Now that the crying is over

Back in August, I was working on a couple of fish quilts from fabric that my friend Carol gave me for donation quilts.  I was so excited about how my first Attic Window turned out.  Here it is ready for basting and quilting.

Now is where the crying part comes in.  I had used a purple flannel backing from my friend Ali and I knew about flannel and shrinkage so it was pre-washed.  After quilting, I folded the backing over for a self-binding and then washed the quilt.  When I took it out of the washer, something appeared to be amiss but I put it in the dryer and crossed my fingers–to no avail.  It was a disaster.  It resembled a pan of biscuits!


At first I thought I should have washed the flannel twice but upon further inspection it appeared the broadcloth I used as sashing was the culprit.  Now when I first started quilting, I pre-washed everything but as time went on, I decided it wasn’t really necessary.  I think as a general rule, this is true but in the case of this thin broadcloth, an experienced quilter should have known better.  And at this point, an experienced quilter would have given this quilt to a canine friend but I liked the “fish in the attic” so much that…you guessed it.  I unpicked all the binding and quilting (fortunately minimal) and then unpicked all the sashing from the fish blocks.  You can bet I washed the replacement fabric!

By the time I started putting it all back together, I had become thoroughly sick of it and just had to get it out of my sight for a while.  But now I’m in the mood to finish a few things as the year draws to a close and this is definitely one I want off my list.  I will begin basting it tonight.  I cut the sashing slightly smaller than the first version because I am reusing the same flannel backing–that has now been washed twice :-)–and I wanted to be sure it all fit back together.  I actually liked the darker color of the first sashing better but up close, the new fabric is cuter.  Still, I will be really glad when this one is finished!

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About quiltfever

I retired in 2004 and have never missed the 8-5 grind even for a minute. Now I spend my time reading, traveling, quilting and trying to learn new things like Spanish and blogging.
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8 Responses to Now that the crying is over

  1. jennyklyon says:

    Wow-“patience of a saint” comes to mind! Or maybe it’s persistence. Whatever it is,you have it! It’s an adorable quilt that you have rescued.

  2. Congratulations on sticking with it. The result is such a cute quilt!

  3. Carol says:

    I take my hat off to you. I swear I think I would have thrown it away – or maybe used it to cover Lulu and Laura’s chair! It is a cute quilt – if you don’t have a recipient for it I would sell it at Quilt Fest next year. You are in Florida – a lot of people would be interested in a fish themed quilt.

  4. Lani Longshore says:

    Yeah, I would definitely have given that quilt to the dog if it were me, but what you accomplished is so wonderful that I’m going to rethink my lazy ways (and recheck that I’ve washed my fabric!).

  5. Arrgh! That is so painful, but you handled it well.

  6. LizA.IzA. says:

    Ah yes—the lessons we learn the hard way……I have a queen sized Christmas quilt with about a million pieces. I put red flannel on the back. I prewash end it twice. First time I washed the quilt it bled so all the light on the front were now pink. The more I washed, soaked etc. trying to fix it, the worse it got. The quilt is now a garage quilt used to protect anything that gets moved or stored…..and I get sick everytime I look at it.

  7. ali says:

    I must confess, at first glance I was laughing because this sounds like something that would happen to me (as in, caused by me, not a random strike of the universe), but then I remembered it’s you, and read on about how you unpicked and re-did. Carol, your persistence is amazing, and it really pays off because this version is gorgeous! So my hat is off to you!

  8. debmoyes says:

    I always, always, always pre wash my fabrics, for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into. It’s really easy – I don’t know why so many people complain about it. When I buy the fabrics, they sit on the washing machine until the right “color” load goes into the machine. And I never dry either a quilt or the fabrics in the dryer. I may put them in for an “air” dry to get the soppiness out, but I think the dryer is very abusive to a quilt. I finish drying the fabrics on the ironing board and when they are still damp, I iron them. The quilts are dried flat, somewhere. Someone will love the fish quilt; it’s very cute!

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