1 August 2014

Quilt Rescue

More than 10 years ago, when I was still a student with a very small fabric stash, and did not have much experience in fabric dyeing, I got it into my head to make a picnic quilt. I picked out a number of fabrics that formed some sort of colour scheme, and got to work in true and traditional 'make do' spirit. I finished the quilt, used it a couple of times, and then it was put away at the back of a cupboard and forgotten, because - honestly - the thing was pretty ugly.

Fast forward to about a year ago, and I found the quilt again, and felt that it was a shame that I didn't use it. After all, I'd spent many hours making it. By now I had more experience under my belt and decided recklessly to overdye the whole thing. I had nothing to lose but a quilt I didn't like and never used. So I bought a packet of Dylon machine dye (Rosewood red) and threw the whole thing into my washing machine.

The method worked and the quilt was much improved, but I wasn't 100 % satisfied with the rusty red colour, so after giving it some thought I bought another packet of a more burgundy red (Burlesque red - don't you just love the name?) and repeated the process.

Success! I love the quilt in its new colour, and it's gracing my new bed at the moment. Since it's a picnic quilt, it's really too small for the bed, but I don't have anything else to use at the moment.

About 10 years ago I also started working on a bed quilt for a double bed, but I didn't get very far with it before life took a different turn and it was abandoned. Now I've dug it out of my pile of UFOs (UnFinished Objects), and I'm thinking perhaps I could finish it for my new bed. But I need to solve a few issues. Firstly, I need to quilt it more than what was my original plan. I've done some stippling (vermicelli) already, but it's going to be tricky since I just have an ordinary domestic sewing machine, and the big quilt is pretty difficult to manoeuver. But I'll give it a try and do my best.

Secondly, after having dyed the picnic quilt Burlesque red, the other one feels a bit anemic in comparison. I'm thinking about perhaps painting parts of it when I've finished the quilting. But it might be another 10 years before I reach that stage, so it's just as well I have my picnic quilt.

Have a look through your cupboards and if you find anything that you don't use just because it's the wrong colour, consider overdyeing it. The Dylon products (hand and machine dye) are very easy to use, and they come with detailed instructions. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully, especially if you use machine dye. I was a bit careless once and forgot/didn't bother with the final step where you clean your machine by running a wash cycle with an empty machine. Next time, I filled the machine with whites (clever girl), and they all came out pink because of traces of red dye in the machine. BUT that was only that one time. I've never had any problems after I learned my lesson. My best advice is therefore: read the instructions carefully, follw the advice, have fun and enjoy the result!

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Your picnic quilt turned out beautiful! I like the bed quilt, but it would be a great opportunity to channel the Kemshalls and try out their painting technique. Have a wonderful weekend!