I've been definitely dreading bringing this up... but I know you want to know. You do want to know what happened to my Penny Sampler, right?
Yeah, I thought so....
A couple weeks ago I posted about some bleeding that occurred when I washed my Penny Sampler Quilt. Although the purple solid backing (not Kona, by the way) had been prewashed, it bled all over the quilt. In the comments, you gave me some great advice on how to fix it.
Since I had Shout Spray n'Wash on hand I first sprayed all the stains, let that sit over night and then washed again on cold with a color catcher. I put that puppy out in the sun to dry, but no luck. The offending colors didn't budge.
Next I soaked the entire quilt in a concentrated OxyClean soak. Washed with a color catcher and sun dried, again. Success!
And then not. Yes, the purple/red stains came out, BUT a new color bled and even worse troubles befell us!!! Sadly I'm serious. But let's work up to it.
First, what appears to have bled from the OxyClean soak is Kona Everglade (above 2 images), one of my favorite Kona colors. I've used and washed it other times with no trouble. Note it did not bleed until the 3rd wash, after the OxyClean soak. Maybe OxyClean drew out the color in a weird way? Also, I was only using one color catcher each time, which I've now learned (from you smart readers) is not aggressive enough. It seems when you have a known problem you should use multiple color catchers.
Ok, here's the other tragedy. I used Essex linen/cotton blend for the background of this paper pieced block.
I sewed generous seams as usual with paper piecing, and the thread did not break. As evidenced by these pictures, the linen unravelled. I've had unraveling issues before when combining 100% linen and quilting cotton. This is the first time with Essex.
Some seams that didn't open do show stress.
Unfortunately, it did not happen only on that block. This near bye Essex linen/cotton block in natural also threatens to unravel at the seams. Sob.
I'm not faultless. For one, I did not prewash these Essex fabrics, since I gave up prewashing over a year ago. Given that linen is known to shrink more than cotton, methinks prewashing of linen is essential from here on out. Also, I only tied this quilt every 6 inches. I thought that was enough, but it certainly occurs to me that if it had been quilted or tied more densely the Essex may not have felt so stressed out as to fall to pieces. Poor thing.
About the time of my Fix This post, I was thinking about gifting this quilt to my grandmother, who is moving away this month. When my fixing efforts so horribly failed, my first response was denial. I stuck it on a shelf for a week. Then last week my grandmother was hospitalized for a staph infection. I took that for a sign.
To patch the worst part of the Flower Pot block, I added a new piece of Essex linen with raw edges folded under and one long side tucked into the open seam.
Then I used pins to bring the still-nicely-pressed-under polka dot seam towards the intact Essex. After pinning tucking and pinning both opened seams, I zigzagged the patootie off this block. I zigzagged all over, in fact, to reinforce virtually every Essex seam in the block.
This neighboring Spruce Forest block had no open seams, but showed stress, so I zigzagged all it's seams as well. That was a whole lot of quilt to wrestle, let me tell ya. I stitched with top thread to match each quilt block and bottom thread to match the purple quilt back. I think it worked out to not be an eye sore.
What is an eye sore is this corner of the Flower Pot block, which was the worst. Definitely not so square anymore. Sad face. But, hopefully its strength is renewed.
This weekend I gave my grandma her surprise gift at the hospital. And I think she was really touched. Yes, I did come clean about some of its problems and I gave her a color catcher to use in the next wash, but I didn't point out every single, ingle glitch. Shhhhh...... If there's someone who can love your work even with its failings, that would be family. I hope that for her it will be pleasant memory of our time together in South Carolina. And now, I'm done talking about quilts with shadowy fates.
I choose to remember my Penny Sampler in all her glory. And I'm enjoying seeing her take on oodles of new lives at the hands of my students who are turning out so many lovely Penny Samplers!