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Thread: clipping threads and getting quilt ready to sandwich

  1. #1
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    clipping threads and getting quilt ready to sandwich

    I have a quilt top that I am sandwiching tomorrow and I have a few questions. The top is all pieced and pressed, but there are almost a million threads to clip. I don't think I've ever used fabric that frays so much. Since the quilt is king sized, it will take quite a bit of handling to get all the threads clipped and I am worried that it will fray more when I move on to another section. Is there a fix for this? How do you keep the fabric from fraying so bad? I use spray starch when ironing fabrics after washing....would it help to spray again after construction? Does anyone use liquid starch? I remember my mother using a liquid starch and then putting clothes in the fridge....what does that do? Sorry ....so many questions.....sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me....LOL

  2. #2
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I will be no help, but this is one of the reasons I don't pre-wash my fabric.

  3. #3
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Great question. I haven't tried anything this large yet, but on a few smaller ones that I hope to get ready to sandwich this weekend, I've got a lot of fraying. For me though the fraying seems more related to the accuracy of my cutting (close to on-grain or not).

    Cheers, K

  4. #4
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    I do go over the back of my top before making the quilt sandwich. I take a wad of masking tape with me to deposit the threads on because once clipped, I want then gone. I clip any threads from sewing the seams but on frayed fabric, I carefully clip what is sticking up without pulling and leave the edge alone. Do not pull the fray threads as you clip! If your pieces are not exactly on the straight of grain you can weaken the seam.
    Good luck and hopefully you can neaten it up without too much trouble. I also keep a tiny crochet hook with me as I quilt and if I see a dark stray thread, I carefully pull it out through the weave without damaging the top. Some fabrics are worse than others but I've never treated the edges with anything. You could try fray check as someone suggested but do a sample first. I don't know if it would make a tough spot to quilt through.

  5. #5
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dina View Post
    I will be no help, but this is one of the reasons I don't pre-wash my fabric.
    Exactly my reason for not pre-washing too! Sorry, I don't have any helpful advice.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  6. #6
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I wouldn't hesitate to use spray starch, but since you will be using so much, consider doing it outside. You don't need to freeze the clothes. You are not pressing it to remove wrinkles but to contain the threads once you have clipped. This will help with control until your quilt is quilted.

    I struggle with certain kinds of homespun for the same reason and contrary to other posters, this stuff was never washed. Same problem with the fabric I got from Connecting Threads. That stuff frayed HORRIBLY and I almost threw the stuff out. I decided to prewash and all the fraying stopped. So, it very well could be just the fabric and the reason why some have no problem with it without washing is because of stabilizers added by the manufacturer.

    I have bought Mary Ellen's Best Press clear starch alternative, but as I haven't used it yet, I can't recommend it. Again, since you will be using so much, spray outside if you can. Inhaling anything you spray is generally not good for the lungs.
    Current piecing: Zig Zag quilt & LOTL (HSTs done, assembling units)
    Hand piecing project: Apple core (TOP IS DONE!!!! Yay!)

  7. #7
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    it helps to clip them as you construct---as in when you finish a block-and press it- turn it over and (clean it up)
    again as you put them together-
    you do not have to worry about every single thread- but make sure there are no (nests) globs of threads anywhere-
    or long pieces that will show through if light fabrics are involved.as for the starch- i don't know that it really makes alot of difference; if the fabric is going to fray it's going to fray- and i don't think pre-washing is the problem either- it's just all the handling-
    it makes it easier to clip them as you go-then it's not such a daunting task at the end.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
    Senior Member familyfun's Avatar
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    WOW.. I have been doing it wrong for a long time. I NEVER clip frayed threads unless the fabric is light or there is a nest of them in the back.. I never knew you all go thru and clip yours off.
    This may be a stupid question.. But if they are in the sandwich and wont show thru.. Why do you clip them?

  9. #9
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I generally go through and clip only where they will show through....whites and light colors.....or if there is a big ball of them. This quilt has quite a bit of white fabric, along with red, black and gray, so any stray threads on the white will show through. I have half of it done so far....so boring. And here all along I thought pressing fabric was boring....LOL

  10. #10
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    I clip threads block by block and constructed section by section. If I waited until I was done with a large top I'm afraid it would go unclipped as that is the least happy thing I can think of!!
    Shirls

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