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Thread: Need help with backing issues

  1. #1
    Wendy R's Avatar
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    I have built a quilt top that measures 68 x 80 and miscalculated the backing material. (went border happy :)) The top is with unwashed fabric as it is done with a jelly roll - so I didn't wash any of the fabric. I have played with the left overs and just don't have enough to do the back. I do however have enough of a different fabric to do the back but it is washed. Any idea how to use the washed fabric with the unwashed top? Will the shrinkage of the top warp the back? Should I try to wash the top and if so how would I keep the edges from unravelling? This is my second top so learning a lot - but certainly have LOTS more to learn.

    Thank you for your help!! :)
    Wendy

  2. #2
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    Will be watching

  3. #3
    Junior Member kuseta's Avatar
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    I've mixed washed and unwashed fabrics together in one quilt and really haven't had any problems. As long as the unwashed is not something like flannel that will definitely shrink, you should be fine.

  4. #4
    bmarchwick's Avatar
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    If the borders are pieced and you decide to wash the top, make sure you stitch all the way around the outside so all those little seam ends don't start to come apart. You wouldn't have to throw it in your washing machine. Just wet it down in the sink, wrap it in a few towels to get out alot of the water, then put it in the dryer.

  5. #5
    Wendy R's Avatar
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    Thank you! The top is all cotton as is the backing. The outside border is not pieced just long 6 inch strips. Thanks for the advice! :)

  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    My advice is to not wash the top, as you risk turning it into a wonky mess. The safest way to wash a top is to first baste it (thoroughly) to a muslin foundation. However, I really think this is unnecessary in your case. Most fabrics these days don't shrink enough to make a difference.

    For the backing, I would simply recommend using heavy starch on it before layering. I like a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo and water, "painted" on with a large wall painting brush until fabric is saturated, toss in dryer, then iron with steam. This stabilizes the backing so you are unlikely to get puckers or distortions while machine quilting. I would also spray starch the top a few times to add stability.

  7. #7
    Super Member CoyoteQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuseta
    I've mixed washed and unwashed fabrics together in one quilt and really haven't had any problems. As long as the unwashed is not something like flannel that will definitely shrink, you should be fine.
    Couldn't have said it better :)

  8. #8
    Wendy R's Avatar
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    Thank you Prism99 - I have starched front and back several times. Now have it pinned and getting ready to move my dsm to kitchen table and try quilting by machine for the first time. (1st quilt was a QAYG). Just planning on mostly straight lines with maybe some large stipple. :)

  9. #9
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    Comment has been edited:

    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Most fabrics these days don't shrink enough to make a difference.
    In my experience of measuring fabrics before and after washing them, some don't shrink at all. Some have shrunk over two inches in width. Some shrink a bit in both directions.

    I've had "good" brands shrink, and I've had "other" brands shrink.

    I've also had "good" brands not shrink, and I've had "other" brands NOT shrink.

    I can't tell ahead of time which fabric will do what.

    I am hard pressed to say which brands are "good" - or "not good"

    It seems to depend on the piece as much or more than the brand name.

    My opinion about one brand name/line got deleted, so I won't name any names in this post.

    I've had to list a lot of my washed fabrics as 34 - 35.5 inches in my classifieds - and I KNOW I purchased at least a yard of them!

    But what "makes a difference" to one person, really may not even be discernible to another.

    Those of us that think washing before cutting will continue to do so -
    those of us that think it's unnecessary will continue to not do so.

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