Last fall I decided to wash the king sized double 9-patch quilt that we have on our bed for the first time. So into the washer (on gentle cycle with cold water) she went along with 5 color catchers.
I have read about other quilters having problems with their high efficiency washers when washing quilts. I also have a HE washer. I don't know if it was the washer or what but my red border bled, really bled.
Some of the color catchers were pink but basically I think they were useless. They sure didn't catch the red color in this quilt!
I rinsed the quilt several times in cold water but it didn't do any good. I hung the quilt on the clothesline to dry and I've used it anyway.
What is interesting, to me, is how the white fabrics in the 9-patches didn't absorb the red dye and turn pink. But the white fossil fern fabric squares in between the 9-patches just sucked it up.
And see those red streaks on the blue fabrics, this is so annoying!
Last winter, on another blog, I read what they did to save a bleeding quilt. (Sorry, I thought I had the post bookmarked but now I can't find it!) They said to soak the quilt in HOT water with Dawn Pure dish detergent for 12 - 24 hours and NOT to use color catchers.
I checked at several stores, but I couldn't Dawn Pure, so I bought a bottle of Dawn Ultra Platinum. The label says it "Power Clean" - "powers away 48 hour stuck on food in seconds". Great, but can it remove red from a quilt?
I've had the bottle of detergent setting on my kitchen counter for several months. I had to wait until it was warm outside to try this. I certainly can't soak it in the washer, I can't soak more than 20 minutes in my HE washer. And I don't have anyplace in the house to soak it other than the bathtub and I didn't want to tie up the tub for several days.
Monday was the day. I scrubbed a empty mineral lick tub, placed it on my garden cart and pulled it up to the milk house door. The hottest water on the farm is in the milk house because you need really hot water to wash the pipeline and the bulk tank.
I pulled the hose through the hose port and started running the hot water. The instructions said to add a good measure of dish soap, a good measure? What's that? I dumped approximately a cup in the tub, that should do it. I cringed when I put the quilt into the tub of hot water, because I never wash quilts in hot water, but into the hot water she went. I had a wooden spoon I used to push the quilt down into the water because this water is HOT, you aren't sticking your hands in there.
When the quilt was covered, I turned off the water and pulled the wagon into the garage to soak for 12 - 24 hours.
On my way out to the barn this morning, I pulled the wagon out of the garage and up to the milk house. She was looking good. I filled another tub with cold water and placed the quilt in it to start rinsing out the soap. I let it soak, went and did some of my morning chores, came back, swished it around and put it in a different tub with cold water. I did this for 6 rinses. When I was done with my chores, I squished the quilt into a 5 gallon pail, took it into the house and spun the excess water out in the washer.
When I hang a quilt on the clothesline to dry, I always hang it so the right side of the quilt is on the bottom, out of the sun. And yes, the backside of the quilt is from mom's stash. Mom bought yardage, not fat quarters.
I ran errands while the quilt was drying. When I returned home an hour later, it was very windy and the quilt was about ready to blow off the clothesline.
I brought her into the house and she's back on our bed.
She looks so much more like the original quilt I made. There are some 9-patch blocks that have pink fabric in the blocks but the white fossil fern fabric actually looks white again. And the light blue sashing is blue, not purple!
The pink did not disappear from this block but she looks better than she did in the picture several photos above!
What a relief, my quilt looks lovely again.
So what did it? Did the hot water or the soap make the red dissipate?
I hope I never have this problem again, but if I do, I'm going to try soaking the quilt in hot water without the soap to see what happens. Rinsing a wet king sized quilt is not the easiest thing to do much less doing it 6 times!
***Monday evening update - Karen left this link to Save My Bleeding Quilt. I remember reading this information when I read the post on the other blog about a bleeding quilt. Just in case you need the information.***
Linking to - Quilter's Monday, Fiber Tuesday, Esther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday