Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Stitching Tale of Woe

As I mentioned yesterday, my plan was to work on my cross stitch projects & finish them into their final forms.  I am still not brave enough to tackle the finishing work on my needleroll but I did finish the 5 other projects I've stitched within the past few weeks.

After sewing them into 4 pinkeeps & 1 cupboard tuck I faced my next fear ... staining them.  I've stained things before & have been only marginally happy with the results so that should've stopped me in my tracks right then & there, but my back wasn't hurting & I wasn't craving a nap so I laughed in the face of fear & proceeded with the staining.

My staining directions indicated I should spray them with either tea or coffee & then pop them into the oven for a while on low heat.  I decided to use tea since I was told that coffee could possibly result in a grayish shade I might not like.  I sprayed tea on the cupboard tuck first, placed it onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, & then took the 4 pinkeeps & sprayed those.  I also took the damp teabag & rubbed it around the edges for a really prim look.  When I turned to place the pinkeeps on the baking sheet, this is what I found.

The color from the tail & head feathers of my peacock had ran onto the fabric!  I used a different brand of floss when stitching this cupboard tuck (Weeks Dye Works).  Who knew it wasn't colorfast?  There was no warning on the label that this could happen.  It also only happened with this one color.  The other 2 colors, as you can see, stayed put.  

I have tried every suggestion given to me to fix this but alas, none of them will work.  The cupboard tuck is a total loss.  All that time spent stitching & finishing was for naught   : (   I guess I can just look at this as a powerful lesson learned.  

And how did the pinkeeps turn out?  As I feared I'm afraid.  When I look at them, I don't see "primitive" ... I see "Oh look!  Shirlee sprayed tea on those!"  Sigh!  I'm hoping that they can be restained in some way so that they will look better.  Ruining a cupboard tuck is one thing.  Ruining a cupboard tuck & 4 pinkeeps is another.  I'll let you know if this tale results anywhere near a happy ending.  


Brenda said...

Hi Shirlee....just a suggestion here, I always stain my fabric before I stitch. Maybe that would work better for you?? Good luck!


TheCrankyCrow said...

Oh dear Shirlee....I feel your pain...Yikes....So sad!! I have no good suggestions for how you might fix this piece - but if it's to the point of "tossing it" I guess I'd try washing the entire thing with some of the color grabbing detergent and/or oxy clean - realizing, of course, that ALL of your colors will become faded (but, hey - some old pieces have very soft faded colors) and then distress the heck out of it to cover any leftover colors that are where they're not supposed to be....I know, pretty drastic, but it beats the garbage can....As for going forward (i.e., "in the future"), I would suggest a couple of things - one being, aging the fabric first, as Brenda suggests (but then your stitching and floss don't get distressed). Also, with some stitched pieces (especially large ones that I know I will wash before I frame), I soak the flosses in a solution of cold water and vinegar to set the colors before stitching. And, last but not least, for small stitcheries and punch pieces, I prefer to use a purchased distressing solution (I use "Distress It" as it comes in varying strengths). I know many crafters use the tea staining or walnut crystal mix, but I don't do enough of it to worry about mixing up the stuff each time or to be good enough at it. The purchased solution comes in a little spray bottle and I find I have more "control" over it - and after using it a few times, I know what to expect, and so can control my results better. Be sure to let us know if you come upon any great secrets!!! Hugs ~ Robin

renee said...

Oh Shirlee,
I am sorry. That is a beautiful piece! Perhaps, you could try the coffee,it may hide some of that if it's dark enough. Another thought, maybe try painting the fabric on this one~ like a color wash. I guess it couldn't hurt. I still have yet to attempt this craft. Good luck.

Jessica @Blessings in the Country said...

I'm so sorry to see it bled so much! Yikes. I prefer to stain after I stitch because I like the look better. But I also have not had a problem with bleeding. I've only used DMC unless a kit came with a different brand of floss. (If I need to dye fabric, then I do that first.)

I have read that people have used water to get color out. They get the stained part wet, then dab it with a cloth and pull the color out. And repeat with putting water on and dabbing off the color. If it works, it takes a long time because it is a long process. And it may not come clean 100% but perhaps faded at least.

Definitely do color fast testing, and what Robin said with your floss.

Just remember, mistakes are just learning experiences! And we all have them! :)