Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The color ran! Oh no oh no oh no!

Here is my piece after soaking overnight. It's easy to think that you've just destroyed your piece. Don't panic. This is normal. Your threads were dyed then rinsed, dried, and cut and tagged for sale. A little extra dye remained on your floss. All that color in the water is this excess dye. Just change the water and let it soak more. After soaking a total of two nights (more if it's really dirty, but why weren't you more careful?!) you drain and rinse the piece. Rinse in cool water. Rinse again. Rinse again. When the rinse water doesn't have any suds and looks like you can drink it, rinse it one more time. Now you'll dry and iron the piece.

DON'T WRING OR TWIST THE FABRIC. Lay it on a clean towel. As you can see, my dog Fitzwilliam is carefully supervising this step just in case food suddenly appears on the towel. Then roll the towel and piece like a jelly roll, put it on the floor, and step on it. All over it. Don't forget the ends. That presses out all the excess water. Now you'll iron it dry.

Now, it you've attached stuff to your piece that will melt, you'll need to block the stitching without ironing it. You'll have to look for info on how to do that elsewhere. If nothing will melt, than you can iron it dry. Yes, small glass beads are okay in my experience, though be careful as some of them have coloring added that won't survive the washing step. If you want, you can always add those extras and things that interfere with ironing (ie. big buttons) later.

I have a small ironing board I use only for my stitching. I put a fresh clean towel over it and lay my piece face down on the towel. I heat up my iron to the cotton/linen setting (again, use your good sense for your piece).
Then I press it, one section at a time, until it feels dry to the touch. I've had people recommend that a press cloth be used to protect the piece (one lady uses a plain paper towel). Don't iron it bone dry as you don't want to burn it. Then, when the entire piece is pressed dry, I turn it over and let it sit on the board overnight to let it dry completely.

That's it! Now it's ready to be used in some way.

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