My latest blocks for the birthday block exchange, that’s what! And I have to say, I absolutely LOVE them!I’ve never been much of a black and white fan, but lately I’ve been noticing that black and white, even if it’s just a small touch, adds quite a bit of zing to a quilt. So when this month’s Birthday Block Swap partner requested black, white, and red, I accepted the challenge with anticipation.
I’ve had a fat quarter of that adorable mushroom house print for a while, and this was the perfect project to use it in. LOVE it. And yes, I did make the striped print match in the corners on purpose. My husband teases me about it, but sometimes being
anal detail-oriented has it’s benefits. I like paying attention to the little things.
But this is the block that has stolen my heart. I love, love, love it. It’s actually a
free download from RJR. (Edited to add that after nearly 4 years, RJR has finally taken it down from their website, but you can purchase it from the designer here.) Is it not absolutely gorgeous?
One teensy, tiny problem I discovered while pressing and starching. Gasp – one of those red fabrics was a bleeder!
A cautionary tale, to be sure. That fabric is good quality quilting cotton – designed by Alex Anderson, manufactured by P&B Textiles, and yes, it was prewashed. It still bled. I took a deep breath, snagged a couple of color catchers from the laundry room, and filled the sink with hot water. I put one color catcher on top of each petal and let it sit for about 30 minutes. I squished, pushed, and crunched the color catcher on top of the fabric. I swished the fabric a bit more, then I drained the sink. Filled it up again and added one fresh color catcher. Let it soak. This time the water was clear and the color catcher stayed white. I rubbed and squished it some more on the bleeding reds and it stayed white. So I drained it, let the block air-dry, then pressed it. I’m confident it’s done bleeding.
I usually don’t trust color catchers to catch everything in the wash, but I didn’t have anything else to use. My guidance regarding bleeding fabrics comes from Vicki Welsh. She hand-dyes her own fabrics and did a little experiment with bleeding dyes – go ahead and read about it here, I’ll wait. It’s totally worth your time.
Nowadays, I would (as recommended by Vicki) soak the snot out of that red fabric, instead of just washing it. However, I acquired this fabric before I stumbled across Vicki’s experiment. Fortunately, the color catchers worked. The back of the block is dyed where those fabrics bled, but the front looks crisp and perfect.