Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Watched Pots and Things Boiling Over

OK. I Googled to get the exact quote.  It's "A Watched Pot Never Boils". 

Well, I can tell you from personal, recent experience that if you put some water in a big pot and add some Ivory Liquid and throw in your embroidery that bled all over the place - the red and blue and even some dark green ... that if you put all of that on the stove and go over (here) and sit down to write a blog entry, that a pot that is NOT watched will just merrily boil over, all over the stove, down the front of the counter, into my drawer that holds the new paper napkins and sogged them all up, and onto the floor making a nice big puddle.  Silly quote anyway.

Peggy Crawford.  We all remember her, those of us who do Brazilian embroidery and also a lot of stitchers who contributed to the online Crazy Quilt Magazine.  She was a sweetie, one of the nicest persons ever, a wonderful designer and writer of excellent instructions, and several years ago she wrote a book Stitching the Wildflowers of Virginia.
Back in "the olden days" (lower case), I fell in love with this beautifully written book and Peggy's lovely designs, all traceable patterns. I traced all of them and then piled them every which way onto a piece of 12" x 12" fabric, pulled out my floss and began to stitch. The finished embroidery was stashed away in a drawer until now. I pulled it out. It was grubby. I soaked it in cool water (how we do it now). It bled and bled and then ...right... some more.
My solution would have been "I really meant for that to happen," and I went to look for my watercolors. I was going to dab greens onto the background fabric - all greens and browns like an artistic work.  But then I realized that I stitched this piece in the days BEFORE Red Dye #2 was banned and the dyes used for rayon are now heat sensitive. 
The old floss was NOT heat sensitive.
Into the boiling pot it went - with Ivory, soapsuds throughout my kitchen, and the embroidery that disappeared almost ALL of the color bleed in a few minutes. For further reinforcement (since heat wouldn't make the dyes run more anyway...), I threw it in the dryer, high heat for 10 minutes.
Here it is. Almost NO color bleed.  (OLD floss, remember) OK, well, there is "some" color bleed...
Now I agree that this Brazilian embroidery could have had another boiling water bath, but I wanted to get it finished because I'm going to take it to Show and Share at our BDEIG Seminar  (Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery International Guild, Inc.) this week. Read more here. Scroll down to the lower right corner and double click "Seminar 2014".  We are going to present a tribute to Peggy Crawford and the designs she has made for us to stitch through the years. Copies of Peggy's book are still available online. Here are some of her flowers up close:

I have mopped up my kitchen floor, I have the embroidery outside drying in the sunshine (since I didn't leave it in the dryer heat for long enough), and if I still have color bleed, I might add some watercolors to the background. And I might just try another soapy boiling water bath again later.  But this time I. Will. Watch. The. Pot.



  1. Can you help me please,
    I want to buy your book but I don't arrive.
    Thank you very mutch

  2. I have it at my website You can order it there and email me RWRW at Comcast dot net for the postage. Thank you.