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Washing your quilt material

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Patty Schleicher posted on Fri, Aug 16 2013 12:44 AM

I was just wondering what do most people do if they wash their material before they start a quilt or after it is done? Sometimes I just don't like the way the material feels and I think I should wash it.

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gini replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 12:44 AM

i wash everything when it come on the door

gini in north idaho

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eparys replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 6:24 AM

I am a non-washer - lol - except for flannel which I wash in hot water and dry on high heat.

I would rather cut and sew the fabric unwashed because it has (for the most part) more body. When I prewash I feel as if I need to starch it as well - and I should I add - I hate to iron!! 

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Jacy replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 8:55 AM

I think most people don't wash first, but i'm one of those who do. Occasionally a fabric will bleed, or shrink more than you'd expect and I'd rather know that before I put it in a quilt. 

 

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Patti replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 9:01 AM

All fabrics shrink a little.  A while ago, after washing some fabric, decided I needed more.  After I brought it home I compared it to the other.  Good quality quilting fabric and it had shrunk about 1/2 inch.  Of course some types shrink a lot more than others such as flannel.  For small projects or blocks of the month were the pieces are already small, I don't shrink.  A project with a variety of types of fabrics, I wash it all.

Bigger projects?  I do usually wash the fabrics.  The quilt I am working on now I am using some fabrics I already had that had been washed, so washed the others I just bought to go with them. 

We have had this question before and there are a lot who don't wash the fabrics who have had no problems with this.  And I do like that the fabric is a bit stiffer to work with when not washed.  And who wants to do all that ironing? 

More important is to probably to test fabrics that might bleed.  Occasionally I will find a blue or red batik that bleeds a little.

Patti

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I wash almost all of mine. The exception is fabric for OBW quilts. It's recommended that those not be washed till after the quilt is made since matching the initial cuts of fabric is so critical.  Oh, yes, and I didn't wash the Scottish tartan that I used for my daughter's quilt. It was wool and (confession coming here...) more than $60 a yard. I just didn't want to take a chance with it. I told her the quilt can't be washed. She's going to hang it on their family room wall anyway, so it shouldn't get too dirty!

 

 

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Mimi replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 9:46 AM

I wash everything as soon as I get home from buying it or as soon as the package is opened. It does help that my laundry room is at my backdoor entrance.  I use the Color Catchers from Shout that show me which dyes have bled.  I've had too many times when the dyes in the darker fabrics have run all over my finished quilts.  And although my house would tell you otherwise, I do iron it too.  The problem is the fabric comes in faster than I want to iron it.  LOL And when I gift a quilt I give directions on how to wash it and a couple of Color Catchers just in case. 

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MNnancy replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 12:53 PM

I do not prewash unless I think a particular deeply colored fabric will bleed more than 2 or 3 Color Catcher sheets could catch.

I used to prewash, but I quit for two reasons: 1) I was spending more time at the ironing board than I was sewing, and 2) I like the soft puckered look of a quilt that shrinks a bit after laundering.


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MNnancy replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 12:59 PM

Here is an earlier discussion on prewashing (though I don't think it's the longest discussion we've had)

http://www.quiltersclubofamerica.com/forums/t/23576.aspx?PageIndex=1


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MNnancy:
I used to prewash, but I quit for two reasons: 1) I was spending more time at the ironing board than I was sewing, and 2) I like the soft puckered look of a quilt that shrinks a bit after laundering.

 

Exactly my reasons. I've been fortunate in that, until recently, I never had a quilt bleed even with dark fabrics.I made a child quilt out of a purchased panel. I think it may have been not the best quality because the Color Catcher sheets did catch some bleeding orange. This is the first time it had happened to me. But I do always use the Color Catcher sheets. 

 


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Nana replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 1:35 PM

Patty

You are going to get as many saying they prewash as you get saying they don't....LOL>   I personally don't usually prewash anything.  I

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Karla replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 1:44 PM

I do not prewash, but then again I hate ironing and don't have the room for a large ironing board.  But I also use color catchers when washing after the quilt is completed.  I haven't had too many problems with excessive shrinking.

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MNnancy replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 10:32 PM

Karla:
 I haven't had too many problems with excessive shrinking.

I think the batting shrinks more than the fabric.


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Thank you every one that gave me your opinion on whether or not to wash the material. I usually don't wash mine either but this quilt I am working on I decided to wash the backing because it felt so stiff. So I had to wash the top also and now I am sorry I did that. I'm spending alot of time at the ironing board and cutting strings. I will probably have to starch it too. Lessons learned!! I always say I learn something from every quilt I make!! I have not used those color catchers before so I will look for them. Always appreciate tips from you ladies out there!!

Thanks!

Patty Schleicher

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gini replied on Fri, Aug 16 2013 11:28 PM

patty, i work with washed fabric all the time.   you just need to iron it to get the biggest wrinkles out.  you don't need starch.  i think the fabric is more forgiving when i am matching seams, and just generally

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