Bleach Discharge Quilt Back

Now that May’s Short List is done, I decided to finish the Retro Charm UFO. I pieced the top about 5 years ago and dyed a back to match. The dye job didn’t come out the way I planned and the project stalled.

Here’s the back as originally dyed. Think army green and mud brown.  One end is darker than the other.


I wanted to salvage the back so I decided on a bleach discharge. Rather than make a mess by spraying or brushing, I immersed the back in a 3:1 bleach/water mix. The weather was nice enough I did it in the driveway this morning.

I’ve only discharged fabric once before, and I couldn’t remember if we used anything to neutralize the bleach. I have no idea if this was the right technique, but I rinsed the fabric in water once it was light enough, and then soaked it in hydrogen peroxide for 20 minutes after that. I washed it twice, once with Synthrapol and once with regular laundry detergent, because it still smelled like bleach after the first washing. I dried it out on the clothesline.

I love the result. Now I have a back that’s light sage with a hint of gold.


The colors match the front of the quilt much better. Now I can finish working out the quilting design and start quilting.

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