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Is it always necessary to wash fabric scraps before piecing?

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Jo Williams posted on Tue, Feb 5 2013 12:42 AM

I have been given a large supply of fabric scraps - many are very small pieces. I would like to use these in a scrappy quilt but but I'm not sure whether they have been pre-washed. I hate to think of the ravelly mess I would end up with if I had to wash all the pieces first. I would think the quilting process would keep the pieces stabilized enough to prevent much shrinkage but I'm hesitant to proceed without some advice.  

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I would not wash scraps as they fray to much.   Susan

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Diana replied on Tue, Feb 5 2013 6:05 AM

I agree, I would not wash them.  I've had scraps like that and went ahead and used them and everything was fine.  No problems at all.   I did wash the quilt after it was done.  Good Luck and have fun

Diana (Bink) in East Tn.

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Thank you! I really appreciate such a quick reply! I have used scraps like this in crazy quilting projects without a thought because those were not meant to be washed anyway. I feel more at ease about using them in a more 'usable' item, now. Have a Great Day & thanks, again!

 

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I agree with the others. Sometimes the pieces are just not worth the trouble of even wetting them and ironing them dry. I have done that with fat quarters.  I just wanted to take the time to welcome you to the site.

 

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My sister irons them with steam just in case they have the tendency to really shrink.  Now I have started doing that.  Anyone else?

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Thank you, Ramona, for your nice welcome. I'm beginning to take up traditional quilting after several years of doing the 'crazy' kind. :o) I look forward to learning the 'ins & outs' from this group of very talented stitchers!

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RE:glutenfreequilter: That's a really good idea & a pretty simple solution -  especially for those scraps that might be most questionable. I will definately use this trick! Thank you!

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Dear Glutenfreequilter, 

just noticed your ID, I'm also gluten free, was wondering how long you have been gluten free?

 

Michelle B
Enjoy family, friends and hobbies

 

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Michelle.....about 6 years.  Life changing to say the least!

 

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Michelle - how long have you been gluten free?  How are you doing with it?

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L Kohl replied on Wed, Feb 13 2013 4:15 PM

Machine washing would produce nothing but a ravelled mess.  Small pieces should be washed by hand only.


As for shrinkage problem - most fabrics today don't shrink enough to be a problem.  However, when being given scraps some may have been pre-washed and some may not have.  In that case my preference would be to wash all before using.  Washing produces a softer texture and when dealing with unknown scraps I prefer to be sure that I am working with a uniform feel.

The idea of steam pressing is a good alternative to washing.  Even misting as you press is a good idea.

My mother always pre-washed her fabric.  As few years ago I was making a scrap quilt and raiding her stash for increased variety in the pieces.  After sewing small sections together I pressed them.  There was one fabric that shrank when I did the pressing.  I had to take that section apart and re-cut that piece.  My mother had pre-washed the fabric but it reacted to the heat and steam from the pressing.  No amount of fudging would make it fit.  If I had waited to do the pressing until the quilt top was completed, it would have been a real problem.  That piece would have caused a pucker that looked like Mount Everest.  I am not exagerating.

 

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Thank you, L Kohl. I really appreciate your input. There is nothing like experience - even if it isn't your own! That's why these forums are so valuable! I have decided to either steam iron or mist & iron, as you suggested. :o)

 

 

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