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I started writing this post in my head this morning while I was taking these pictures in the back yard.  It was sort of a sad post, dwelling on how disappointed I was with how the color transferred in the dryer.  I’m still bummed about it, but in between then and now, I had a visit with my new massage therapist.  When she heard I did a lot of sewing she did some extra work on my arms.  As someone who spends a lot of time holding projects and stitching with my hands, I shouldn’t be surprised to feel how much tension she worked out of my forearms, but I was.  Turns out I don’t just hold my tension in my neck and upper back.  Needless to say, I’m feeling relaxed and much more at peace with this project.

black and color block of the month quilt

It’s the Craftsy Block of the Month from 2012.  YES, 2012.  I started working on Amy‘s class in January of 2012 and just finished it this week.  More proof of how far behind I am on my works in progress list.
I used Gee’s Bend Solids for the entire quilt top. It’s a group of cottons with the softest hand.  They are hand dyed solids, which, while it creates a gorgeous variation in color, also creates a less stable one. I treated a stack of the fabrics with Retayne and Synthrapol to help them hold their color. Unfortunately, because I took so long to finish the blocks some untreated black ended up in a couple of the blocks. (note to self…treat fabric as soon as it enters the house)

I was nervous to wash it knowing there were some rogue untreated pieces of the black fabric in the mix so I threw in 3 color catchers and crossed my fingers. I ran down to the washer when I heard the end of cycle buzz and was thrilled to see all the bright colors were still holding their own. Woohoo! I tossed it in the dryer and away I went.  Then the dryer buzzed and I ran down.  I was crushed.  When I pulled it out of the dryer I found the yellows and pinks where now smudged with black. As the quilt tumbled, the black spread itself all over. I had this happen with another quilt, and with washings it diminished, so I tossed this one in with 3 three more color catchers and here’s where it stands.

dresden plate on black and color quilt

Still smudged.

From a distance it looks great. It’s like a fellow student once said of my work during a critique in a university drawing class, “if you step back and half close your eyes, it is perfect”. (I wasn’t insulted, he was British so his accent allowed him to get away with even the most thinly veiled insults.  Plus, he said it was “perfect”, right?!)

So it is our new family quilt. You know the one that gets thrown in the back of the car and used to for anything and everything.   And it will be the coolest car quilt around!  I love the feel of the fabric, so soft and smooth.  Plus aside from the smudges, it’s a pretty awesome set of blocks!  It’s backed with a black and blue print so grass stains won’t  a problem.

back of black and color quilt
Bring on the picnics!  We are ready!