If this has happened to you, then you know how upsetting it can be. But don’t panic, there is a solution.
Award-winning quilter, Margaret Solomon Gunn, has written a comprehensive article about how to prevent and deal with bleeding in quilts. She often works with silk but all of her pointers apply to quilting cottons as well.
One thing she recommends is to soak fabrics for several hours in hot water before using them. Hopefully that will leach out any excess dye that might bleed onto surrounding fabrics once the quilt is completed.
If your quilt does bleed, follow Margaret’s method to remove the excess dye. This works for older quilts as well.
Margaret’s method is based on experiments done by Vicki Welsh. Here’s an informative article where Vicki tested various methods for removing excess dye.
The photos used above are from an article by Gretchen Weaver who outlined her method of removing wandering dye from a quilt. It’s an interesting read that you’ll find here.