Remember to wash your red!

Posted by on August 1, 2015 in block lotto community | 6 comments

I know that Sophie already mentioned it. But I thought it was worth a reminder since I was one of the people who had a problem with red and white blocks in the past. I won what I think is called a Disappearing 4 Patch in red and white back in 2011. It made a beautiful quilt! But a couple of blocks bled pretty significantly after I washed the quilt. I can’t tell you how disappointing that was! I spent a lot of time and effort getting the red out of the white and did eventually have an acceptable quilt.

Anyway, my advice now on red fabric is to wash it like you normally would. But I always then soak it in the sink just to check that it isn’t still bleeding a lot. Most new fabrics will tint the water in the sink, even after washing, regardless of their color. But if my red fabric turns the water more than a pale pink I rinse it and soak it again. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it isn’t nearly as much work as trying to get red dye out of white fabric.

I do love a red and white quilt though! So I hope I have time to participate this month. Good Luck!

My finished quilt!

My finished quilt!


  1. A real-life example is worth a thousand warnings from me. Thanks.

  2. Another way to test your fabrics is to put it on a wet white/muslin scrap and press it. If the color runs onto your scrap, you’ve got a problem red fabric.

  3. Hi Andrew! Your Quilt is wonderful! I can imagine how disappointed a person would be to have a quilt piece bleed. I have decided to rewash my reds…better safe than sorry right…Great insight Andrew. Thanks.

  4. I ditto the above. I made an I spy quilt for my great niece with the novelty fabrics grouped together by colors. After getting quilt back from the long arm quilter, I washed it to remove cat hair, etc. The red block bled badly on the white (naturally) background fabric. It took 3 soakings with color catchers and oxi clean to get it back to a presentable state. At one point, I thought I would have to remove the block and make a new one and requilt the area. After that I have begun washing all my stash, at least all the medium to dark colors (also gave me a chance to organize the stash by color). I’m a pre-wash believer.

  5. On account of the environment that I live in, I don’t wash my fabrics. There are preservatives in the fabric that prevent the humidity from making a stinking mess of my fabric stash. BUT I do test my fabrics before using with a piece of the fabric and a piece of white in a bowl of water. If the color runs and the white fabric catches it, I cut an amount of the fabric I will be using and I wash it. AND OF COURSE, for Block Lotto I wash the fabric (cut into the amounts I judge I will need – not the full yardage of the fabric) before making the blocks. Also I will get the finished block wet and let it soak a bit just to be sure the colors are fast and then carefully VERY CAREFULLY press it dry. So far so good…..

  6. OOHH AND HOW RUDE OF ME…… Andrew your Red & White quilt is beautiful! I too love the Red and White color scheme!

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