Monday, April 23, 2018

Jingle Update: The Bloody Quilt Wrecker Has Been Apprehended and Disarmed!

Good happy morning to you, stitchy friends!  Look who survived the bloodbath of Friday the 13th and is back on my design wall, ready to become a quilt top again!  It's the Jingle BOM (Block Of the Month) designed by Erin Russek, my first-ever applique project, which I started back in 2012.  In Quilters' Terminology, that makes it my oldest UFO (UnFinished Object) or WIP (Work In Progress).

YESSS!!!!  My Jingle Blocks Aren't Bleeding Anymore!
fabric haemophilia. /ˌhiːməʊˈfɪlɪə; ˌhɛm-/ noun. 1. an unpredictable disease, usually affecting only dark fabrics but lethal to any light colored fabrics sewn adjacent to them in a quilt, characterized by loss or impairment of the normal clotting ability of commercially dyed or hand dyed fabric such that a minor splash of water or the gentlest of laundering may result in fatal bleeding of loose fabric dye all over the white and light colored fabrics in your quilt.  Can be fatal if not treated immediately.

I just realized I never followed up with my scary nightmare post about the quilting bloodbath.  I am happy to report that there were NO casualties!  It turned out that my favorite Hoffman poinsettia fabric was the bleeder after all.  These are seriously haemophiliac flowers, you guys, but ordinary Dawn Ultra dishwashing liquid was the Rasputin who saved my bleeding quilt.

The Villainous Bleeder: Hoffman "Winter Magic" Style G8562
So, when I wrapped up my last post about this I had successfully eliminated all of the loose, shedding dye from my pieced and appliqued blocks as well as from the appliqued center medallion of this languishing UFO, but I still didn't know which of my red fabrics was the bleeder.  

I had already cut all of my setting triangles out of this red poinsettia fabric (also used in some of my pieced blocks that bled) but was reluctant to soak and agitate the triangles for fear of fraying and distorting the bias edges.  Yet all the work I did to eliminate the dye bleed in the blocks would be for nothing if I sewed the non-bleeding blocks to red fabric that was still bleeding.  

I confirmed that the poinsettia fabric was definitely the bleeder by soaking a small scrap of this prewashed fabric in a bowl of hot, soapy water.  The water turned dark red almost immediately.  

Just a Scrap Of Poinsettia Fabric Turned the Soapy Water Red
No way could I use those setting triangles with that much loose red dye in them, so I proceeded to soak all of them in the dishpan the same way I had done with my blocks.  I have to show you how much dye released from the setting triangles into the dishpan in the first soak:

Yikes!!  My Fabric Bleeds Chicken Blood!
Isn't that gross?  My husband said it looked like sudsy Kool-Aid, but I think it looks like chicken blood!  I just kept dumping the water and refilling the dishpan with fresh hot, soapy water, squeezing the suds through my blocks or cut triangles or yardage or whatever I was dealing with, until the water remained clear after several hours of soaking.  Then I rinsed them under cool running water, gently squeezing to remove the suds, and laid them flat to dry on white bath towels.

The Setting Triangles Survived Their Bloodbath!
But the main takeaway is that Vicki Welsh's method of prolonged soaking in hot, soapy Dawn dishwater was really easy, and it successfully removed all excess dye from the bleeding fabrics in my blocks, and now even if the finished quilt gets thrown into a boiling lake full of angry demons, I am confident that the dye won't run.  Yippee!  

I had to use the blue Original Dawn Ultra dish soap for my first go at this, because that was the "plainest" Dawn dish soap that my local grocery store carried.  I wasn't thrilled about that, though, because blue Dawn tints my soapy water blue and that makes it harder to tell whether blue or green fabrics are bleeding.  Also, the manufacturer of Dawn is only intending for customers to use their product on dishes, so they won't have tested whether their blue dye would transfer to or interact negatively with fabric in any way.  So I was delighted to discover that Dawn makes a Free and Gentle version of their Ultra dish soap that is completely dye free, and that's what I'm using from now on.  I found it on Amazon here, two 21.6 oz bottles for $12 with free Prime shipping, and I stocked up so I can test and treat every new fabric that comes home with me.  

Yes, there are plenty of other chemicals and soaps that quilters swear by for dealing with bleeding dyes in commercial fabrics, but they are all much more expensive harder to find.  

So, back to the Jingle quilt.  Here is designer Erin Russek's original setting for these blocks:

Designer Erin Russek's Setting for Jingle, Finished Size 76" x 76"
I want to do mine differently, with the center medallion set straight rather than on point.  

Tweaking the Setting On My Design Wall.
This would eliminate the giant green setting triangles around the medallion, and give me the opportunity to add a border or multiple borders between the center medallion and the on point pieced and appliqued blocks.  I may also eliminate or reduce the size of that outer green border, since I'm intending this quilt for seasonal wall display and don't need it to be quite as big as Erin's 76" x 76" design. 

I'm currently considering replacing the inner red poinsettia setting triangles with green ones to accentuate the zigzag effect of the on point block border, as well as ensuring that I have  a nice Christmasy balance of red and green in the finished quilt.  I found a mottled tonal green fabric nearly identical to one of the fabrics I used for some of my appliqued leaves, and I prewashed it AND checked it for color fastness, so it's ready to go.

New Emerald Green Fabric for Inner Setting Triangles
I LOVE IT!!  I am going to have SO MUCH FUN quilting this on my longarm machine, and I can't wait to enjoy it as part of my Christmas decor in 2018.  That's right, you heard me -- I am setting another goal.  Jingle is going to be finished by Thanksgiving of this year so I can hang it up when I decorate for Advent!

But meanwhile, I'm nearly finished with Pineapple Log Cabin Block #36 of 42:

Block 36 of 42 Currently In Progress
...and I've got a fantastic idea ready to test out for quilting some fancy feather designs on my Tabby Mountain quilt:

Auditioning Feathers for Felines
This quilt is intended for a dear friend whose birthday is coming up soon, so once I wrap up Pineapple Block #36 I'll be focusing on Tabby Mountain again in order to get it done on time.

Have a wonderful, productive, and beautiful day!  I'm linking up with:


Ramona said...

Oh! I cannot wait to see your Jingle finished and in your home for Christmas. This caught my eye years ago on your blog and it's been on my list since. Your feather idea will be beautiful in the triangle blocks. You are moving right along! (and I love your sense of humor!)

chrisknits said...

I like your thinking on the layout of Jingle. The piece will be gorgeous! I must look into that Pineapple Log Cabin, it looks tempting.

Rose Prairie Quilts and Farm said...

Oh what a beautiful quilt you are making. I love the idea of center block not on point and the green is perfect. Great tip on bleeding I look forward to what your gorgeous quilt will look like finished

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I'm so glad you got the bleed out to your satisfaction! that is really great - I hope you can get this quilt done for the holidays this year - or is that rushing you? no pressure intended!

Karen said...

I remember the Jingle pattern. Looking very good.

Judy Hansen said...

Thanks for the information on bleeding fabrics. I am going to get some of that Dawn soap. I am so glad that the bleeding came out. It's tough to go through all the work of making a quilt, and then have something ruin it.

I love your medallian quilt, and I like the center straight, not on point. Thanks for linking with Design Wall Monday, I appreciate you. Judy

cocoya said...

Your applique quilt is so pretty.