I finally finished the quilt - just in time for Halloween! - just needed to block, bind, sleeve and label. Put it into my washer on gentle on cold, threw in a few color catchers (just in case). Opened the washer when it was done and, much to my horror, the black floss had bled, badly, all over the entire quilt. All of the previously white areas were now a dingy grey and because I had used a different fabric for the background for two of the blocks, it wasn't even the same dingy grey.
I've never fainted in my life, but I came very, very close this time.
So, I tried Synthrapol. Took out some, but still ugly. I tried Retayne. Also, took out some, but still ugly. I tried everything I could think of short of a bleach pen. Very nice people in my life told me, "It's okay." and "No, really, I kind of like it. It looks spooky."
Yeah. Spooky ugly. Especially since two of the twelve blocks reacted well to the washing - nearly reverting back to white. Had they all done this, I would have been satisfied. Not happy, but okay, but since the rest were still so dark, I had to do something!
After related my tale of woe to Lisa Jenni (art quilter extraordinaire), she suggest trying some discharge paste. Discharge paste isn't toxic to the fiber the way bleach is and it's thick enough to 'paint' on. So I tried it. First, on one block, where I went around everything. It took so long to do, I didn't bother trying to discharge the interior of the images. I was too afraid the floss would discharge and then it would be a total disaster.
Then I used a large brush and discharged the larger areas around the remaining 9 blocks.
So, it was better, but I couldn't leave it all that grey around each house. I kind of liked the interiors of the images the grey tint. The more I looked at it, and the more I showed it to friends, the more I grew to like this idea. So, I discharged the rest of the images.
But those top 2 center blocks still needed help. I had to figure out how to color them in so that they would blend with the rest of the blocks. Before coloring:
After coloring. I used a clear crayon then used 3 different colors to blend with the rest of the quilt images.
And, here's the 'finished' quilt: