Two Finishes and a Disappointment
I have been getting some small quilts through to completion. For this first one, the fish print fabric was already cut up when I received it. I am happy to use donated fabric, but I do wonder at how people often cut it with no regard to the scale of the print.
I used Jenny Doan’s Two-Step Quilt pattern, and framed the fish squares with 2.5 inch strips. Wavy lines seemed like a natural choice for the quilting, and I am ecstatic that I thought of using the green stripe for binding. I bought way too much of that fabric once and I have despaired of ever using it up. It does not get along along quietly with its fabric friends.
The backing fabric was also donated — this is one of the few large pieces of fabric I received. It is beautifully silky and I think any baby will like being set down on it!
The other quilt that I have finished is a very simple design to use up more of the patriotic fabrics I was given. These looked to be scraps left after scrubs pattern pieces were cut out. They are very heavily sized, which makes them easy to stitch.
The backing fabric was in large rectangles and all I had to do was stitch a strip between them. This fabric has a beautiful hand and I have enough of it for several more quilts.
As a matter of fact, the Snarky Quilter, Joanna Mack, asked me how much of this fabric I had left, and I weighed it and it came to 81 pounds!
So now to the disappointment. In 2018, my daughter asked me to make a nature-themed quilt for her baby. I had so much fun designing fabric based on pictures of animals from our own property, and I had my designs printed by Spoonflower. I wrote all about that here.
Now granted I may have made a huge mistake by ordering it on Kona cotton instead of cotton sateen. When the fabric came, it looked great, but it was very heavy and hard for me to quilt. I wrote about my difficulties and solutions here.
When I was finished, it didn’t look like I had envisioned, but we still liked the fact that it was a one-of-a-kind quilt. I thought I would take what I had learned, and make a lot more quilts with fabrics printed on-demand.
I did wash it and heat set it when I got the fabric. But now, after being washed only three times, it has faded like crazy.
It had developed some little holes, so I took it back with the idea of patching it with leftovers from the original quilt, and you can see how badly it has faded.
Considering that I spent about $150 on it, I am not feeling like I got a good value.
Has anyone else had this issue? Is it expected that these fabrics are just for decoration and should not be washed? I look forward to your input!
love the fish! You are ingenious!
Thanks! It was cute fabric, I hope I can find the perfect recipient!
Love the fish quilt with that stripey binding! I’m so sorry about the fading. I’ve only used Spoonflower once, so I’m no help. I did heat set my piece that I used, but it’s a wallhanging so I don’t expect it will get much washing. I hope you get some advice!
Yes, I think from now on, it will be wallhangings only!
I love the newly finished quilts! And I’m with you on your disappointment with the fading. I’ve had no experience with that, so I have no solution. Different problem: I made a quilt with some fabric that had a white background that got muddy-looking when I washed it. I’m guessing that maybe another fabric bled a little, even though I pre-wash all fabric as soon as I bring it in the house. I’ve bought a package of Color Catcher to throw in next time I wash it.
I am a big fan of Color Catcher!
I understand your disappointment with the Spoonflower fabric. While I’ve not made anything with my fabric printed by them that got a lot of washing, I found the following on their website: “Some fading as a result of washing is typical for these fabrics over time. This is most notable on darker shades. The more popular front-loading washers do contribute more to this color loss because of the increased tumbling and agitation during cleaning, but this can be minimized by using cool wash settings and gentle wash cycles.
It is always best to tumble dry on a low temperature or permanent press setting and remove your items promptly so as to avoid wrinkling.”
It may be a combination of darker colors and the inability to turn the item inside out to prevent rubbing that caused the fading. You can contact them and ask if this kind of fading is normal.
Thanks, Joanna. When I read “over time” in their disclaimer, I visualized over 10 or 20 years, not 3 washes total. I am just glad I didn’t use their fabric on something I was going to sell! Fortunately my daughter loves how a quilt builds a story as it lives. 🙂
Love the Fish Print! So cute and colorful!
On Tue, Jun 15, 2021, 8:54 PM Deep in the Heart of Textiles wrote:
> TextileRanger posted: ” I have been getting some small quilts through to > completion. For this first one, the fish print fabric was already cut up > when I received it. I am happy to use donated fabric, but I do wonder at > how people often cut it with no regard to the scale of th” >
Thanks! I would never have picked out that fabric to purchase, but I love how colorful it is!
I used spoonflower for mask making with some clever prints. The fabric was not breathable. It was extremely stiff, so after washing you did not have to iron it, which is odd since it is cotton. Because of their price point this is the only fabric I have consumed. I do have much leftovers from the scraps. But has yet to make it into a quilt. So sorry about the poor quality you have experienced. You may want to reach out to spoonflower. Your projects are all beautiful!
What a pity about the fairly extreme fading. I’d be contacting them with those photos, asking if this was what they consider ‘normal’ fading given that you pre-treated the fabric as they outlined. If it is, then I don’t consider their printing to be of reasonable quality; imagine you’d wanted the fabric for clothing! Such a pity, as the design is fun and truly unique.
I haven’t used Kona cottons since solids with a finer weave became available, specifically because of the problems you mentioned working with and quilting it. My only spoonflower fabric is my quilt label, and it has washed as well as the rest of the quilt. I don’t recall what fabric it was printed on, but it wasn’t Kona. Maybe the detergent used was too harsh? I wash my quilts with Orvus or Ivory Snow additive-free detergent. Still, I would have expected better than you got even if the detergent was to blame. Sorry about the disappointment after all that work!
That is a good question about the detergent. I know they suggest making dish towels out of their prints, and those would get very hard use, so I never considered that the fabric could even fade that much. I guess it is a good incentive for me to try applique instead. 🙂