Washing my Baltimore. Yikes!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and, like most people we had a super busy long weekend.  We had the family over…just 26 of us!  I cooked a huge turkey and all the fixins!  Hubby bought himself a new camera, so we headed north to Meaford and Thornbury to take some awesome photos and to get some apples.  Is it my imagination or are the leaves really spectacular this year?

I also had a few spare hours, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and toss my Friends of Baltimore into the washing machine.  Let me explain why I did this.


I am not sure if you remember this, but when I washed one of the borders, some of the fabrics ran (red and dark blue) which shocked and upset me.  I was shocked, because I am very careful about pre-washing all of my fabrics. Since I used all the same fabrics in the blocks as in the borders and this was the first time any of the fabrics had run, I was really puzzled.  I was upset because my quilt had very distinct red and blue splotches on the background.  I finished the top and had it quilted, knowing that one day I was going to have to deal with those darn splotches.  Well…that day had come!

I talked to Colleen from Elite Quilting who knows everything there is to know about bleeding fabric and how to fix it. Imagine the look of sheer horror on my face when she nonchalantly suggested I wash the entire quilt in the washing machine with Synthrapol.  It took more than a little coaxing on Colleen’s part to assure me that all of the bleed marks would come out and my quilt would not be ruined.

So I gathered my quilt up, added a whole bottle of Synthrapol, put it in the washing machine using the hottest water possible, crossed my fingers and prayed to the Quilt Gods.  I stood there for 40 minutes and watched the quilt go round and round.  I called Colleen for some support…twice!   This is a picture I took of the quilt spinning around.  You can see that Bruin is as concerned as I am!!


I am not sure why I felt compelled to stand there and watch.  I stopped the washing machine and opened the door just to check up on it a few times.  I was very thankful that all looked good!

Once the washing machine stopped, I gathered the quilt up in a clear bag, and whisked it over to my husband’s shop where we laid it out flat on some tables to air dry.  I was so very thrilled to see that all of the marks had completely vanished and, more importantly, my quilt had not fallen apart!! Yes, so much to be thankful for!

I am also working away on a scrappy quilt designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts called Trail Mix.  It is a great stash-buster.  Here are the strip pieced diamonds, which I am now going to go and stitch together!

IMG_1767 (1)

Tile next time…




12 thoughts on “Washing my Baltimore. Yikes!

  1. My heart started pounding as I started to read about washing the quilt. I would have been compelled to have watched it too. But now I know what to do when I finish (if ever) my LE from Esther. We need to see this quilt in all its splendor again. So beautiful!

  2. Dear Kerry, I am soooo happy everything turned out beautiful! Your work is exquisite. I signed up for Edyta’s Trail Mix class, but don’t know if I will get to do it in the near future. I will be happy to watch your progress. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents. Marjorie

  3. I will remember this tip if I ever have that experience! I experienced this happening 1 time on 2 blocks on an applique quilt and that was enough for me. The quilt still awaits 2 new blocks!
    I am curious – why do you wash your quilts? I mostly do quilts to enter into shows and never wash mine. I have seen quilts that have been washed and dried and they look horrible.

  4. Oh my gosh, Kerry – I’m not sure that I could ever be as brave as you were… but then, what did you have to lose? Still… how fortunate that the results were so wonderful! Your work is spectacular and I have loved viewing your progress on this and other quilts. Keep up the great work!

  5. I have had the same bleeding problem even though I pre-wash EVERYTHING. When I am finished with a quilt, the first thing that happens is that it goes right into the washing machine. Yes, I have stood there and watched it like you in the beginning…but now I trust that all will be well. I use about 5 or 6 color catchers in the machine as well. Then I lay mine outside on the lawn to dry. I wash ALL my quilts. I don’t want any surprises should I give it away or some time later when I wash it. Never have used Synthrapol….just my regular laundry detergent with some Oxyclean. Your quilt is a masterpiece…exquisite. I am happy for you that the colors came out! I will keep Synthrapol in mind for future reference. You do beautiful work. Like the scrappy one you began.

  6. Yikes is right! I would have stood and watched it also at the washing machine. You are brave but it is good to know there is a fix, thank you for sharing.

  7. I’m going to remember about using Synthrapol. So glad it worked out for you. I went to Quilters Take Manhattan last month-Edyta told her quilting life story and there was a quilt hanging behind her. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, so I bought the pattern. It’s called Common Bride. I am bound and determined to make it.
    Happy belated Thanksgiving.

  8. OH. You are brave. I have a similar problem coming up. What temperature did you set the machine at? I am more than a little terrified at the prospect of shoving my quilt in the machine. I will take it to the laundry as I feel my low water machine really does not help…

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