise myself.  We will see.
IMG_4216I developed a great design to quilt in the outer border.  It took a few days to get the lines the way I wanted them.  I busily worked.  I had 3 sides done.  It looked great.  I need to spray out the last 2 sides that I just finished.  I sprayed the first, then the second side.  To my amazement, the blue pen color was right on the stitching line.  I sprayed some more but it was not coming out of about 2” wide x 10” long section I had just quilted.  I folded back the quilt,  saw that the water had saturated to the back side, a solid deep green flannel (perfect for a Christmas quilt).  I let the quilt dry and decided I would come back to it later.  As days went on, I tried rubbing alcohol (this works great for grease and Sharpie pens) and Oxi-Clean carpet spray cleaner.  I finally did some research on-line about the blue pens.   I had never had a pen do this to me.  Let me say one more time, after using the pen on the whole quilt, only 2 x 10 section in the stitching line was blue.  I couldn’t understand how the other mirror image side of the quilting wasn’t blue.  Neither was the area to the right or left of the quilted section, or the entire center of the quilt.  The blue was only in THAT section.  After reading the internet and a little coaching from the family, I decided to soak the section.  Maybe I just hadn’t wet it enough.  I took a shoe box size plastic tote and filled it with water and put the section in.  I also had pulled out the dye catchers that I have earlier and put it in the water.  In the quilt went…oh how the water turned that same shade of blue.  Water soluble blue, you know the shade rather bright, almost iridescent.  I stuck a little more of the quilt in the water as the color moved farther across the quilt.  I finally decided to call it quits.  I pulled the quilt out of the water after sticking almost 1 side of the quilt into the small tote.  Let me tell you that I filled and emptied the tote about 4-5 times as the water kept turning THAT shade of blue.  I put the quilt in the tub and went to bed.  The next day, off to the store, bought a new box of color catchers.  I put the quilt in with the washer machine with half the box of color catchers.  I figured it was worth the trouble.  Now, the inner light border was all blue, especially around the stitching.IMG_4219
Then, I had an epiphany.  The blue is not from the pen.  It is from the green back.  Remember when I said “When I sprayed the first time, the blue didn’t come out so I sprayed some more.”  “The blue is exactly on the quilting line.”  “When I turned over the quilt, it (the water)  had saturated through to the back side.” I also realized…I pieced the back.  The great deep green color is only around the outside of the quilt, where I pieced the back.  The plaid fabric wasn’t big enough.  Here are some of the pics.
IMG_4212           IMG_4214
My plan at this point….RIP, RIP, RIP.  I will RIP out the quilting on the inner light border.  I will RIP off the outer borders, and I will RIP all the green off the back. 
This quilt fabric is from our family vacation in Alaska, with my mom and step dad and both girls.  How can I not RIP?  As much as I would like it to R.I.P., I must RIP.  I can say, I have not cried, been very close more than once.  I can say, it will be finished, just not by the end of the month.

Happy Quilting (or RIPPING),
Just Another Quilter,
on just another day.


  1. I would cry. I really hope you manage to get that is a wonderful quilt. Best of luck...and Happy Quilting!!

  2. I would cry, too! Lots! That's a lot of ripping to do but it is such a beautiful quilt. You have great patience, it will pay off in the end. And, someday when you look back on the history of this quilt, what a story you will have!

  3. Before you rip, do a little more research on getting dye out. I think there's a Rit Dye product that gets color out. I once turned a hubby's grey t-shirt pink in the wash and after soaking in this product, it was properly grey again. It was in the same display with the Rit Dyes and was a powder I mixed up with water. But there may be other products out there.

    That said, I'm almost crying for you! That quilt is absolutely amazing and I know you've worked so hard on it.

  4. Oh no! Go ahead and cry - it helps! Then go ahead and do what you need to do to fix this beautiful quilt! Good luck.

  5. I agree with Katie! I have seen this Rit Dye product too. Try that first and then rip if it doesn't work. I feel for you!


  6. What a sad experience! I can only imagine how I would feel, but I realize it could happen to any of us anytime. I have no solution to offer, but Katie's idea sound reasonable. I have read that Orvus soap (used on livestock) is great for washing old yellowed quilts. I wonder if it might work on new fabric bleeds? I wish I knew what to tell you to do. I hurt for you! ---"Love"

  7. I hope you don't have to rip... I think I would have sobbed. Then I might have stuffed it into the back of the closet. Good luck, I know you will work out a solution even if you have to rip.

  8. Oh no. As I read your post I kept hoping for a happy ending. I, too, would suggest a little research before you rip. Good luck!


  9. Oh my heart goes out to you. I would have first thrown some things and then cried. Do you have enough of the border fabric that you could just cut it out and resew? You'd still have to rip, but maybe it'd make it easier. ~Christine