TYSS fabrics

So how are you doing with fabric selection? Do you have an idea of the direction you want to go, or are you overwhelmed with choices?

I settled on Navy with Ugly Mustard and Ugly Green, and then I ran into a few snags. First, I don’t have 6 yards of navy fabric! I have more than enough light gray and putty and berry – even a lovely pumpkin color – but no navy. I pulled fabrics from my stash and looked it over, and finally decided to stick with my original color scheme. Tonight I ran out to Hobby Lobby and picked up the Kona Navy that I wanted. Here’s the navy with my first round of fabric picks:

Initial Fabrics

There’s a lot of fabric here! I won’t use all of these, but because I have such a (ridiculously) large stash, I usually pull more than I need and then thin it down. I grab a few fabrics that might not work, just to see what happens. Some go back on the shelf, but some bring a little extra interest and I keep them in. I need to mull over these for a couple of days, and I’ll show you what I eventually end up with.

Elizabeth (no blog) has chosen to go with a red, black and white theme, and is waiting for her Kona Rich Red to arrive. Meanwhile, she asked this question:

Now I hate to prewash, and I’ve had good experiences with the Shout color catcher, but I don’t want to be foolish, either. I’ll test a sample, and I’d love input. Have you, or anyone reading this, had red fabrics bleed even with a color catcher?

I’ve had good luck with the Color Catchers, but I haven’t worked with a red and white quilt. Testing is a very good idea! There are special products you wash the fabric with before using to fix the dyes (Retayne) and then to keep any remaining loose dye from migrating to other areas of your quilt (Synthrapol).

Take a moment to share your fabric choices or questions, and any advice you have for Elizabeth!

Edited to add: Jeanne over at Grey Cat Quilts just pointed out that Fabric.com has a bunch of Kona solids on sale for $4.66 to $5.85 a yard.



  1. I’ve had red fabrics bleed AFTER prewashing, and in spite of using a color catcher when the final quilt was washed. The best bet seems to be prewashing with something like Retayne, which should help set the dye. Every dye is a bit different – better safe than sorry.

  2. I don’t prewash. My last quilt had some red next to some white, so i basted color catchers over the red parts. I used almost a whole box of color catchers. The red bled only a little. Basting color catchers onto a quilt may seem like a pain, but for me it is better than washing and ironing fabric before I start.

    I’ve got a batik quilt that is still bleeding after its 3rd wash. I wash it in cold water with several color catchers, and each time the color catchers are gray with excess dye. I can’t see any color bleeding onto the quilt, though, so I don’t really worry about it.

  3. I haven’t done a red and white quilt, but I once had dark green bleed all over a finished quilt and it was a haeartbreaker (a piece from someone elses stash- guess it hadn’t been washed). I always prewash with a Color Catcher or two, and if those show much color, then – wash it again w/ an old towel and more Color Catchers. Put starch in the rinse and it will iron up nice and crisp again!

  4. Wow–you all are wonderful! Thank you, Sandi, for discussing my question, and thank you all for such great answers. I had completely forgotten about Retayne and Synthrapol, and if the red fabric even thinks of bleeding when I test it I will be using them. Since the red is the background, it might not be a timesaver to baste color catchers, but I love that idea and will save it. And, finally, I’ll figure out how to use starch in the machine –another good idea.

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