Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Black Fabric gone bad... a warning!

32.5" X 32.5"      "The survivor!"
Well it looks gorgeous!!
This is the Binding tool quilt pattern. My bee had a sort of  retreat, where we gather to sew together for two days and use the same pattern with our own choices. Read about my fabrics HERE 
Some of you said you'd like to see what I made with those scraps.

I fussed over batik strips, carefully choosing a gradation of not only color and pattern, but light to darks. Cut them out with the binding tool. Cut out black for the background and made kits ready to go on Monday.
I dragged all my paraphenalia in and set up for a good day of just sewing my kit and visiting with my peeps.

First the machine acted up. That problem was solved and I went on to piece 6 big blocks. I went home to trim them to 16 inches.

Hint, if you make this, cut those setting triangles larger than Ginny says to cut. At least from a 9.25" square.


The next day I took in the center all pieced, and four more blocks ready to trim. When I started another block and had to rip a poor matched join, I noticed the black fabric had torn the length of the seam. Hmmmm. I sort of pulled gently on it and it tore like tissue paper.
WHAT??
Then I tested another piece, and just barely touching it, it also tore like paper tissue.
O.M.G.
I tested a setting triangle on one of the recently finished blocks, and yep, tore easily.

After washing it is the same strength
 Like wet paper towels.

Panic set in. I looked at the pieced four block 32" section (at the top pic) and imagined tearing it all apart to remove the apparently rotten fabric.

I have lots of older fabrics in my collection and have never had one become brittle. I do get some fabrics at estate sales but never thought to test it.

I pulled out all my blacks, and people let me tell you in case you weren't aware, there are MANY shades of black.


All of them behaved like regular fabric except another 3 yard piece that resembled the one I cut. It also fell apart.
It has a new home...
Soooooooo
I angrily ripped out the offending black from the four unset blocks.
now I am not sure what to do. I don't want to waste the gorgeous one of a kind scraps carefully cut and placed in arrangement. Pieced. Done. I had planned to surround the center with 8 other blocks like an enormous star, plain black in the corners, to make a 64" lap quilt.
I wonder if I should tear it all apart?
Should I try iron on stabilizer and leave it this size as a wall won't get stressed?
I guess I need to cut new black pieces for the 8 blocks not finished, and can make them into something larger with the existing one left this size.
I just don't know if it's stupid to keep going throwing more good fabric after bad in the finished piece.
Does one rotten apple (yard) spoil the barrel (quilt )?


42 comments:

  1. I know you lovingly choose your batiks, I know it will be a pain to redo the work, but I think it is worth it, you've already taken some of it apart. Relax, unclench your teeth, don't worry.

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  2. If it is degraded, it won't get better. Replace it. It's too beautiful to finish knowing it's ruined.
    Years ago I traded Attic Windows blocks with friends. One side was black. After mine was quilted, I washed it and some of the blacks fell apart. I ended up appliqueing new black over those pieces. My takeaways: never keep black fabric around and never trade it.

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  3. I feIf it were me, I'd bite the bullet-there ain't no fix here. So sorry for your pain.

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  4. I'd put the blocks on the bulletin board for a reminder. Your problem reminds me on the saying on the local church. "You can't expect to live a positive life if you hang around with negative people." Sorry this happened to you, LeeAnne.
    Thanks for alerting us to the possibilities. It's probably old fabric of any color.
    Hugs

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  5. This is GORGEOUS!
    I do think you have to rip out the black squares. At least you caught it before you started quilting. Then all you could do was cry. Now it will be painful, but do-able.

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  6. I have some older fabric from my mother and my aunt. they both sewed all their lives and quilt about in the 70's. So the fabrics are pretty old. I never thought about the black part, but I have a houndstooth check that is like yours. It must be the black dyes of that period.

    I say replace the black and finish the piece. On your label, tell the story! You will laugh about it in 2060!

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  7. Yes...definitely replace it. Let us know what ya decide. Looks like ya had a fun day otherwise:)

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  8. Yep, replace the black. If you try to finish it like this, you'll always be angry at it. Rescue the batiks from the wicked Background Villain, and carry on anew.

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  9. I'd have to replace it as I'd be too worried about it. Also you can't match up blacks, different dye lots will be a slightly different ( but very noticable) shade. I know it's heart breaking after all that work but you will feel better once it's done

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  10. I'd have to replace it as I'd be too worried about it. Also you can't match up blacks, different dye lots will be a slightly different ( but very noticable) shade. I know it's heart breaking after all that work but you will feel better once it's done

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  11. You could applique the batiks onto another background, like a ticker tape quilt. That's probably what I would do. I admire you for taking the black off. Had to be heartbreaking.

    I thought I had naughty fabric when old stuff discolored with age or sunlight. I've never had fabric tear like that, except dresses I've washed (and probably worn) too many times. While I was wearing them. Now, that should make you laugh...

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  12. Well, I like your using the printed colors - it is a nice change from plain old solids against black. Good luck with the fix...

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  13. I had this happen once with black fabric too. It was the backing fabric and the feed dogs tore it up while I was quilting. So upsetting. The quilt was basically ruined. I hope you are able to fix yours. (visiting from Let's Bee Social)

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  14. Oh no! How awful. I completely feel for you. While it's heartbreaking to take out all of that rotten black, I think it's your best option to ensure the finished project will last. It would be a shame to do all that work to finish it and have it fall apart.

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  15. Oh no! Hos frustrating this must be, especially with such beautiful colored blocks.

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  16. What awful for you LeeAnna!
    "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"
    Your design and colour choices are great!
    There should be a "Quilting Rip Sticher Day"
    Coffee, tea, and all those projects that need ripping, I mean taking apart!
    Take care,
    Joanne

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  17. Having just ripped a bunch of hand pieced blocks apart for my green trip quilt I'd say rip it out as you will be much happier with the finished quilt. Those batiks are too beautiful to waste with that torn black fabric. Rip and make yourself smile with the new and improved black fabrics in there.

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  18. I'd replace all the black, but that probably means ... (whisper) .. buying more! You had the idea for a beautiful quilt and lovely fabrics cut; you're past the point of no return. Go for it!

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  19. I agree with everyone above. It looks like it would be worth the effort to get new black and start again. It's going to be a beautiful quilt. And you've helped all of us reading this. I have a ton of old feedback fabric. Now I will check it out closely before attempting to use it! And well, it might be 2061 before you laugh...but, then again, with your bright, sparkling personality it could be 2059! One day, for sure, laugh you will! Today, however, might not be that day...

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  20. And this is why I don't quilt! You guys make it all look so effortless. Kudos, but I'm afraid without a gun to my head, you couldn't make me do that. ;)

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    Replies
    1. ha! be careful quilting is contagious.

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  21. Yikes! I'm on the fence with this one. Taking out the stitches could be torturous, but your fabrics are so gorgeous. Call me if you want further consolation/counseling.
    P&K
    Nancy

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    1. I do want consolation,. Come over here to Maryland and sit with me while I rip. Bring snacks. LeeAnna

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  22. Unfortunately.. You probably need to replace it:-(

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  23. I'm off to check my old black fabrics, thanks so much for sharing, many of my old silks from Japan I have to add an iron on facing to them when I use them in appliqué that is not going to be washed as they do the same thing. Thanks soooo much for sharing. Glenda

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  24. I agree with the "replacers". Your fabrics are gorgeous and it's going to be a gorgeous quilt! You'll be happier in the long run.

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  25. Even though you had a bad start you have a beautifully coloured star! I have had problems with black fabric just tearing apart, mine happened to a prize-winning quilt after around two years - luckily I still had the quilt!!

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  26. I fear you can't leave the black in, even in small amounts. Compare the time it would take to reverse sew to the time needed to start again. Which would be less painful?

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  27. Poor you, all that work! Looks like a rip out job to me :(

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  28. How horrid. I'm with the others - it's a rip it out and put it down to (bad!) experience job I think. It would be a shame not to carry on with the pattern that you're making, which looks lovely!
    Good luck with it!

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  29. ouch - I'd pour myself a glass of wine, put on Doctor Who or an episode of Midsomer Murders and get ripping! It's worth it for these lovely blocks!

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  30. The good news is that your design and fabric choices are beautiful! The bad news is that yes, you should replace the black fabric and redo it all. A huge pain I know, but it will be worthwhile in the end.

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  31. I had the same thing happen to me on a quilt that was already finished. If you know it now, you should replace it now. You will be so much happier. I ended up appliquéing new black fabric over the top of the bad black fabric. It made the blocks smaller (bug jars) but saved the finished quilt. http://www.quiltkisses.blogspot.com/2013/12/three-of-kind.html

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  32. The fabric you chose are so beautiful Leeanna, that I do hope you can save the work and redo it! When I am faced with a sewing disaster, I find that it helps to step away for just a good night of sleep and then I am more able to handle all the seam ripping without being quite as upset. Best wishes!

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  33. That's terrible. Yes. I would rip out the black fabric. Your batik star is beautiful. Beautiful colors.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Have a good weekend.

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  34. What a terrible thing to happen! I was going to suggest that you put some stabilizer on the reverse of the block, but who knows if that will be strong enough to hold it. It would be such a shame if it started to drift apart after going to all the trouble of making and quilting it.
    BTW Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment - I can't reply to you as you are a no reply blogger.

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  35. I have never had that happen to me! I can feel your pain and frustration. I agree with Lara, step away, take a few days and then decide what you will do. It is gorgeous. Good luck!

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  36. This comment sent by email was too important not to include for others to see....
    I had this happen with black fabric used for handbag handles; the handles broke off at the bag. I refunded my customer's money and threw away one other bag. I was really surprised at this. I'm really sorry for you and your quilt.....
    Mary

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  37. I love this and I'm so sorry about the wretched black fabric!!! It makes me worry about using some of the old old old stuff in my stash that's been inherited over the years. I guess checking first is key! Hope you find a solution- I sadly don't have any helpful recommendations.

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  38. Oh, how frustrating. I'd take a breather from this for a bit then come back to it, it's really too pretty to abandon.

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