|Two versions of the same quilt, the left one used shot cottons, the right one did not.|
I just wanted to share a quick post about an issue I had with some shot cottons and see if anyone else has had a similar issue. This post is slightly long and ranty but I think these are problems I should share.
As many of you know I recently made a second version of my Milky Way Medallion quilt (original blogged about here). On the first version the top ended up 69.5″ square. For the second version (blogged about here) I made a few adjustments to the pattern so the finished size was 71.5″ square.
The first version was made entirely out of regular quilting cottons. For version 2 I was trying to do something completely different so I used Shot Cottons as my background fabrics (1 Kaffe shot cotton and 2 peppered cottons) and regular quilting cottons for the rest. I have never used shot cottons before but assumed they would act just like regular cottons. Boy was I ever wrong.
As a side note, I do not prewash my fabrics, I almost never do unless I am making a garment.
To make a long story short I washed and dried both quilts (same way each time) and the one made with shot cottons shrunk 5.5″! The finished size of the top was 71.5″ square, but after washing this quilt ended up 66″ square. To put this into perspective my original Milky Way Medallion top finished at 69.5″ square and after washing in the same manner as version 2 it is about 69″ square. I only lost a 1/2 to shrinkage compared to 5.5″.
The second problem I had was bleeding. I washed the medallion quilt
with an orange version of my gray matter pattern and the dark colors
bled. At first I didn’t notice it other than on the medallion quilt, I just saw that some of
my yellows and greens were not as bright as before, but that wasn’t a huge deal. You only really notice on 1 or two of the colors and it is just a darkening that you see only when you see the fabric next to its original fabric
The issue came when I looked closer at the orange quilt. All over the dotted orange pieces there are streaks of dark dye, the binding is
the worst and most noticeable part. It looks like I took the quilt and
dragged it on the ground, letting the binding pick up dirt. It’s
awful, I was planning to sell the quilt, but not anymore unless I can
fix it. The odd (and good) thing is that only some of the oranges
picked up the dark dye, but none of the whites did.
|Fortunately/unfortunately the spots are hard to photograph and it looks much worse in person.|
Since writing the beginning of this post I rewashed both quilts with 2 Shout Color Catchers each and some oxyclean hoping to remove the excess dye. The orange quilt body seems much better, but the binding still has tinges of grey. I am debating trying to wash it one more time, or just ripping the binding off and putting a new one on. Any suggestions? The medallion quilt wasn’t that bad to begin with, but it was definitely the quilt that was bleeding as evidenced by the darker shout color catcher.
|Upper Color Catcher washed with the medallion quilt, lower one with orange quilt.|
After these issues I will definitely think twice before using shot cottons
again. I can’t be certain which shot cottons shrunk and which ones bled, but it is enough of a problem that I am quite weary of using either one again.
It is sad because the peppered cottons are quite beautiful in person, and I had plans to use them on another quilt for my husband. They are slightly shimmery and tightly woven (much higher quality than the Kaffe cottons in my opinion), but 5.5 inches is a lot to lose on a quilt, not to mention the color fastness issue.
What about you, have you had problems with quilt shrinkage? Issues with shot cottons bleeding and behaving differently than regular quilting cottons? If you have used oakshott cottons, do they also have any of these issues? I would love to hear your thoughts.