And So We Meet Again, Nemesis

Red. Red is my nemesis.


I’m in the camp that doesn’t prewash their fabrics. And I never have any problems with this, except when it comes to red. Red is one of the fabric colors most likely to bleed. I know this. I do not need to test the hypothesis. But I rarely use red, so, I guess I forget. I forget red is my nemesis and needs special treatment.

I’ve already chronicled my fight with reds in this big star quilt. I did not think of using red again.


But. Last summer I started making a red, white and blue quilt around the 4th of July. I wasn’t trying to make a patriotic quilt, but I was trying to make a quilt that could be used for boys. I don’t have a lot of boyish fabric. I do have a ton of blues, but even they lean toward the feminine – lots of flowers, turquoise, robin’s egg blue. So I pulled my most gender-neutral red, white and blues and set about making a rail fence quilt.


And recently, I finished it. And washed it.

And…I’m just not sure. I’m not sure who won this one, me or my nemesis. Help me figure it out.


There’s a big piece of red fabric on the back (it’s the most perfect red color). It did not bleed into the surrounding fabrics.


No adjacent reds have oozed over the line into the many whites and light blues on the front.


Except this: this one fabric (maybe two) looks pink – the ones with the red polka dots. What do you think? Is it terrible? Or could it just be a pink fabric?


I’ve washed it three times and there have been no further changes, so I think this is just the way it is going to be. It turned out to be hard to photograph the color, but compare it to the other white fabrics in these pictures. It seems noticeable in the indoor photo at the end of this post.


If this were for my kids, I wouldn’t think twice about it. I’m fine with a pinkish swatch among these colors. But I was making this for a charity that gives quilts to children…I don’t like to give away things that look odd. I think the quilt overall is nice looking, but I’m just concerned about this one area. So – is it good for donating? Let me know what you would do!


Last summer Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts hosted this rail fence quilt-along to gather quilts for an organization called Margaret’s Hope Chest. This groups gives out quilts to people in several types of situations, and they were requesting more boys’ quilts. I didn’t finish the quilt in time (yes, it IS more than a year later), but I still wanted to send it along, now that it’s finished.

As it happens, I’m finishing up another quilt that features red. I don’t expect any problems with this one, but I haven’t washed it yet. Let’s wait and see how that one goes…


5 thoughts on “And So We Meet Again, Nemesis

  1. Send it! It may be a lighter red, but it doesn’t appear pink at all. I think someone would love this quilt to death and the dots would never be noticed, or perhaps be their favorite feature πŸ™‚

  2. Donate it. Perhaps it can be that “one little thing wrong” that you’ve talked about in the past. I can think of 3 purposes of donated quilts: 1) to show love, 2) to keep someone warm, and 3) to give someone ownership of something their very own. Don’t you think your work fulfills these purposes?

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