It started with the iron…

This post is really about bleeding fabric, but to get to that part of the story I have to start with the iron. My cheap Sunbeam iron began spitting brown stuff before Christmas so I had to buy yet another iron.

If I had $1000+ to throw at an iron, I’d get a Laura Star ironing system. (You know it’s going to be expensive if it’s a ‘system’.) Instead I bought a Rowenta Pro Iron Steam Station. The base is the water reservoir. It wasn’t cheap, but it also wasn’t $1000.


I read the reviews on this iron and many said that it was prone to spitting water. It is. But once it quits spitting, it puts out a huge amount of steam. My solution is to leave a folded towel next to the iron and every time I pick it up, I first let it spit on the towel. So far that’s working for me. FYI: I can go several hours before I have to refill the reservoir.

I started work 2 days ago on the last quilt top for the color book. This one features light prints in a rainbow of colors…

RainbowFence-FabricStacks-04 copy

With the top made (it’s way cute!), I decided to piece a square of each fabric that I used to make the quilt back. I pressed as I sewed. My iron did some spitting and, in a few areas, the fabric got wet. I was absolutely stunned when a fabric with red dots bled! And later, even more stunned when a smaller red dot did the same thing!


I prewash all my fabric. This should not have happened, but it did. I replaced both fabrics—on the quilt top, and on the back. I was mildly annoyed at first but then I realized how lucky I was to have found this out when it was still easy to fix.

The dragonfly fabric you see in the quilt back (below, 2nd row) replaced the larger red dot. I used a different small red dot to replace the small red dot that bled.


I wish I knew why that fabric bled. I wish I knew what other quilts those two fabrics are in! But for me it is yet another reminder to wash very carefully. With color catchers, or synthrapol and/or retayne.

And, because I like the photo, here’s a shot of the scraps from the quilt top:

RainbowScraps copy

3 thoughts on “It started with the iron…

  1. Happy New Year! Your quilt back is great. I have 2 things to comment. First, after 2 Rowentas, I don’t buy them any longer. Same problem you are having. So,I got a cheap iron made by Shark. I read about it on a blog and for me it is the best. It cost about US$ 30.00 on a big box store. I am loving this iron.
    Second, I have many red fabrics bleed like that. One just yesterday on an applique block. All you have to do is add some drops of the blue Dawn ultra liquid detergent (yes, the one for dishes), on a container of room temperature water; and soak the fabric until it is clear again. Rinse and you are set. The color becomes color fast because Dawn has a similar formula to Syntrapol (sp?). You can soak the rest of your dot fabrics too and do the test. I hope this help.


  2. Hi Cissa:
    Thanks for the hint about Dawn, and the info on your Shark iron. Im sure that Ill be in the market for a new iron in a year or two… they just dont last!
    I threw away the dot fabric because I just dont trust it now. Thankfully, I have other colorfast red dots that dont bleed.
    Happy stitching, Becky


  3. Looking forward to seeing the front of this quilt! I still bounce back and forth on washing, after seeing this I will be back at it I suspect!


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