Quilts that are washed sometimes look a bit different. Is it worth it to wash a quilt that is 'new'? (You risk slight colour changes or warping/wrinkling in un-quilted areas.) Not always, but sometimes it becomes a genuine necessity. Especially when a quilt has been handled a lot or has been worked on over a large expanse of time. My example is the 2019 World Quilt Exhibition entry mentioned last blog. The quilt was carefully handled, packed up between quilting sessions but -in fact- had been in progress for many years and even with all the care I could give it couldn't possibly be clean. We lived in five different houses between the beginning and end of this quilt. (We do move around a bit so that's no surprise really) The point is that no matter how much you take care of a quilt, in reality it might need to be washed. This quilt did not LOOK dirty, or smell. I was just painfully aware of how many hours I quilted, and how many times it had been out then packed away. (How many years it had been unwashed.) To wash such a huge thing first a large bath was filled with tepid water then a colour safe soap was added. THEN the quilt was added. It was a huge shock to realize how much dust had landed on this baby over the years. Three rinses saw the water clear. Yikes! In case you are wondering, the discoloration in the water was not dye, when the tub was drained the first time, there was a layer of wet dust stuck to the tub. The moral of this story is to consider washing any quilt that hasn't been washed in years, even if it looks/smells good.
This was one of those forever projects because of the design and further because once the top was made it was heavily quilted using marine life themes. The William Morris border fabric that was used for the Kaleidoscope blocks created some pretty amazing shapes. Overall I was pleased with the outcome and with the fact it was accepted to tour with the World Quilt Exhibition 2019. Now back home it will travel to the states later this year to become a permanent part of my younger son's belongings.
One of the things I appreciate about challenges or competitions is the fact that it forces me to focus and meet a deadline. When creating 'just because' I tend to dwaddle or overthink. SO for the Wanaka Aspiring Art show I revisited a quilt that I created some years ago. Unlike the previous incarnation this is mounted on a canvas and hung 'on point'. It was still carefully assembled and hand quilted. The original was much larger and had a large black background creating an upper horizontal edge so it could be hung. I'm REALLY liking the way quilts appear on canvas. This piece was accepted for exhibition in Wanaka. If you want to see a bit about this competition check out the button link below.
Letting you into the inner sanctum of a quilter's thoughts and activities.