Margaret Randolph

Margaret Randolph
Margaret Randolph stitched by Jenny

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Saturday, 15 February 2014

Finished, but......


I put the final stitches into Margret Lawrance last evening (February 13), gave it a quick wash and rinse, rolled it in a towel, and left it overnight, figuring to press it dry this morning. Horror of horrors: when I unrolled the towel this morning, the areas stitched in red had bled.

Heartsick on Valentine's Day. That's me.

Here's a lesson for all of us: this piece was stitched with Anchor cotton floss, proclaimed right on the labels as colorfast. This is also the first piece I have ever washed upon completion. I don't think I'll be doing this again.

But what to do now that the damage has been done? Help! I emailed a good friend, I called my local stitchery shop, I Googled, I queried the Sampler World Facebook group. Conservative measures seemed to be the consensus and the wisest way to go. (And let me warn you that there are places on the web that advise soaking a Q-tip in straight bleach and SCRUBBING a piece of stitchery like this. I don't think so!!)

Margret Lawrance has been soaking in cold water all day. The stitchery shop suggested Color Catchers. I tried that.

Maybe I'm hoping against hope, but I'm thinking it's looking a bit better tonight. I'm told patience is the thing; it might take as much as a couple weeks to rinse out the bleeding color. But I'm told others have been successful. So I'm hopeful.




This is not how I planned to close out my stitchery year. I'm heading to a day-long stitch-in at Lynn's in Madison, WI tomorrow. I figured I'd drop Margret Lawrance off for framing while I was there. But tonight Margret seems to be a long way from framed and hanging anywhere.

Wish me luck....

15 comments:

Krista said...

I am so sorry Kathie!! I do not have any suggestions,,, I never wash my pieces. I hope that the expertise of others will help fix it!

Bethany said...

I have a suggestion, if you can't get the color out of the linen. I do hope someone can help you though. I would try and dye the linen with either crystals or something like coffee grounds. It will make it look older. The designers are out there selling hand dyed linen for a fortune. I for one love the look of linen when different colors are bleeding through.

I think back to the question in Beyond the X interview. What has been your worst needlework disaster? I think you win the prize for this one.

carolm said...

Oxi clean can help but do it slowly or the other colors will fade slightly... use only as a last resort....

Jenny said...

Oh Kathie, I don't have any suggestions because I too have never washed my samplers but I am sending a hug your way and a prayer that the suggestions that have been shared with you will work and one day soon Margaret will be hanging beautifully on your walls. Hang in there!

Erica near Chicago said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry. Perhaps someone at Lynn;'s will have advice.

Tommye said...

Kathie, I've helped lots of my customers over the years with this problem. Rub an ice cube over the actual areas where the dye bled. Rinse and soak again in ice water. I actually put ice cubes in the water and leave it in the frig if it has to soak overnight. Do this every few hours. Don't let it dry out until you are satisfied. It may take a few days even. It may not work completely, but I've seen pink Santa beards turn white again.

I've used Bethany's idea of staining with coffee grounds to age a sampler before too. And not because something faded, but it would definitely add authenticity to the piece. Sprinkle some damp, not soaking wet, used coffee grounds in several places on the fabric. Rub them into the fabric with your fingers. Leave it alone until dry. Shake off the grounds and repeat until you reach the desired effect. Try it in the margins first, of course, or even on a scrap piece of fabric if you're unsure. I keep old coffee grounds in a baggie in the freezer!

Faye said...

Excellent suggestions Tommye and Beyhany..... I definitely would try the ice cubes first.... Even if it takes a week, look at all the time you've put into this treasure~ if the ice cubes don't work, coffee stain the heck out of this piece.... Some of my customers with prim taste have me double and triple stain certain areas next to their stitching.... It could cover up bleeding... Good luck! I'm taking note from your experience.... Colorfast label on threads may or may not be true.....

Faye said...

Sorry Bethany, previous post, I butchered your name:( sorry....

Merry Wind Farm said...

Hi, Kathy,
I'm so sorry that this happened! What a lovely sampler. My suggestion is along the lines of Bethany's above, you can use walnut dye in a spritzer bottle and age the sampler, I think then it wouldn't be noticeable, just spritz randomly and concentrate more on the bleeding areas until you get the look you want.
Melinda

donnacrafts said...

So sorry to hear about this. Yes, this happened to me also. I was ironing a sampler with the steam on and the red just bled through. I was using sampler threads and this was about 10 yrs ago. I was devastated. I can sympathize with your frustration. The life of a needle artist is not an easy one!!!

Lynn said...

I'm so sorry this happened. I have one piece that I had to wash....long, sad story, and the red ran. Every time I look at it I remember the lesson I learned! I bet you will have good results.

brod'attitude said...

I am very sad for you. I didn't have any idea to help you. I never wash my sampler, I read so many disasters on the web that I prefer a dirty sampler.

Anja said...

I always wash every single project I have stitched. It gives me a good feeling and the stitching looks much nicer, when linen and thread once have the chance to relax after stitching. I wash very carefully not to damage the linen with crease. And I use a lot of towels.
Two times, I had the red bleeding disaster, but with a lot of water, it came to a happy end. Since then, I wash every strand of floss, at once, when it arrives at my home. It is not such a lot of work as it seems, and I am sure that all my floss I have, is washed and there will be no surprises.
Liebe Grüße von Anja aus Deutschland

Lanie said...

Oh my goodness, Kathie I am heartsick for you. I have not experienced this so unfortunately have nothing to offer. I do hope one of the solutions mentioned will do the trick. Wishing you the best ... please let us know how you are doing.

Maria del Valle said...

Really sorry that it happened this! I wish all the best in your search.
Hugs