Monday, January 17, 2011

Color me blue....

Many of you will remember this quilt. Made years ago from a 9 patch project at a quilting retreat. I used my 9 patches(plus Betsy donated hers to me)and my tub of black scraps, to make the quilt. I liked it, and I utility quilted it. A couple of years ago, GS Nathaniel adopted it for his own. He's not hard on quilts like some boys are. It came home with me the day after New Years to be washed.
 And this is what washing revealed and what makes me blue on this January Monday. Actually, it would make me blue ANY day. Scrappy blacks and not knowing what could happen. This is what ALL the poly or poly blends are doing...shredding, or fracturing, if you prefer. In a few places they are gone completely except for the 1/4" seam and the row of stitching. On close inspection, the bad strips are outnumbered by the good cotton ones, so mending is my answer. I feel the quilt has many good years left, if I deal with the fractured ones.
 This is how I am doing that. Look close and note the PRINT pieces where lattice used to be. I don't see well enough to cover the bad ones in plain black. So I'm using print strips. I lay them over the rotted area, and sew down that first 1/4" by hand. Then I finger crease the other 3 sides and flip the patch into place and pin it. Using the same stitch as binding, I sew those 3 sides down by hand. So far I've patched roughly 12-15 spots..and have a few more to go. I'm happy that the cotton outnumbered the poly in those black scraps. It's slow work, but I've been doing it in the evenings as I watch TV.
 
On a happier note, I've joined the 2011 Rainbow Scraps Challenge at Super Scrappy. A color is assigned for each of the 12 months of this year, and you make whatever you want from scraps of that color. January is blue, and I'm using some of my blue scraps to make "you guessed it" 9 patches. I've gotten a late start since I just joined yesterday, but I'm ok with that. It is the result of a blog hopping trip last evening....love what turns up when you blog hop!!!
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15 comments:

Scrappy quilter said...

That's one of the reasons for always using 100% cotton, wouldn't you say. I've seen the same on a quilt I made for C a few years ago. I'm off to check that challenge. Looks like fun. Hugs

Brenda said...

that's terrible about the black. I've been seeing more of that on different blogs. apparently it's something to do with excess dye in black that eats away the fabric if it isn't prewashed. glad you can fix it.

Amelia said...

Sad, isn't it? Guess the lesson is not to use poly in our quilts...but I bet 75 percent or more quilters have at one time or the other when making a quilt...especially a string quilt or just a scrappy one.

Good luck on the repair job.

McIrish Annie said...

Bad poly! Well at least you can repair it. Makes me think twice about using any in my quilts now.

went over to so scrappy to check out the rainbow challenge but quickly looked away! have enuf on my plate for now! glad you are keeping busy.

paula, the quilter said...

Mmm... yeah. Poly does not play well with the cottons does it? When 'new' fabric comes into my sewing room, the first thing I do is to zap it with a hot iron. I can tell by the smell when it is poly and out it goes. I've gotten rid of some wonderful prints, but o well. But then there are the ones that slipped by me and DID end up in quilts.

scraphappy said...

Lesson learned about poor quality fabric. I've been guilty of using whatever was on hand. I'm trying to make sure that everything that I have in my stash is good to use. Love you happy blue nine patches.

Angie said...

You know, Finnie, I've always heard this about polyester/blends but this is the first time I've actually seen evidence of it. It's a shame; however, you've figured out an excellent solution to the problem, and that 'loved' quilt should be good to go for a lot more years. :D I'm really glad you detailed how you were patching those places too. You do have the BEST tips and ideas. :) Hugs, my dear friend!

AnnieO said...

Great warning to those who use clothing or fabric of unknown content in scrap quilts--I had no idea poly would do that!

9 patches are just the best.

Greenmare said...

oh Finn, that would make me sad too! you're doing a great job on it, and I have one from my childhood that needs the same loving touch. I think I'll try to take that on this year! Hand work makes me feel less guilty about watching a movie with Miss V!

Purple Pam said...

So sorry about the black shredding away. What a job to repair all those strips. Looking forward to your "blue scrappy" project.

Chris said...

ARRGH! Your post made me wonder how many pieces of poly blend I've snuck into quilts thinking it would be no big deal!! You should feel proud of yourself for tackling the repair job instead of tossing the quilt. It is a very nice boy quilt. I think he'll love the "remodel."

Pokey said...

I'm glad you can repair it, but so sorry for the problem!

Tonya Ricucci said...

It's not just polys that can go to pieces that way. Definitely certain brands of 100% cotton black made in the 1980s can shred to pieces. so sorry for the disaster to your lovely quilt but I'm glad you're repairing it.

christhequilter said...

sorry to hear about the shredding, but good that your grandson wants you to fix his quilt

I have a quilt with one shredded patch, but it's a "name brand" cotton

sometimes these things just happen...

grostedt said...

So sad about the black. Such a fun quilt. One of my early quilts started splintting after a mere 1 1/2 years due to poor quality fabric. I feel your pain.