Resurrection… The story behind the quilt – 1993-2013.

I recently exhibited my quilt ‘Resurrection’ at the Victorian Quilters Showcase Exhibition along with a brief story of it’s making. I had quilters approach me at the exhibition wanting to know more. Likewise after taking the quilt to a Patchworkers & Quilters Guild of Victoria meeting. So I wrote the following which was published in their newsletter.


In 1993 I started appliquéing some Dianne Johnston blocks. I spent the next few years working on the blocks and arranged them into my own layout and border design.

Once the quilt top was finished I decided to wash it, as it was well travelled by then. I always pre-wash my fabrics before use and in this case I took particular care as I had chosen deep bright colours to go on an off-white background. I was sure I wouldn’t have any problems with dyes running, so you can imagine my shock when before my eyes the off-white background started changing colour. In my panic I rushed for the hairdryer, my only thought was to halt the bleeding. At the time it didn’t occur to me that I might be heat setting the dye.

Once I was over the shock of it all I realised it wasn’t the fabric that had bled, it was the thick perlé embroidery threads I had used. Who would have thought! I was absolutely devastated and couldn’t bring myself to look at it, so it was buried in the back of a cupboard for years.

Recently I’d had some success using a laundry product on a piece of fabric I’d had a problem with. It removed the dye that had bled, without stripping the original colours. So, into the back of the cupboard I went and out came that quilt top.

The quilt was finished and exhibited in this year’s Victorian Quilters Showcase Exhibition and was awarded Runner up in the Mainly Appliqué Quilt amateur category.

Every quilt I make teaches me something. This one… never give up on a quilt, good things do come to those who wait and never assume that expensive threads won’t run!

Now, if I’m using embroidery threads in a quilt, I get a few pieces of white paper towel, snip off sample bits of all the threads that I might use onto it then cover it with a few more layers of paper towel. I boil the kettle and pour water onto the paper, making sure the threads are wet and in contact with it. After I have had my cup of tea I check to see if any dye has transferred onto the paper.

The product is ‘S.O.S Colour Run’ by Dylon. I hope it can resurrect more quilts from the back of the cupboard… good luck.

Detail of Resurrection quilt


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