Every fall 4 girlfriends and I get together and rent a house and sew ALL WEEKEND LONG. It's awesome. When I talk about it with other friends they always ask: you just sew? You don't do anything else? Do you drink wine? The answer to all of those questions is a big ol' NO! It's a weekend devoted 100% to sewing (with very minimal sleeping).
During the weekend you get a lot of projects done, so you have to make sure that you bring enough to work on. This year Nicole, of Modern Handcraft, came out with her Snowflake quilt pattern a few weeks before our retreat and I knew it would be a perfect project for that weekend. My friend Kayla, of Stitch Kayla Stitch, had the same idea!
I used stashed navy blue and super dark teal prints for the background of my snowflake, and used assorted white-on-white prints for the snowflake; Kayla bought a kit from Sewtopia for her quilt. We both pieced the quilt tops on the last day of our trip and it was really fun to have someone making the same quilt that I was making - at the same time I was making it. It was like our own private sew-along! (Note: there's a real, large Snowflake sew along happening right now too.) To get these pictures were were racing sunset on Lake Erie, but we finished and got it in - just in the nick of time!
This is another quilt that I had long-arm quilted using the "Midnight Sparkle" panto pattern from Urban Elementz - and again, it is backed with minky. My 3 boys fight over the minky-backed quilts, so I'm working on making more of them for winter. I chose a dark navy minky to back this quilt, and there's more about that later.
I bound this quilt with the cut-off Lizzy House butterfly fabric that I used to back my latest Free-wheelin' Single Girl quilt (because darn! there is always so much leftover backing fabric when I'm trimming a quilt after quilting).
This quilt finishes at 60" x 72," and normally that's how I would end a quilt-finish blog post. But read on...
I always photograph a quilt and THEN wash it, because *reality* you never quite know what will happen to a quilt in the wash - especially one with high contrast fabrics like this one. I should note that I always pre-wash my quilting cotton fabrics before I use them; however, I've never tried pre-washing minky. When I put this in the wash, I added 4 Tide color-catchers as I normally would (new color-catcher shown for comparison).
There was definitely still pigment coming out of the quilt in the wash, but not too bad. Most of the white fabrics maintained their brightness. All except 1 white fabric.
I've had this happen before: where only 1 fabric in a quilt soaks up bleeding pigment. But I haven't been able to figure out what manufacturer's fabric is the culprit (by process of elimination I know it's not Robert Kaufman or Andover). Maybe in the new year I'll do a test - and then I'll never buy that manufacturer's fabric again!
So yes, my white snowflake is now more mottled than pure white - or as my kids tell me: "Mom now the snowflake sparkles!" I don't mind much since this quilt is for personal use.
In 2020 I plan to do an experiment washing several manufacturer's fabrics with a darker fabric. I also plan to experiment pre-washing minky with color-catchers and see if I can get it to the point where it stops bleeding.
If you've made it this far reading my blog - Thanks! If you're curious to see what all my friends and I accomplished on our sewing retreat this year, check out #quiltnsisters2019
Now on to the the next quilting adventure!