Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The eyes have it!

I finished quilting my big dragon tile quilt over the weekend and soaked it to remove the blue marking pen.  Unfortunately, one of the blue fabrics in it bled all over one of the two white tile backgrounds, and I was horrified.  I followed Vicki Welsh's excellent tutorial (thanks!!) which primarily involves soaking in soapy hot hot hot hot water for many many hours.  My water kept turning blue so I guess that was good, but constantly boiling water and pouring it in the bathtub got exhausting. Plain hot water from the tap helped too, but I thought the boiling would be better.   After about 22 hours of soaking, the blue hadn't completely come out but it had evenly and lightly stained all of the white background.  I was really surprised that one of the two white background fabrics (both cotton!) just sucked up the blue and the other one is as white as ever.  In any case, now my tiles are white and pale blue and that's just good enough.  Unfortunately all that soaking made some of my other fabrics wear weirdly and the blue dye also backstained some of my gold fabrics which now look very dingy, but I'm just ready to be done with this quilt.  Incidentally, I didn't take any pictures of the blue/white but if you look at the first picture below you can see a little of the fabric that stayed white on the left and the one that sucked up all the blue dye on the right.

I blocked it, squared it up, sewed on the facing strips and then decided I should stitch the beaded dragon eyes on before flipping the facing strips around.  So here for your consideration are several different beaded eye options:

I started out with a red bead on a black sequin, but I thought that made my dragon look too mean.

I'm now trying to decide between the next four:

1. Gold eye on black sequin.

2. Gold eye on black sequin with short green beaded eyebrow.

3. Gold eye on black sequin with long green beaded eyebrow.

4. Black bead on black sequin with pink accent bead.

Which is your favorite?  Other suggestions?  I always appreciate the input!


  1. I like either 1 or 4. I have had the same issue as yo with some light fabrics. Some seem to be treated in a way that the absorb loose dye and I don't understand it. Glad the process helped some!

  2. I like #4. I have had similar issues and so now test many of my fabrics before they ever get close to a quilt.

  3. I think I like #4. I want to see the whole quilt! You were very brave to do all that boiling water treatment, glad it worked out. Did you test the blue fabric before you used it? What type of fabric was it, batik, hand-dyed?