Sunday, March 19, 2017

Scary Wash

After I completed quilting my "Berry Delicious" quilt (Red Delicious designed by Esther Aliu), it had developed a bit of a wave or bulge across the middle. I presume that was caused by the quilting, which is quite dense in places and less in others. The quilt was flat before I started quilting, anyway! I hoped that washing it would enable it to lie flat again before I add the binding. And as today was forecast to be possibly our last warm day for a while, I had to be brave get it done. I should have taken a "before" picture, but here's an "in progress" shot:
Quilt spinning in the washing machine.

I was very nervous about washing the quilt. I pre-wash my fabrics, but red fabrics can be a problem even if they have been washed already. On top of that, some of these fabrics were small pieces given to me by a friend, and I wasn't sure if I washed those small pieces or not. It was all a long time ago! So I used cold water, and took the precaution of adding a couple of "colour catcher" sheets to the machine. I've never used them before, and never quite understood how they could work. But I found a scientific explanation on the Guardian website here, and that convinced me they were worth a try. I used two sheets, and here's what they looked like when they came out of the machine:
They were white when they went in. Apparently that colour is dye particles that got stuck to the colour-catcher rather than potentially lodging somewhere unwanted in the quilt. Hooray!

The next challenge was finding somewhere flat to spread the quilt out to dry. Who knew a ute had so many uses?
It allowed me to spread the quilt flat to dry in the shade. The heat and breeze did the job quickly. The quilt looks much better after its wash - flatter, and also brighter. The background fabric had probably picked up a bit of dirt during the appliqué and quilting processes. Now on to the binding.


  1. The colours in your Berry Delicious are just so beautiful and your quilting certainly adds to the beauty.

  2. It is looking absolutely gorgeous. So lucky the colour didn't run and spoil it...

  3. Lovely finish--I began pre-washing my fabrics a while ago but didn't keep up--so i have about 1/3rd washed (I clip the corners so i know they are washed)and the rest unwashed--I find that I like handling the unwashed fabrics for piecing better (altho' my allergies wouldn't agree at all!!).
    Love drying quilts outside--they just feel so freshened...hugs, Julierose

  4. It is a wonderful quilt and I really can image all the apprehensive time you had to go through during the washing. I have never understand also how the colour catchers works. Will follow the link to read about it.
    Happy last days of Summer! Hugs

  5. So glad that worked out well for red quilt did run despite 3 colour catches. Now trying to find out how to wash the run out, before winter and our show in May. Love the ute idea, definitely going to borrow that!

  6. I have been thinking about those colour catchers. They certainly have worked. I will keep that in mind should the need arise.