Quilting Disasters: Have you had one?

I reckon everyone must have had some sort of disaster at some point when making something, right?

Breaking Point Quilt by The Crafty Nomad www.thecraftynomad.co.uk

So in my last post I mentioned that I'd had a disaster whilst making my Breaking Point quilt.  It was so ironic as one of the words I had sewn into the quilt was 'Despair', and let me tell you I really was despairing!!!  I think I actually had three disasters with this quilt!

So the story goes like this.... I foundation paper pieced each of the blocks, each one must have taken me at least 5 hours! I then pieced the quilt top.  Went to iron out the big bolt crease down the centre.  Sprayed it with water and ironed, took the iron away and was HORRIFIED to see brown marks!!  DISASTER 1! I am ashamed to say that my ironing board was filthy and the dirt had transferred onto the wet parts of the fabric.  I ran to the sink and washed it.  Most of it came out, a little bit remained but I figured as I was planning to applique, I would just make sure the appliques covered the remaining little bits.  I REALLY didn't have time to order more background fabric, I was running WAY too behind schedule to even consider that option!

See the little brown spots?

See the little brown spots?

So I continued on, basting and quilting the lines radiating out from the 'Broken' block.  I then filled in alternating sections with free motion meander.  At this point I decided that appliqued speech bubbles didn't suit the style.  So instead I decided to stitch the words and phrases on with my sewing machine alphabet stitch.  So I programmed the words and phrases into the sewing machine, and started to sew the words.  DISASTER 2! The words would not space properly and were bunching up.  Let me tell you unpicking tiny stitches is really hard! (I'm sure you know that already though, right!?)  Then I realised I had forgotten to stabilise the fabric.  So I decided to use a fab product that SULKY® had sent me: Sticky Fabri-Solvy.  This product was brilliant, I cut strips of it roughly the size of the words and phrased and stuck it to the back of the quilt.  Then sewed the words and phrases on.  No more stitch bunching!

So at this point I was feeling pretty pleased to have averted two disasters.  I went to bed very late, thinking that in the morning I would just rinse the stabiliser away, square up and bind the quilt!

So woke up early and started to rinse the Sticky Fabri-Solvy out.  That came out fine by the way....but as the quilt got wet I was HORRIFIED again to see that the stains were reappearing. right. before. my. eyes! DISASTER 3!  I was in bits! All that work, All those hours!!  I scrubbed at the stains but they just weren't budging!  I sat, and actually cried! And then laughed bitterly at the irony!!!  This quilt seemed to be pushing me to another Breaking Point!

Send Help! More random brown patches!

Send Help! More random brown patches!

I decided I had two options: Withdraw the quilt from the competition; or stick the quilt in the machine with a million stain removers and hope for the best.  I really didn't want to withdraw the quilt.  But I also knew that by washing it, it would totally change the quilt.  The fabric would shrink and crinkle, not the look I was going for for a competition quilt! And I ran the risk of the colour running.  But really what option did I have? So I chucked it in the machine and hoped for the best!

Ugh extreme close up of brown spots!!!

Ugh extreme close up of brown spots!!!

When it came out of the wash, it had indeed shrunk as expected.  The colours had not run but instead you could see that underneath the white fabric at the seams, the coloured fabric had frayed meaning you could now see some of that showing through the white fabric.  This did lessen somewhat when the quilt dried!

Break Point Quilt Disaster The Crafty Nomad

And what of the stain? Well it had lessened, to the point where I wasn't sure if I could see it still or not! So in the end I got a friend around to look!  We decided it was barely noticeable once it had dried, helped by the fact that the background fabric was two tone anyway!

The Crafty Nomad Breaking Point Quilt

Bizarrely another odd mark (Pink) had appeared after washing which I am positive wasn't there beforehand! 

Breaking Point Quilt Stain The Crafty Nomad

So with a lot of trepidation I decided to enter it anyway and pray no-one noticed!!!  I don't think anyone did!!!!