Rose's Quilting Blog

How to Remove a Dye Run from your Quilt

Good morning to you all,
As usual, I'm hoping that your day has started off well.

Now I do realise that some of you will have read this below blog post
before, but as I'm so often asked about dye runs in fabrics and quilts, then I've decided to make a few changes to the writing and then re post it back up here.

I'm wanting to ask you all today
just what you'd 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'd 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'd gently rub this wet piece of fabric over each of the hand dyed fabrics,
then check the white fabric after each rub. It would show clean with no colour on it at 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'd first started checking, and yes you'll 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 creamy 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” now in 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 easy to obtain....

Tell me you say, as you want to know just what is this magic potion.
Hmmm... you need to keep reading.

So next morning 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, because if I used hot water on these blue marking lines, there was a huge chance that
they'd 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?
Just think of it as a "huge laundry tub with the tap running".

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'd 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, and 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'd 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.

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're possibly feeling a little shocked at what you've 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're still waiting to find out just what this magic potion is.
You can easily buy this at most supermarkets, and Spotlight stores, 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.

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..”

What type of paints do you use within your"Fabric Painting"?

Good morning everyone,
Today I thought that I would like to ask you if you use.... 

Fabric paints at all?

If you do, do you have issues with firstly trying to purchase fabric paints
fairly locally to you, yourself, or do you need to look on-line and purchase that way, not really being too sure of the exact colour that you may be receiving.

Well, I “love” paints, in all their types, colours, textures, thicknesses, smells and anything else that goes with paints.

To me paints are just so incredibly creative, they come alive, they’ll pull you into themselves, almost seductive......

Well.... If you have trouble finding fabric paints easily, or if you even have trouble knowing how to mix your colours, as the range of colours in fabric paints is quite limiting, then I have a brilliant solution to your possible issue, and if you don’t paint at the present time, then maybe this newsletter will help you to be seduced into just trying paints...

Anyway, I used to get a little frustrated trying to buy good quality fabric paints where I live, and there were not too many places that I could find on-line that had a good range within the one on-line store, so I was finding that I’d be ordering two paints from one place and three from another for an enough was enough.

I pulled out my picture acrylic painting paints,
a strange terminology there but just wanted you to define just what type of paints I’m now going to be talking about, and I pulled out also a bottle of fabric medium
that I had used for other things over the years.

What do I do with this, and will it then be washable?

Now this works absolutely perfectly.

So I take some small plastic bottles that I have, with screw on lids and have a screw top as well, I look at the bottle and take a permanent marking pen and I mark 3 lines on the bottles,that represent a measurement of thirds, as in the image.


Now using the textile medium that I use, and actually there’s a couple of different ones I use, but I place textile medium up to the first black line, being 1/3 and then I fill the rest of the bottle up to the top black line, being 2/3rd s, pop the lid back on and give it a good shake..

“Ta da” now have your fabric paint ready to use.

You’ll still need to follow the manufactures instructions on the bottle to see just how much you need to add to your paint and how you set it, but generally it’s 1/3 of textile medium to 2/3 paint and setting with using your iron and holding it on for a short time.

Now there is another bonus to this as well.....

Many people have difficulties in know just how to mix paints, and don’t feel bad about that, as it’s quite a diverse process, and many times you’ll end up with very different results, colours that just look like mud etc, and you have no idea how that happened.

Here’s an example:
If you mix red into green, then depending on the proportions you use, you may get a good colour or you may not, but if you mix it the opposite way around meaning mixing the green into the red, then it’ll be totally different then how it mixes the opposite way around.

How do you overcome this....
Well it’s so much easier to go into an art shop or a chain store art shop like Riot Art and purchase tubes of art paint that’s already mixed.

It is easier to build up a better colour range this way, as there’s so many more colours to choose from, but always remember that white is a great colour as you can use this as a tint to lighten other colours.

One thing to be aware of, particularly with white, use a Good brand, don’t skimp on it.

Over time I’ve played with paints and if you use a cheaper white for instance, you’ll actually use more of the cheaper white then if you have a better quality white paint. The better quality has a lot more pigments etc within it.

Also your end result, the softness of the finished paint, etc is all dependent on the quality that you first purchased.

I normally use “Matisse or Golden” brands. These are nice to work with and give a nice finished result.
Jo Sonja’s is quite a good paint, but the pigments in the previous two are better.


This isn't all my paints, just one small box of them.

There are quite a few different brands of fabric / textile mediums. The main thing is to make sure you get a good quality one, and of course read all the instructions and cautions on the bottle.

It all goes a lot further than you may first think.

In theory this just what many of the fabric paint manufactures do,

they add a medium to their paints.

Anyway this isn’t a lesson in fabric painting; it’s just another
"Inspirational Tip" to help you on your personal creative journey.

I hope this helps many of you, and if you have others that may be interested in this, then do forward the link above onto them as well, as creativeness is to be shared.

Anyway I’ll leave you here for now, and I’ll be back before you know it
with another “Inspiring Creative” tip, to help you on your personal creative journey.

Have the most amazing day


How to Create a Sky Within YOUR Quilt!

Good morning everyone,

As I’m writing this ,it’s still dark outside, raining, windy and I can just hear the first few birds starting to rise for the day, and it’s very cosy and warm here in my office as I’ve been up for approx an hour, so the heater is doing its job.
I love starting my days nice and early as I always get my best work done, as there are absolutely no distractions.

I'm getting very close to having my waterfall and water feature finished

out the front of our house. I started this several weeks ago, with dismantling the old one, and now doing the new one with moving rocks, creating the rivers, the pond, covering it all in sand, then underlay, next the final water pond liner.
 After that, many more rocks and stones within the river beds, then large pieces of slate within the actual waterfall and it’s taking me longer than I planned, as lately I have taught many classes, which I always love, as I love sharing knowledge with others and I’ve also had many family commitments. You may like to speak to your guild about having me teach at your group.
Anyway back to today’s posting.

How would I create a sky within a quilt.....

is one of the many questions that I’m so very often asked. There are many ways to do this of course.

Some may like to use squares of fabric to pixel ate the image of the sky,
moving many colours right throughout the sky area, and quite often using colours that you wouldn’t imagine using.
For those not familiar with pixilation,
it’s where you cut out many squares of fabric and sew them together in a particular colour format to achieve an image. Once you stand back from the quilt, you’ll see just the sky, a little like an oil painting where you need to stand away from the image. If you choose to check out an earlier posting that I have put up called “Monet always uses White”, where I talk about pixels there.

Some people may paint their sky,
and then quilt over this to give a moving effect, which of course is very effective, as you can really get the correct colour and placement of the “sky and clouds” exactly where you want them to be.

 Then some prefer to buy a “Sky” fabric and use this, as I did in my quilt, Through the Garden Gate, as I was wanting my arch to be the main dominate of the quilt, so this time round, I was wanting the sky to be quiet and subdued, but normally I like to choose to use different materials and colours randomly across the sky area.

I actually get to see many skies, particularly sunrises and sunsets, due to
the amount of driving that I often do, and so often at the start or the end of the day. I tend to really “soak” in these amazing skies and the colours and formations of the shapes and blends are so often absolutely magnificent, even those very dark grey skies can have so much colour...the shades, the lights, the movements, the reflections of light are all so magnificent, the stormy thundery skies, the skies that have the clouds racing at great paces across the sky in such a hurry, then of course those magnificent brilliant sunsets that we all love.


A few days ago, after spending several hours working in the garden.....
we sat for a while,with a cuppa and cake in hand. While sitting there, we looked up at this most amazing sky. The sky itself was very blue directly above us, with much lighter shades as the sky distanced itself. 

It was the clouds that were so absolutely amazing.
They were very quiet, soft clouds, a brilliant white, with grey hanging beneath them. The clouds had many depths, and you could easily see these with the higher ones moving different to the lower clouds. What made these clouds so amazing was the quiet way that they changed shaped and would twirl around.
There was obviously quite a wind draught up there, because although the clouds were very quiet, as they broke away, they twisted and turned in some very amazing and strange ways.


Geoff and I sat there for some time watching these clouds because
of the particular way they were moving. I’m very sorry that I didn’t get up to get the camera to take photos or videos of these clouds, to now be able to share with you just how different these clouds actually were, but the moment was absolutely perfect, not to be broken by moving, and I was just too dirty to be going inside. When I garden, I don’t worry about how much dirt or mud I get myself into.

I looked at this “Sky”, and it was just beckoning me to go and “create a sky there and then”. By using different blues, greys and whites, and there are many whites, you’re able to create a sky that has so much movement within it.

Depending just what effect you're looking for,
whether it be a more static sky, like the one that I used in my Through the Garden Gate, or one with a brilliant sunset or a stormy winters day sky, will determine just how you go about creating this.


If you’re going to be doing a sky, keep your phone or camera handy and take some images of many skies and by using a technique that I speak about in Tip 2 in my book
100 Inspirational Tips to help you on “YOUR” Quilting Journey, you’ll be able to create a sky using the exact colours within that particular sky.

If you’re doing a sky that has many trees within the foreground,
then you’re able to use several different coloured sky fabrics between the trees, as we all know that when you look at a sky across the horizon, the sky can have many colours and shadings. These fabrics can be broken between trees, their branches, maybe a tip of a roof, a bird and of course the clouds.

Your quilting of course will really bring life and movement to your sky.
If you want a quiet still sky, then just using a small stipple is excellent as it’ll give texture and life to the sky, but if you’re looking for a sky with movement, then of course soft swirly quilting will give movement. If you’re doing a very stormy, angry sky then the quilting will quite possibly be long swirls showing fast movement....the choices and effects are absolutely unlimited. With a stormy sky like the one above, I would really work the individual clouds with the way that I quilted these, as this would be a magnificent sky to many colours...yes..many many colours are in that grey stormy sky, with the way that the light comes through. Using white correctly will always bring light through.


Quite often the easiest way to create an effect of something is to really “know” 

the subject you’re creating, so next time you go outside, sit for a short time and “really look” at the sky and its many colours and movements that is there to be seen. Remember as children, you would often lie on the grass and make “pictures” out of the clouds.

Look to see how these colours change the further they move towards the horizon, normally they will be lighter, unless of course there is a storm brewing over on the mountains.

Many people tell me that they’re so unsure on how to do something and are scared to try in case they mess it up....Well taking yourself out of your comfort zone, is amazing, and how we learn and stretch ourselves.

Remember it is fabric that you are working with,
and you can always "play" first on practice fabric if unsure. Don't be afraid of messing up as this is how you grow....there is no such thing as a mistake, everything we do is a learning curb.

These are the things that make us and our quilts very unique as we all have many different, likes, dislikes, talents, knowledge and of course “personal ideas” of just what we ourselves resonate with.

Next time you go to a quilt show, a retreat or even an art gallery,
have a look at just how many different ways people will create a sky.
You just may come across a technique that you’d really love to try.

Really there is no right or wrong way, because we are imitating nature,
and what is nature?
It’s something that is unique and forever changing, with all its flaws and perfections.
I hope that today I have been able to give you something to think about for your next Sky.

A little quote for you

Beautiful things happen
when you distance yourself
from negativity.

I’ll be back with something else
another day real soon.

In the meantime...
Make sure that you find some time,
Just for you,
As you’re a very important person.

Have a beautiful day