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Thread: Washing Charm Packs

  1. #1
    Super Member nannya54's Avatar
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    The questions about using quilts as table cloths reminded me of a question about charm packs and pre-washing them. I made a table cloth out of a Moda Charm pack and it looked great. After a few meals, I wash it, and the shrinkage on some of the squares totally distorted the table cloth. So, my question is, how do you pre-wash charm packs so you don't have shrinkage problems?

  2. #2
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    I would be afraid to wash a charm pack. I would be afraid that with the shrinkage and the fraying I would loose too much fabric. What would happen it you just sprayed them with water and let them air dry? I am surprised that some of the charms shrank (is that a word?) so much. If you must wash, I would put them in a bag or pillow case and wash on delicate. Good luck.
    Sue

  3. #3
    Senior Member kheliwud's Avatar
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    I don't pre-wash, I like the crinkle shrinkage. But to eliminate the distortion, I would get the quilt out of the dryer while still slightly damp, and block it back out square. I pin mine to the carpet floor and this seams (get it!LOL) to work for me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member leakus's Avatar
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    I would try stacking them up and pin all around with safety pins, maybe even inside a pillowcase.

  5. #5
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I have read (but never tried) swishing them around in a sink filled with hot water. Use a salad spinner to get out most of the water, then dry flat. You could also just try steaming them with a hot iron.

  6. #6
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I would not prewash the squares either...if you baste well, and then do enough quilting, there should not be too much shrinkage when washing. As someone said, just dry for a bit until damp, then take out and block and let it airdry the rest of the way and there should be minimal shrinkage. If you try to prewash, it could really distort the pieces, and make it difficult to accurately piece.

  7. #7
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    I don't pre-wash most things, and I've never pre-washed charm packs or any other pre-cuts. I wash my quilts/tablerunners/table toppers on gentle cycle, or hand wash and then air dry. If it's winter, I take it out of the dryer while still damp, and hang up in the shower with a skirt hanger, or lay flat to dry.

  8. #8
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    After making a set of placemats from a charm pack, and not prewashing, there was so much shrinkage, (over an inch!!!), that I will never again not prewash them. I now do a rinse in the sink, as paperprincess suggested. Roll them in a towel to get most of the moisure out, then press with a hot, dry iron. SOme did need a bit of squaring uo when I was done, but my quilt didn't shrink like thev placemeats did.

    Patti

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I would soak in a sink , towel press out some of the moisture , then put in the dryer in a delicate bag ( they are mesh bags , you can buy at most general stores like walmart).
    Most of the shrinkage occurs in the dryer, so its important to do that step in pre-shrinking.
    I preshrink lots of stuff( backings, battings, fabric ...even scraps ) when I want it to stay as flat as the day I sewed it.
    When I want the crinkles look , I preshrink the fabric but not the batting, if both the batting and the fabric are shrinking you don't get as much crinkle.

  10. #10
    Power Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    I would soak in a sink , towel press out some of the moisture , then put in the dryer in a delicate bag ( they are mesh bags , you can buy at most general stores like walmart).
    Most of the shrinkage occurs in the dryer, so its important to do that step in pre-shrinking.
    I preshrink lots of stuff( backings, battings, fabric ...even scraps ) when I want it to stay as flat as the day I sewed it.
    When I want the crinkles look , I preshrink the fabric but not the batting, if both the batting and the fabric are shrinking you don't get as much crinkle.
    I have had experience with 5 inch squares shrinking at different rates - but I am very surprised to hear that you had uneven shrinkage from fabrics from the same line.

    Thank you for posting this.

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