Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days - Day 24: Crocked

It appears that 2004 was a busy year. Both of the quilts in the previous post were made that year, as was the one I'm about to show you. Though I have to say, this is my favorite from that year.

One of my dear friends' daughter-in-law was pregnant with her first child, and I wanted to do something special for the quilt. A bit before this I'd seen a pattern in a magazine that I thought would be perfect.

Ethan's baby quilt

Isn't this darling? All of the printed squares say something about babies. A sampling:

Babies are proof that great things come in little packages.
Your love is the best gift you can give to a baby. It's free, easily given and easily returned.
A baby is spoiled because no one can spank grandma.

About those sayings...the original quilt pattern used fabric that had been preprinted with all the sayings. Since I'd torn the pattern out of a magazine at some time in the near or distant past, the chances of my finding that exact fabric were nil. Instead, I turned to modern technology.

Sewing notion companies keep a close eye on trends in the quilting craft. They figured out a way to treat a fabric so it will take inkjet printer ink, and then created a way to attach it to a backing stiff enough to let the fabric feed through the printer, but still easy to remove.

I'd used the stuff to great success to make personalized quilt labels. Once you print on it, you let the ink dry, peel off the backing paper and press the fabric with a hot iron to permanently set the ink.

Or so they say.

I finished the quilt the night before the shower, which started around two in the afternoon. The morning of the shower, I washed the quilt. Every quilt I make is washed before it's given away.

As soon as I took the damp quilt out of the washer, I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, in one spot the red ink from the printing had "crocked" - not actually bled into the water to color the white fabric pink (like red socks in the wash with whites), but rubbed off onto a section of white.

I was heartbroken. There are remedies, effective if you've not dried (and therefore set in the stain) the piece. I got to work. It took two more wash cycles before the crocking had come out to the point I was willing to dry the quilt.

By the way, the striped border in this quilt is also a fool-the-eye cheat. Striped fabric is cut cross grain, in this case. Were the border narrower, it would look like small squares, similar to the black and white border in the previous post.

The inkjet fabric sheets are still around, and I do still use them, though I make sure to wet them down and scrub them on a spare piece of muslin before drying and attaching to the quilt, just to make sure they won't crock.

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