Victoria Bryant: April 2008 Archives
The Fabric Maverick is taking a break today. She is working on something for her posse. Customer Service does a great job of fielding questions about fabric problems. Every once in a while they request assistance on a question. The Fabric Maverick is not the only person who can answer these issues.
The customer has this question: I have a quilt I bought with beautiful colors of red, green and white. I have washed the quilt and the reds have bled into the white. What can I do?
I wished the lady had asked before she washed the quilt. At this point, I know of nothing that will remove the red dye from the white. I have heard from several customers that Carbona Dye Magnets are great in grabbing the dye and not depositing in onto lighter colored fabrics. This will prevent any further dye bleeding.
Back to the beginning...If you have a quilt that you did not receive washing instructions for you want to check for color fastness.. A quick way is to take a wet white cloth or paper towel and rub it across the surface of the fabric. If color comes off, it has the potential of bleeding. You may need to dry clean.
Quilting fabrics that have vivid colors such as reds and purples should be tested for dye fastness. Here are the steps to performing a "Bleed Test"
- Cut a small piece of the fabric and submerge in soapy water. Water should be the same temperature as you will normally wash fabric.
- The fabric should sit submerged for 30 minutes. If dye has discolored the water, then there is a potential to damage other fabrics.
- If the water is clear, then try one more test to make sure the color will not transfer to other fabric. Remove fabric from soapy water. Do not rinse. Lay the fabric on a white paper towel. Wait for a while and check to see if any dye has transferred to the paper towel. If it has, then there is a chance the dye will transfer to other fabrics.
- Rinse out the fabric and let it dry. If it bled the first, perform the test again and see if it bleeds again. If it does, it is not a good candidate for a quilt.
You may have your heart set on using this fabric. You can try soaking the fabric in white vinegar or purchase a commercial dye fixative. Then perform the bleed test again. This may sound like a lot of work, but what is more heartbreaking than making a quilt and have the fabric bleed onto the other fabrics.
General rules of fabric preparation for all fabrics:
1. If you want to wash a fabric and it says dry clean, always test a sample to see how the fabric reacts. Does the fabric shrink? Does the color fade? Is the finish changed? Then you should have the fabric dry cleaned.
2. Do not wash a whole 10 yards of fabric to find that you cannot wash it- test a sample.
3. Do not apply laundry detergent directly to fabric. This may cause fabric to discolor. Detergent should be mixed with water before the fabric is added. This also applies to clothes.
4. Do not use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer with the fabric. Fabric softener sheets may deposit spots on the fabric because they are usually petroleum based.
5. Do not assume because a fabric is 100% cotton that it is washable. Finishes have been applied to Home Decor fabrics to give them that nice finish.
I hope that these tips will prevent any unhappy surprises in your sewing.
Now, don't you think I did as well as the Fabric Maverick?
The answer to this question is simple- Neither! How do you go about planning a project? First you determine the size of your project. Next you determine your budget. Then you go back and trim your project. I know that I have three rooms I need to revamp:
- a guest bedroom
- my daughter's room ( she moved out)
- the living room is in desperate need of refreshing
Unfortunately my budget will not fit all three rooms. In fact, each room will need to be done in stages; I am going to start with the guest bedroom. The reason is that I have already painted that room an apple green color that is so popular now. I would advise most customers to pick the fabric first then paint. This is a case of do as I say not as I do.
The first step after figuring your budget and projects is to read a magazine. I love to leaf through magazines and cut out pictures of rooms I want to recreate. I may only like a pillow or a window treatment, but I cut it out. For instance, I fell in love with the guest bedroom in the HGTV dream home giveaway in Key West. The walls were painted an apple green with the primary colors being black and white with accents of hot pink. This is a great look! At first, I was going to duplicate this look with minor changes. At the same time, Fabric.com was having a fabulous sale on Waverly fabrics. Being that my budget is extremely tight, it was worth a close look. I found some fabric that would work with the paint color at a price I could not say no to. It was the Waverly Deco Dots in white and in pink. I found a lovely plaid to coordinate. There are three projects I want to complete in this room:
- New curtains
- A new bedskirt
- A new duvet with pillow shams
I looked in Donna Babylon's "More Splash Than Cash" Window Treatments book to estimate the yardage for curtains. I measured my bed and the drop from the mattress to the floor to estimate the yardage for the bed skirt. I ordered 10% more, it is always better to order more. Too many times I have ordered to discover I have estimated too little and the fabric was no longer available.
- Pick a room and decide what you would like to do in the room.
- Decide on a budget.
- Trim your projects if they will not fit into the budget or break into doable stages.
- Determine the yardage required and select a fabric.
- Pick a paint to coordinate if the room needs to be painted.
- Create a work plan or time line of projects to be completed.
- When projects are completed, accessorize for that final wonderful look that has been in your mind
Over the next few months, I will show you what I have done with that apple green bedroom. You may like it or hate it but it will have the stamp of my personality on it. The first project will be a bedskirt. Stay tuned.