Friday, May 3, 2019

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Dawn Right Over!

It doesn't seem to matter how hard we try to take care of red fabric, sometimes there are problems!

After I took photos, I washed my 1857 quilt and 4 or 5 block backgrounds absorbed a bit of red, making the blocks a little pink. If it wasn't going to come out I would have tolerated it, but if I wanted pink background I would have chosen pink fabric! 

Here you can see one block, just slightly discolored. 

I rewashed with a box of color catchers and it remained the same. 

Sue Rogers sent me the next 3 photos of her red run problem. That is pretty disastrous and sad. 
She directed me to this site:  and showed me her after photo. 
At this point, what do you have to lose, right? Here is her quilt taking a bath in HOT water and Dawn dishsoap.

And here is her after! Pretty impressive, huh? 

This isn't for every quilt, but if yours has run and you want to throw it away, why not give it a go?

Here is my after! It worked!  BUT...
The fabric in my 1857 applique did run a little in this block! 
You can see a little below the 8 and the 5. In my book it is still better than 5 pink blocks. 

I have to say, friends, the quality of the little swap quilts I'm seeing has surpassed all other years! They are all wonderful! Thank you for doing your best work.

Have a wonderful week,


  1. i agree...all the little quilts are awesome!

  2. Lovely quilts, all--amazing how that red came out..Like that old jingle (Tide's in dirt's out" --only it's Dawn --showing my age for sure on that, Julierose

  3. I feel your pain with those reds. It's just heartbreaking when that happens. I've always used color catchers and only once did I use Dawn with some success. Glad to see the pink has disappeared in your beautiful quilt!

  4. Wow, that is amazing! Thanks for the tip and I am happy that most of your bleed came out. I agree that from what I have seen, this year's swaps are sensational!

  5. A touch of pink below the numbers serves as a warning to any who follow NOT to wash this quilt.

  6. I recently bought some redwork blocks from a thrift store and assumed that the embroidery floss was colorfast. Not. I am currently soaking them in Dawn and hot water and hoping for the best. I am glad that I didn't sew them into a quilt first, but the excitement I had when I found them has dwindled a bit.

  7. Lori, I've used the hot water & Dawn on a couple of quilts AND a few tablecloths with greasy gravy, wine, and strawberry mush. It has worked for me EVERY single time. I'd suggest you run your quilt through one more time and I'll bet the 1857-run comes out! (PS Did you leave the quilt in the hot bath at least 6 hours? I usually let it sit overnight.)

    1. I agree with Susie H, I would give it another try. Such a beautiful quilt and you will never be happy with it unless you fix this. I am a huge believer in Dawn detergent...have had great luck with it (however, I prewash all but precuts with Color Catchers). Good luck!

  8. I love your N&M quilt, Lori! I so agree about not wanting to live with the unintended pink. I'm glad the Dawn solution worked for you. However, if you end up with a little of that pink still niggling at you, you might want to try this:

  9. Argh!!! It makes me want to not use red fabrics unless I putting them next to something dark. How frustrating for you! We really shouldn't have to put up with this today when technology knows how to keep it from happening. I wonder if it's from the fabric being produced in foreign countries that don't have the same regulations we do. I don't know who to trust.

  10. The results on Sue's quilt was quite dramatic. And I like seeing how she lowers, bathes, and lifts the quilt from the tub in a laundry basket. Very smart.
    Interesting that the original pink bleeds on your quilt came out, but new ones were created. Will you leave it be or try again?

  11. I have used Spray 'n Wash with some success on light bleeding of red and navy. I have not tried Dawn but several quilters have mentioned that they have success with it.

  12. Lori espero que funcione para ti Dawn. tu edredón es precioso
    Buen fin de semana

  13. I'm sorry you have new smaller bleed, but maybe if you try the Dawn treatment again it may come out. Thankful though that at least the initial bleed is gone. Did you use more than one background white/cream fabric? I've noticed the one time I had a serious bleed that the same red fabric didn't deposit any dye on one background but did on a neighboring block of another fabric. If only I had kept track of the maker of the background that didn't absorb the bleeding color ...

  14. I would never have thought to use Dawn dish-soap to get rid of the bleeding. I'd have tried color catchers and even retayne. So glad that it worked!!
    Such a beautiful quilt!!

  15. I always hesitated to wash my quilts with red fabrics...thank you for the link !!
    Your quilt is fabulous....
    I agree with you for the quilts swap ! Quilters are amazing ! :))

  16. Many of have experienced the shock of seeing the bleeding especially with red. I'll keep the Dawn option on hand. But I have to confess I don't wash my quilts too often after having a situation similar to Sue's. Are you going to give it another soak?

  17. Goodness, That is why I hesitate to use solid red in a quilt. Thank you for the possible-repair-advice. So glad that it worked for you and Sue. Yes, the little doll quilts that have been posted thus far are all adorable. Looking forward to that link party, to see them all.

  18. I'm glad it improved for you Lori. I also use Clorox 2 with the Dawn and soak for a long long time.
    Did you start with 2 different fabrics for the background blocks? I wondered if that contributed to the bleeding issue.

  19. Thank goodness the Dawn removed most of the pink from your quilt, though strange that other red bled. Maybe a second wash in Dawn will remove those, too? I often read about red bleeding but I haven't experienced it yet. I have trouble with some blues -- and Dawn has helped with those, too. Beautiful quilt you have there, Lori. A treasure to save whether the reds have bled or not!


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