Washing a quilt upon completion

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Letha posted on Wed, Nov 6 2013 12:59 AM

I am quilting Skinny Strip Quilt that has a lot of red and blues in it.

I pretested most of the fabrics....but it is red, WHITE and blue....

I am  donating it for a raffle....should I wash it first????

Or give instructions for washing it  in vinegar for its first bath????

Quilt is uploaded into the show and tell Gallery

Please advise....

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Nana replied on Wed, Nov 6 2013 1:56 AM

I always wash my quilts upon completion.  With it having lots of red I would use some of the shout color catchers.

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Letha, I'll second Nana's idea. Shout Color Catcher sheets are the best!  You can find them in the laundry aisle at any grocery store.  With strong colors, I'd recommend using 2 or 3 sheets for that first washing.

That being said, I do not always prewash quilts that I am giving away, but I do pin a couple of Color Catcher sheets to it with laundering instructions for the recipient.

On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Linda replied on Wed, Nov 6 2013 8:14 AM

Most all of my quilts go to charity and they must be washed before distribution. Quilts that I give away as gifts I don't pre-wash. No reason for it.


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Karla replied on Wed, Nov 6 2013 9:07 AM

I've been washing all of my quilts lately after finishing them.  I find it necessary because I have two shedding dogs in the house and live in an extremely dusty area.  I do use Color Catchers and they have worked very well for me.

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Roxana replied on Wed, Nov 6 2013 10:07 AM

I ALWAYS wash my quilts with Color Catchers (several as Nancy suggested) after I finish them and before giving them away. In fact, I usually wash them two or three times with the Color Catchers (by SHOUT) until the Color Catcher sheets come out pretty clean. Then, I usually give a few Color Catchers with the quilt along with washing instructions.

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I'm with Roxana. I always wash my quilts a don't wash them without at least 3 color catchers.

Georgetown CA I'd Rather Be Quilting

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Flo replied on Wed, Nov 6 2013 1:56 PM

Make sure you use a cold wash and cold rinse.

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I agree, I have a cat, that loves what ever I'm working on. So I wash the quilts when I'm done with them, the color catchers are great. My DS is allergic to cats. 

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Pamela replied on Thu, Dec 26 2013 11:07 AM


Wondering how your quilt came out in the wash? Did you use a vinegar bath or the Color Catcher suggestions? It can be a bit unnerving washing a quilt with red & white for the first time. I have had success with Color Catcher and I have also had bad luck with them. Ruined a Christmas table runner, even though I had several Color Catchers in the wash.

Now, I always pre-wash red fabrics. If a fabric continues to run after washing several times, I will not use it in a quilt project. Many quilters may suggest a good quality fabric to prevent the issue, but the fabric that ran in my table runner was a high quality quilt shop fabric-Moda, I believe. The issue is really the dye used in the fabric. There are products available for washing quilts after they are finished. You can also use a product called Synthropol to wash the quilt. It requires hot water for the wash and is a detergent that washes excess dye out of fabric without affecting the set dyes in the fabric. It can be used in conjunction with the Color Catchers. See this blog post about how it worked for another quilter HERE.

Vinegar is used to set dyes in fabric. Be sure to use white vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar. Hopefully the raffle when well.

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