(Gorgeous new fabric line of hand dyes in aqua, teal and Mediterranean blue. Also comes in magenta, red and purple. Couldn't resist making Kindle covers out of these.)
I had a nightmare for a time surrounding my new front load washer. I have never had a problem with fabrics bleeding as I am meticulous about washing fabrics before I work with them - particularly homespuns.
However I learned a valuable lesson this past week that I'd like to pass along.
While all the fabrics I was working with were pre-washed, I had a blue nightmare when I washed the tops for the two baby quilts I have been working on. Because front loaders are particularly "water" efficient - they use very little water. And although all fabrics had been prewashed - the blue dye in the homespuns still bled out (as expected) - HOWEVER.... due to the lack of water volume in my front loader, decided to redeposit into the white fabric centering the nine patch blocks I used, as well as the white border. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????
I have made these same quilts at least 3 or 4 times with absolutely no problem (using my old top load tub washer). I was shocked and horrified. All of those hours upon hours of piecing and quilting. Sheesh. NOT a good week. But with lessons learned and a fresh outlook unearthed - it's time to forge on. At first I had sworn never to make another homespun quilt again - but I just can't do that as the liquidity of those fabrics make for the most delicious quilts. One bad (scratch that.... HORRIBLE) experience can not destroy the love I have for homespuns. We just have to re-evaluate our relationship - and reassert that I am the BOSS and I will not be defeated. End of story.
NOTE TO SELF: Hand wash quilts made with homespuns in a tub FULL of cold water (at least twice) prior to washing in the machine - in SYNTHRAPOL.
UPDATE: Thank you to all of those who commented with suggestions and sympathy! Since posting this piece, I have ordered THREE containers of Synthrapol!