Wednesday, May 14, 2008

seeing stars

My seeing stars quilt is done. 
Here is the backing and binding...
and on my daughter's bed. 
I love the stars and the secondary design that the setting blocks make.

Unfortunately, after taking it out of the wash, I discovered something very, very bad. A few weeks ago I bought 16 yards of what I thought was Warm and Natural batting (at JoAnn's), but it ended up being Fairfield White Cotton Batting. The fibers in that particular batting are larger and more twiggy than in the Warm and Natural batting. At this point, I realized it wasn't Warm and Natural, but I thought it would be fine.  So I sandwiched and quilted it, bound it, washed and dried it. I was delighted when I took the quilt out of the dryer. It was all puckered up, just like it should be. But, after looking at it a bit, I noticed several of the dark spots from the batting showing through the white fabric. I am sooooo disappointed. I can't tell you just how much. Then, I discovered that one of the natural fibers must have gotten too hot in the dryer and it actually burned the fabric.
I'm just sick about it. 

I talked to a manager at JoAnn's and they agreed to exchange the rest of the batting that I haven't used yet used for Warm and Natural. But what do I do with my less than perfect quilt? 

I've been wracking my brain to think of what kind of applique I could do to cover it up. I have even considered ripping it all apart and fixing it. (A lifetime project.) Or else I could hang it on the wall so you can only see it at a distance and not see all the imperfections. I am afraid I am too much of a perfectionist to just use it as is. 


And, to add to that, I was hours into quilting this quilt, in which I used the same batting. So now my new project is to rip out 4 bobbins worth of quilting, just so I can change out the batting.

It's been a bad quilting week here.

75 comments:

jmbmommy said...

my tummy hurts just thinking of your situation...really ill, I can only imagine how you feel. Good luck!

Ellen said...

Oh no!

OK, here's an idea for appliqué - What if you put little leaves around the polka dot closest to the burn, making one dot into a little flower? I think that would be cute.

Anina said...

It's so VERY pretty. The batting thing sucks. You should write the manufacturers and tell them what you think of them.
I think the little flower idea is great. Undo the quilting in that little section, applique little leaves, and requilt it. It'll look like it was meant to be there. Of course, this would make me want to put more "flowers" in other spots to make it more "symmetrical", but that's just me.
Good luck. I feel for you.

sewstylish said...

Oh you poor thing. How frustrating to have something like that happen. I agree on contacting the manufacturers. I agree that a flower or maybe a star or butterfly would do just the trick. I had a quilt entered in our quilt show a few years ago and it was my nephews, well the day before I was to turn it in he cut a whole in the border. Yup after freaking out a little I appliqued a frog over that spot and know one was the wiser.

Frieda said...

I think if you applique some random flowers it will make it cute and hide the bad areas. I will make sure never to buy that batting. Otherwise its beautiful. Sorry about the ripping on the other quilt. Wish I was close to you I would help.

Cami said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! I feel for you. I too am a perfectionist and I have no answers as to what to do. Personally I would rip out that section and try again, but I have to go with my mom on this one. She says that she purposely puts a mistake in every quilt that she makes (most of the time it isn't on purpose but accident, but she just leaves it) so that you know that it was handmade and that no one is perfect. But to be truthful, it would drive me nuts. I say, start with writing the manufactures, and then work on fixing it. I like the flower applique idea. Good luck!

Ann J said...

Oh how awful!! All that work, and I thought I had a problem with a faulty pattern !!! .. .Ann J

QuiltedSimple said...

Oh that makes me sick - to think of all that work. What about some buttons sewed on randomly - or you could applique flowers and put buttons in the centers of the flowers? The quilt is absolutely beautiful though - and it's inspiring me to make sure I finish mine!!

Kris

One Shabby Chick said...

The quilt is beautiful...that is so horrible about the batting! I agree with all the comments above that you can applique something over the spots. Ughh, and now you have to rip out the other one too.
Hope your quilting week gets better from this point on....your quilts are all just gorgeous!

amanda said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about your quilt. I'll try to remember this when I'm buying batting. Have you start ripping yet? what if you put on applique in the same shape and fabric so it will still look like the same quilt blocks? If it were me, I would just give up on it and give it away to someone else who would treasure regardless of the burns.

Sarah said...

Oh my, this is such a nightmare of any quilter!! I am so scared something like this will happen with my king-size quilt I'm working on. I will triple check I have the right batting!!

Em said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about that batting! I love that quilt though - I think it's beautiful even if it's not 'perfect' - how many beautiful antique quilts to you find that are really perfect after all? It looks beautiful on the bed too. I agree with Amanda - just applique another peice of the same fabric on top of that one - the same size and shape as whatever is ruined, and it won't be very noticable!

Anonymous said...

I feel so bad for you - what about a star applique? I still love the quilt. One more commentalong with the batting - I have not had good luck with the fabric from this retailer. Just my experience - I pay a little more for my fabric but I am much happier with he end result.

Reg said...

Just something else to try before you ripe it apart, get one of those little bleach pens. It looks like most of the burnt spot is on the white so you should be able to go right over it. Be careful how much bleach you squeeze out so it doesn't bleed onto the back. If you accidentally do bleed onto the polka dot or the backing, the right color sharpie marker might be the finishing touch. I've done this on store bought blankets before. My son stains everything! Good luck!

Patty said...

I am so sorry about your hard work becoming flawed. Is the burn in only one area? If so, you could try putting bleach on a q-tip and dabbing it on the burn to see if it will hide it.

Amy Jo said...

That makes me sad. I feel for you, and if I was closer, I'd come help you tear out the thread in the new quilt. I have no idea what to do with the star quilt. Miss you!

G'G'ma said...

Oh my goodness, I so feel your pain!! I think you've received many good ideas. Hope something works. Think of all the people who read your blog and won't be buying that batting at JoAnn's!!!!!

The quilt is beautiful.

Tine said...

YIKES! That is awful! I am so sorry :-(

lera said...

Oh no!!!! That is horrible!! (I still have to say that it is absolutely beautiful. You are truly gifted, Amandajean!)

Suzy Quilter said...

So sorry to hear about your batting dilemma. I'd be heartsick about it, too. :o(

Good luck and hope that someone's suggestion works. I wouldn't even know where to start. Isn't it great to have so many blogger friends out there that may be able to help you. Good luck!

Kari said...

I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. It is heart breaking!

What if you even applique a small heart over the burn mark? It could even be with white and sort of hidden. The flaw could become a treasured and unique part of the quilt.

IamSusie said...

I can be a perfectionist, but I wouldn't worry about this. It's one of those things you can't go back and change so I say just keep it, use it, and don't think about it again. It's like getting the first ding on a new car and then after that you never have to worry about dings again. Little marks like that are common on vintage quilts so it adds to it's vintage charm.

Roxanne said...

Oh, wow. That just makes me sick to think of all that work ruined. Looks like you have lots of good ideas to try. I'm with Amy Jo - wish I could hop over and help you rip!!

wyndesnow said...

Oh no! I like the idea of appliqueing a flower or a star (to stay with the theme). I can offer no suggestions on what to do. I would definitely complain to the manufacturer, if for nothing else but peace of mind.

simplysewn said...

Oh, I am so sorry. I found a pen mark yesterday on the quilt I am making for a wedding on Sat. I have no idea how it got there! I am hoping I can get it out.

A friend of mine once told me that the Amish (which we have a lot of around here)always make some mistake in all of their quilts to remind us that none of us is perfect, only God who created us and so the imperfect quilt is a reminder of that imperfection.

I will watch out for that batting, however. Our Joanne's doesn't carry that brand, I don't think. I have been using an 80/20 mix and it is the softest I have ever felt. It also covers me in fluff every time I quilt!

Good luck. I can't wait to see the new one, I love the colors. Remember: You can't be a good sewer unless you are a good ripper. That is my all time favorite saying.

Beth

Jeannine said...

I am sick for you. I too am a perfectionist, and although I would see it everytime I looked at the quilt. No one else will probably even notice it. I am trying to "reform" my perfectonist ways, and have adopted the saying... "Done is better than perfect". It helped on a quilt mess I had. Try saying that 3 times while deep breathing in between each. Its worth a try...

nicolette said...

Oh my dear Amandajean, such a shame of all the work, but the quilt is still really amazingly beautiful!
I’m curious what you will decide to do. Maybe you should take some time to ponder on a solution or leave it like it is?
(some wonderful advice from a perfectionist and somone who would have started to unpick the quilting immediately...!)

NanaKaren said...

Dear AmandaJean...I'm SO sorry to hear this! Besides returning the remaining batting to JoAnn, you might consider contacting the company that makes it. This is a product to stay away from!

The others have given you excellent advice and I'm hoping something works. I would hate to see you tear it apart...you probably wouldn't feel the same about it! What about adding a few yo-yo's here and there where there are bad spots? Just a thought.

Take care and remember...tomorrow will be a better day!

Sending hugs.

Quilt Nut said...

that is horrible! i can't believe it actually burnt the quilt! have you also contacted the batting manufacturer? what about just popping that square out?

littlelovebug said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry about the icky batting! I think you've already gotten some good advice. I think if it were me, I'd do some applique. But like Anina, I'd have to do it all over just so it looked more "on purpose". It's still a very beautiful quilt! (and making me want to kick my tush in gear and get my blocks done!)

Heather said...

Holy Guacamole! I'd applique a small matching patch over each spot and use white fabric paint on the burnt seams. Then I'd pour a glass of wine and cry a little. May the force be with you, friend.

Michelle said...

I totally understand the "perfectionism" - I've caught up on my 3 blocks and still don't think my points are good enough. I'm also worried about so. much. white. background. I've never used that much because I AM afraid of stains. I also know, that if I made a quilt like that for one of my girls, it would IMMEDIATELY have a stain on it. And I would be sick, but then have to get over it because, after all, I made it for them. Which is why I've never done quilts with so much white in them. However, your quilts are so beautiful and so inspiring, I had to try it. So, maybe just try to let the stain go - your daughter will never see it and will always love the quilt. And it's just one more excuse to make another quilt.

Fiona @ Dragonfly-Crafts said...

What a week you are having. Hope it ends a bit better.
I'm loving all the stars too but I haven't even started the quilt-a-long yet. Maybe next week?
I'm glad there is someone else out there that would be MAD enough to unpick a whole quilt.
New unpicker afterwards?

Jane Swanson said...

I am SO sorry to hear about this. Your quilt is still beautiful tho'.

If it's any consolation, there are many of us who will definitely learn from you on this! I've never quilted with a mostly white quilt before and I can see how this would be a real problem and one I would probably create without even thinking about it.

I do like the many ideas offered here. Let us know what you do!

~jane

Amanda said...

Gosh, so many great ideas. Have you thought about stitching star sequins over the dark spots?

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Aw what a shame! I am so sorry. Thats just awful. You can just accept it as something that happened and make the best of it and leave it on her bed. She may spill or leave a pen on it at some point. If its a quilt to be used, mourn then let it go. How awful for you. Its SUCH A BEAUTIFUL QUILT!

mckie2 said...

If the quilt bothers you so much you can't bear to look at it, just give it away and go make another that you can love. Oh yeah - you could give it to me if you wanted. I have a great ability to overlook imperfections.

pincushionpoints said...

Sorry to hear about your quilt getting burned by the batting. Thanks for sharing though so we can keep an eye out and not get that same batting. It sounded like you got some great advice from others on possible remedies. I do think it is a beautiful quilt even with the dark spots.

Jodie said...

You are so composed, I would be in tears or swearing or both. I have no brilliant ideas but I do sympathise.

pratima said...

I'm so sorry about the quilt... cannot imagine all the seam ripping, such a pain! But despite the marks,it is still a delightful quilt.

anna*in*oki said...

How about a little white fabric paint over the burn spot? It looks to be a small area and mostly on the white fabric. If that didn't work you could still move on to ripping or applique. I just have to say, Amandajean, I have learned so much from you and your blog. (Sharing this experience will help lots of others, too.) A big thanks for your friendliness, inspiration and generosity!

Danetta said...

I would be just as sick as you over this. I am too much of a perfectionist myself and know what I would do. You are going to think I am crazy but I am so very serious here. If you would trust the quilt with me, I will take out all of the quilting for you. It's something I think of as therapy and I have plenty of time sitting here at the part time to do it. It is just so beautiful and I would hate for it not to get used. I am serious, just contact me.

belly said...

i'm so sorry to hear that :( . maybe you could do some flower or butterfly applique on the burnspot.
hugs.

Alison-My Little Stitching Corner said...

Oh the quilt is just beautiful. I can't wait to make one!!

Alice Grace said...

Such a gorgeous quilt! I am so sorry for the batting problem. As a novice, I could not begin to think what to do, but it sounds like you have had many suggestions. As knowledgeable as you are, I bet you will come up with a solution that will work, then you will pass it along to all of us for future use! I will write down the name of that batting so that I don't buy it! Thanks for all your expertise. Your blog is a joy!

Jacquie said...

First, the quilt is beautiful! I'm so sorry about the week you've been having. I like the applique idea. Maybe your daughter's first initial? I saw a quilt that had that done and it definitely added a nice touch and didn't detract from the overall design. I would have trouble leaving it alone. I am curious to see what you decide to do. Keep your chin up!

My Happy Turtle said...

I yelled a little out loud when I read your post. I'm so sorry about your batting! You should mail that photo to the manufacturer and let them know who disappointed you are. Ugh, my heart goes out to you!

Philigry said...

oh, i wish i had a quick fix idea (or a magic wand) for you! I would be the same way. i do like the wall hanging idea.
If i lived next store i would come over and help you rip out those stitches to the other one! Could you leave it, and just make sure it never, ever goes into the dryer?

mikawendy said...

The stars quilt is just beautiful--I like how whispery the colors are. I root for leaving it as is, or appliqueing on patches of the same size as the existing pieces.

And to Simplysewn: I once read in a quilting book by Rodale Press that glycerin helps get ballpoint pen ink out of fabric. I've never tried it, but I have some in my sewing room (I bought a remnant a while ago that has some ballpoint pen on it, and I'd like to see if it comes out).

Karen said...

I'm so so sorry about your quilt, I could cry buckets of tears:( And I've been waiting with great anticipation to see how you finished your triangle quilt cuz I love that one. It makes me sad that you have to undo what you've already done...the positive to that is, if there is one, that you caught it when you did.

Things have got to get better.

sulu-design said...

Oh, Amandajean! My first thought when I saw this quilt was, "She's really outdone herself." The pattern is just gorgeous, and it looks quite complicated. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened with the batting mix up and the burn from the dryer. Believe me, I know what it feels like to get to the end of a long, hard project and have something like this occur. I hope that you can sleep on it (no pun intended) and that a solution will make its way to you once you have some distance from the project.

Michelle Payne said...

Amanda Jean, I'm so bummed for you. All that hard work.Is there nothing you can to remove some of the burn color from the spots? What about a Tide pen?

Louise said...

There must be a way of getting out that stain! Why don't you google it! It really is a beautiful quilt Amandajean and I'm sure that after you get over the initial horror you won't feel quite so upset.

house on hill road said...

plain and simple: that just sucks. i am so sorry that happened.

HobbyMommy said...

Sorry this happened to you. One really hard lesson learned. Darn Jo-ann's!!

SewAmy said...

omg, I feel so bad for you. I would be sooo upset too. The quilt still looks wonderful though.

-dlm. said...

I am so sorry that the batting actually overheated in the dryer and left a burn mark! Your quilt is so lovely. As other's have suggested, I would applique something over the mark. Another thought would be to hand-embroider something fun and whimsical over the burn mark.

- dlm.

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Blakely said...

The quilt is so beautiful and I feel so bad for you. I would definately contact the manufacturer. They would want to know that their product is doing this.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely quilt! Shame about the batting problem. What a bad ending!

If you really don't feel like you can enjoy the quilt and the imperfections, maybe consider donating it to the Linus Project. I know they're always desperate for larger quilts (bigger then baby/crib size) for older children and teenagers who have extended hospital stays.

sarah said...

You and the other Virtual Quilting Bee members are among my favorite cyberspace teachers. I am a beginner quilter and read your blog daily for inspiration and to dream!!!!! I think the quilt is BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY IT IS. If you were selling, I'd be buying! Like the Amish, the Native American potters also make a mark in their pieces as a reminder that perfection, although sought after, cannot be achieved in this realm. I think your mark is quite stunning!

Blessings!

Rebekah said...

oh no! That quilt is just too beautiful to be ruined like that! I would definitely go the applique route, although the marks aren't too bad from what I see. I might also leave it alone.

alice said...

Couldn't you very carefully use the fine tip on a bleach pen to remove the mark on the white part? I would try that first and if it didn't work out, either live with it or applique. I think the quilt is GORGEOUS as-is. No one will notice the burn mark but you. In a year or so it will get another stain and you'll forget about this tiny imperfection.

Crafty Lady said...

I'd say use it as a picnic blanket, or keep it in the extra blankets for guests area. Either way, it isn't very noticeable until you point it out. It is absolutely adorable though. You always have such amazing quilts!

Shelli said...

this is a PERFECT example of when it's totally appropriate to enjoy glass of shiraz, and simply remind yourself that the ONLY perfect thing is the Divine, and that a TRUE artisan has a small "flaw" intentionally placed in one's work.

Marcia said...

Oh! I'm sharing your pain. How dissappinting! You're so good to rip all that out. I really like that quilt. It is worth the time it's gonna take. Keep us posted on what you do to cover up the marks

Sara said...

THats horrible. I will have to remember that next time I am buying batting at JoAnn's. What about placing some pink buttons randomly around the quilt? And I do love it, burn spots and all!

Thriftin and Craftin said...

I could cry for you that that happened. Your quilt is gorgeous. I HAVE NEVER TRIED THIS SO TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK, but I just read that white vinegar mixed with some salt removes scorch marks. I had to share this in case it might help. Maybe try it in a tiny spot first and see if it works. No matter what your quilt is GORGEOUS! You know us vintage gals, the marks make it look old and loved, just perfect to me! Love your newest pink scrap quilt too. Those are always my fave ones. My mom LOVES her Audrey quilt that you helped me with.

quilterlee said...

I feel so badly for you. The quilt is still beautiful. I agree that some well placed applique flowers, butterflies, hearts, etc. might hide the darkened areas. I, too, would contact the manufacturer. Thank you for passing along the information about the batting.

ElizabethandJeff said...

I love the seeing stars quilt!

Margeeth said...

Hi Amandajean,

A pity, those burn marks on your star-quilt. But, I wouldn't do anything to fix it. If you look at antique quilts, you can see a lot of them have dark spots on them, so the burn marks just add to the antique feeling of the quilt (if holes start to appear in the burned spots it is something entirely different of course).
About the other quilt with the same batting in it that you are quilting and planning to take all the quilting out of, I don't know whether you started picking out the stitches yet, but if you haven't please reconsider. From your post I read that the problem with the burning batting is caused by the dryer, so you can also considering just finishing it and NOT USING THE DRYER. This may sound outlandish, but it is entirely possible. As a matter of fact I don't even have a dryer and my quilts dry just lying down on the floor. (I have two children, 15 months apart and have survived their infancy without a dryer just fine).

Vickie said...

Your quilt is beautiful and it is such a shame what happened. I did see a post about the vinegar but I do know that if you use lemon juice on aged yellowing spots and holding the treated spot over the steam of boiling water will take out the yellowing spot. This may also take out a scorched spot. It may be something to try.

Another mom quilter

quilter000 said...

If what you used is 100 cotton it likely had some cotton seed hulls in it and that is a normal thing. The seed hull and seeds have some oil in them and they will stain like the one in your quilt. I know how you feel and That is how so many of Grandma's quilts got the brown stains in them Sorry I still love the pink and white quilt you made great job .

Cheryl said...

Just found this quilt along. Although the quilt along is long been done, I'm going to make a "scrappy" quilt using all of my Grandmother's old scraps. I've been wanting to make a star quilt and was going to do all the same star pattern but this will be perfect!!! Thank you so much!

Sis-O said...

Found this quilt along in 2012 and I love your quilt (and your blog). WHO KNEW about the batting issue? Thanks for the heads up on that. I think the quilt is beautiful.