The whole quilt was a fiasco but I’ll tell you the running red story first. I wash every single piece of fabric before it goes into my stash.
This quilt was being entered in a show so I wanted to wash it to remove all the markings and block it. One of the reds ran . . and it ran a lot! I worked so hard and must’ve washed it a dozen or more time and finally got all the red out. I used those dye catcher sheets, Synthrapol . . you name it and I used it but I did get the red out for the most part. If I pointed out where there’s a little bit of the bleeding left over, you would see it but otherwise, it isn’t noticeable.
Now, I wash every piece of fabric (except white!) with a good size (maybe 12″ x 12″) piece of bleached muslin. If the fabric runs, I’ll sometimes wash it a second time using Retayne. If it still bleeds after the second time, it goes into the trash.
The other part of the story about this quilt: Back in the late 90’s I started making these blocks for a quilt for my husband’s brother and his wife. They had red carpet in their bedroom. I made all the blocks and couldn’t decide how I wanted to set them. I sewed them together and ripped at least three times. By the time I finished the quilt in 2005, and we were in New York and planned to give them the quilt, they had re-done their room and she told me “we’re so happy to have the red out of there!” Ughhh! But I’m kinda happy that I ended up with it. Some day I’m going to have a good spot for this quilt!