Thursday, April 4, 2013

Portland Modern Quilt Guild: Michael Miller Neons

I'm a member of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and during March's meeting, we were given a challenge to use the Michael Miller Neons and a few of their neutrals in either a 12.5" block (raw) or an accessory to bring to April's meeting.

These beauties, plus three neon solids, which you'll see in a minute.

You all know me at this point and so when comes to color... mo' louder, mo' betta.  I've always loved neons, ever since I was a little kid telling my mechanic grandpa to paint me a car in all the hot colors when I had a car someday.  Had he made it that long, I know he would have!  But this project excited me because now I had an excuse to use alllll the hot colors and no one can tell me it's too loud. Ha!

While I was in the meeting, some knowing soul piped up and said that she had heard the neon solids weren't color fast and that they should be prewashed first because they were SO supersaturated with dye to get that lovely neon.  When I got the fabric in hand, was bright!  But it was also stiff as a board because of the copious amounts of dye.  I never, ever prewash my fabrics before using them, because I like the crinkly look they get when they're washed after being quilted, but this time, for sure, I was going to prewash those suckers like the lady said.

So here we are...just a couple weeks away from the next meeting and I"m getting ready to make my project.  I can't decide between a couple blocks or a super kickass dino makeup bag but anyway, it's time to prewash the solids. It's not like I travel a lot or anything...mainly that I'm clumsy and neurotic...but I have a pack of those handy dandy Tide sink pack to wash clothes in hotel sinks with.  Yeah, I use them at home for fabric too.

The lovely pink solid before washing, and you know, a little product placement. 

I set to washing the pieces in order from lightest to "darkest," so from yellow to pink with orange in between.    Yellow, when dunked in initially, didn't bleed out at all.  It took quite a bit of agitation before it got the excess dye out. But still, not as much bleed out as I expected.  I don't know what I was expecting really, I guess it wasn't going to look like an exploded highlighter. 

I don't think I need to outright say what I thought this looked like, when I giggled about it like an 8 year old boy.  Make you own joke here. 

The orange I have to say, was pretty color fast.  That I was quite surprised at after the yellow.  No change to the water at all, and I'm not exactly gentle on these pieces of fabric when I hand wash them to get excess dye industrial washer is probably gentler than I am. But hey...well done orange.

And now the pink.  Oh, the pink.  As soon as I dunked the fabric in and submerged it, this happened: 
I hadn't even agitated the water yet! And there is's like sink full of soapy Rosè.  It only got worse the more I agitated it.  So...word to the wise...wash the bejesus out of your Michael Miller pink neon solid, it is the most saturated of the three here.  

I was kind of hoping it would make the fabrics softer, but it didn't...the greige goods themselves are just rough, which I assume is necessitated by the volume of dye that is in there.  This challenge isn't just fun as a quilter and a guild member.  As a store manager who sits in on fabric ordering, this is REALLY good info to know.  If we order these solids, it will definitely be made known far and wide to our customers to prewash the ever living out of these solids.  Retayne will be a good ally with these guys!  

Now that being said...block, or dino makeup bag...block, or dino makeup bag? 


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