Broken Hearted over Bleeding Hearts

Bitter tears of regret have been flowing through my sewing room because the worst has happened: I washed a just-completed mini quilt and it ran, ran, ran. Argh! Even with a Color Catcher in the wash cycle, that darned red dye slid over to its neighbor like gravy on the meatloaf special plate at a greasy spoon — double argh!

Remember when you were learning how to quilt and your mentor recommended pre-washing fabric? Pffttt, I could never be bothered with that, now could I???

What do I do now?

red stains on a brand new quilt
Notice the stain surrounding the little house heart?

I purchased an Oxiclean product with the intention of using it to spot-clean the bleed.

Have you tried this product before? How did it work for you? I suppose I should just try it, since I can’t ruin my little project any more than it currently is…<sob>

Oxiclean gel stain remover
Will it work?

For future reference, Cindy says that she always uses two Color Catchers per load. Who knew that trick?

BTW, I think I’ve learned my lesson. I was working on my carrots pattern last night. But before I started sewing, I threw the fabric (scraps and all) in the washing machine with 2 Color Catchers.

22 thoughts on “Broken Hearted over Bleeding Hearts

  1. Linda Rouse says:

    Don’t think color catchers are the answer. I feel your pain. I made a snowman throw for my sister this past Christmas. I never pre wash my fabric either. I used a very old Benartex by Country Threads in a slate blue color for my border. After I quilted and bound it I always wash my quilt. I throw in at least 3 color catchers. Well, for the first time that blue bled over my beige background. I was horrified. It was Christmas Eve, no time to make another one. I did not tell her as it kinda looks like the background was marbled in places. I really want to make a red and white bed quilt and I will wash all red fabric with color catchers in it.

    • sandradny says:

      Linda — You certainly lucked out on the blue marbling! I worry that I won’t have enough patience to prewash/starch…

  2. Diane says:

    I do not think it is over…you can try again with the color catchers…
    I am sorry. I prewash everything…yet a favorite quilt bled red anyway

    • sandradny says:

      Thanks, Diane. Out of an abundance of caution I put two color catchers in with my Winter Wonderland redwork quilt and they came out soaked in red — and this is the third or 4th time it has been laundered!

  3. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Sandy! OH NO. I have to say I am in the pooh-pooh boat of pre-washing. I do not have a suggestion about getting the dye out . . . but I know someone out there does. I’ll poke around – someone I follow has had this happen to them. Hmm. Darn it. Will it help to say it is hardly noticeable at all?? I know, it doesn’t help. {{Hugs}} I’ll send you a link when I find something. ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. Chela's Colchas y Mas says:

    Yikes! One of my polka dot strips just bled! I mistakenly sprayed with starch, and the black on white bled a bit. I can rip out the strip, but it means ripping up a whole section. Is it worth it? Did the gel stick work? Next time, I will pre-wash.😢

  5. piecefulwendy says:

    I don’t know if my first comment went through. Vicki at Colorways by Vicki has some great information on her website. Click on the button that says “Save My Bleeding Quilt”. Hope it helps!

  6. mary says:

    I have always been a pre-washer but even with color catchers I have found over the last few years that the color catchers are not enough. Perhaps over recent years manufacturers are putting excess dye into the bolts so they look nice and bright in the shop because color catchers always worked for me in the past. Now I use Synthrapol to prewash my fabric by hand and then throw them in the wash with color catchers to a) test that the Synthrapol worked and b) to make sure the Synthrapol is washed out.
    Hope this helps.

      • mary says:

        I was just looking at my fabric treatments and I noticed I gave you the wrong information. Synthrapol is used to remove excess dye from fabric, which may in fact help with your current problem. I use a product called Retayne, which is used to set the dye, as a pre-wash treatment. Sorry about the misinformation.

      • sandradny says:

        Thanks for the update Mary. I’ll look into both products. I haven’t made a move yet!

  7. tierneycreates says:

    Oh so sorry this happened. Unless it is going to be an art quilt, never to be washed, I always do the pre-wash thing as someone scared me about that years ago. I hope you can get the stain out or maybe just find some humor in it in the future!

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