Rose's Quilting Blog

The Horror of a dye run, & How to easily remove Dye Runs from your quilt.

Good morning to you all,

and once again it's a brilliant morning here, the magpies are warbling in the big gum tree in the neighbors yard, and there are Kookaburras sitting on our back gate laughing away as only kookaburras do, the air is still and not even a touch of a breeze.

It's the first day of winter here and looking out my office window, the sky is grey, which has created an amazing backdrop to all the different shades of the trees, their leaves and the bark itself. There are golds and browns, then the very olive coloured leaves of the olive trees, the greenness of the Gum tree leaves. There's many pots filled with bulbs that are all poking their new tips out through the soil, and starting to stand tall and proud.

Anyway what I'm going to be talking about today is......

something that I often get asked about and have written about several times now, including in my 100 Inspirational tips to help you on your quilting journey book.

I'm wanting to ask you all today,
just what you would do if after you had spent time planning, buying fabric, cutting, sewing, making and quilting and falling in love with your new master piece, and on its first washing it had a couple of ……

Major Dye Runs?

Now what would you actually do?

You possibly wouldn't really know until it actually happened, as many things in life are like that.

This happened to me when I had finished my A Caterpillars Dream quilt......

after having spent 2 years and 8 months of working on the one quilt.I needed to wash the quilt to remove all the blue wash away markings that I had used throughout this quilt during it's making.

The evening before I was to wash this quilt,
I had wet a piece of white cloth, and I went over these most beautiful “Hand Dyed” fabrics just to make sure that the colour was holding and would not run. When I purchase new material, it always goes straight into the laundry, to be washed and treated, before it ever goes anywhere near the sewing room.

I would gently rub this wet piece of fabric over each of the hand dyed pieces....
and then check the white fabric after each rub. It would show clean with no colour on it all. Feeling comfortable with this, I quickly made my way around the whole quilt. When almost at the end of these fabrics, I happened to glance back over the area that I had first started checking, and yes you will have guessed it, to my absolute horror, a very deep pink /red fabric had definitely run.

I now had a rather large pink area on the lemon fabric!!!!!

It was a moment of total disbelief……………..
What was I to do?
Strangely, particularly for me, I was very calm about getting this “dye run” out of my quilt, and knew that there was now nothing that I could do about this until morning came around once again.

I reached into my cupboard and pulled out a very magic potion....
that works like a miracle, and is very is to obtain....
Tell me you say, as you want to know just what is this magic potion. Hmmm... you need to keep reading.
Now first of all, I had to wet this quilt with straight cold water to wash all the blue wash away marking pens out of the fabric, as if I used hot water on these, there was a huge chance that they would turn grey and set forever. So I draped the quilt over the rungs on the clothes line, and with the garden hose, yes the garden hose, I proceeded to wash the blue markings out of the quilt.

Did I just feel you all cringe at the above explanation,…
Hanging a quilt on the clothes line, then using the garden hose?
Well, this is what I do to release the amount of blue wash away markings,  as for this particular quilt I had used approx 20 marking pens. You must support your quilt well though.

While I was busy doing the hosing, Geoff was keeping an eye on the quilt to make sure it was supported well, as with the weight of the water, it was now very heavy.

Geoff then said to me,…….      
“Have you seen this side of the quilt yet”?

When I said no, he spun the line around for me to see.
Where ever I had used this one particular fabric, it decided to RUN, remembering that at this stage I was only using cold water. My very calm and strange answer to this,surprised me, in fact, I can’t believe that I even said what I did.

Calmly I said….. “Don’t worry, it'll be fine”……..
As this product, needs you to place the item into water that is approx 60 to 70 degrees, I had just wet my quilt with very icy cold water as it had been a heavy frost that morning.
So the bath was full of this very hot water, with the magic potion  in it, waiting for the quilt, when I realised that if we placed this now very heavy, wet and very cold quilt in the water, it may not work as the water temperature would drop in the bath.

So I thought, “How can I warm the quilt back up”?……………
Then I had the perfect thought, for me anyway!
I took the tap fittings off the end of the garden hose, and asked Geoff to hold this onto the overflow outlet of the hot water system, (never mind if he burnt his hand) then as the water come out the other end of the hose, I now hosed my quilt with straight hot water, the same temperature that was in our bath waiting for this quilt.

After all this was done, we carried this now very wet, warm and heavy quilt, 7 kgs approx, complete with its dye runs, inside and placed it into the bath.

INCREDIBLE.....within seconds all dye  runs in this quilt were instantly gone.

Feeling very pleased with this whole process,
I then carried on to wash this quilt as I normally would.

This you'll have to wait for another time...... 
to find out just how I finish washing my quilts, and how I dry them, as this posting is about removing dye runs, not actually “How to Wash a Quilt”. Besides, you are possibly feeling a little shocked at what you have just read and feeling unable to get your head around how I just treated a quilt that took 2 years and 8 months to complete, that then went on to win 12 ribbons and awards including a “Best of Show”, that then placed the quilt up for judging with 6 other incredible quilts for “Best of Australia”.

This quilt did not take off “Best of Australia” but it did travel then for the year as part of the “Best of Australia” group of quilts.

So “How do you treat a Dye Run”?
Ohhh, you are still waiting to find out just what this magic potion is.
You can easily buy this at most supermarkets, but if not then I suggest to just do a Google search for your country and where you may personally live.

“If you use this or a similar product, it will be at your own risk, and I take no responsibility to anything that may happen while or after the use of this product”.
I certainly hope that this has enlightened your day, and you now know that there is hope of rescuing that damaged masterpiece that you have tucked away in your cupboard.

Please forward the link of this out to as many quilters and guilds that you know, so possibly someone else will be able to rescue their masterpiece as well.

I will leave you all here today,
and I'll be back again before you know it.
Think I might go and have a cuppa.
Have an awesome few days
Rose Lewis Quilting
Once again,
“The information on how I've done the above things is my personal way, and if you use this or a similar product, and do the things that I've done, it will be at your own risk, and I take no responsibility to anything that may happen while or after the use of this product or the things that I've done..”

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