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Thread: Advice on Fraying Patchwork Squares

  1. #1
    Member Faireweedamsel's Avatar
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    Question Advice on Fraying Patchwork Squares

    Afternoon,

    I've started cutting out all of my patchwork squares for a new quilt (throw size at 54x72). Really pretty fabric from Sweet Bee Designs called In the Meadow.

    I haven't washed any of the material (thank goodness). I decided to experiment first with a couple of pieces of fabric. I cut out all my squares for the two fabrics (new blade) and the fabric is fraying along the edges. I washed a couple scrap pieces and, of course, it made it worst.

    What are my options to help with these edges so my quilt won't ravel away my seam allowance?

    Advice would be most appreciated.

    With thanks,

    Katie

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Being that you have everything cut, the best I can suggest is to continue on, pressing regularly with Best Press. It will help to "seal" the edges and minimize the fraying.

    You may be surprised how things will change with the stitching and Best Press'ing as you go.

    Hindsight is always 20-20 .....
    One of the reasons for pre-washing is to shrink fabrics, which can tighten up the weave and minimize fraying. Using Best Press post-wash for a good press before you start cutting really does make a difference in the fraying as you work with the fabric. I have seen fabric that was fraying terribly become quite controllable with next to no fraying after.

    Good Luck!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    Starch starch and more starch, I’m sorry you got a bugger, I hope you are able to finish your project.
    Lisa

  4. #4
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I had this problem when I used linen. What I did - after I sewed a seam using 1/4 inch, I sewed it again using 1/8 inch. I was afraid it would fall apart when I washed it.
    Lori

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggramma View Post
    I had this problem when I used linen. What I did - after I sewed a seam using 1/4 inch, I sewed it again using 1/8 inch. I was afraid it would fall apart when I washed it.
    I would probably consider doing this. Double stitching is a bit of a bother - but waaaaay less bother than trying to fix a pulled out seam.

    If your pattern will allow you to do so, take a "generous" 1/4 inch seam - a scant 1/4 inch seam will just give you problems.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I never had this problem. I pre wash all new fabrics and that may help. The double seam would help a lot.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    I don't know your pattern but can you serge all the seams? My first quilts I used a serger [overlock machine] and they are still here after 20+ years. Best of luck on your project.
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  8. #8
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Shortening your stitch length and making sure that the raw edges of the piece are on the inside when the top is folded during construction, for transport etc., will also help.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  9. #9
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quilt heavily!
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  10. #10
    Member Faireweedamsel's Avatar
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    Evening,

    Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. Newbie here!

    Fortunately, I only experimented with two fabrics (14 squares out of approx. 192). There’s a total of 22 different fabrics.

    - wash the rest of the fabric and use lots and lots of starch.

    - pattern is very simple with 5” blocks and six pinwheels at 5 3/8”. It’s a full quarter inch seam.

    I have no serger machine. Quilt heavily as suggested.

    My quilt store was out of unscented Best Press so I grabbed a bottle of Tea Rose. I’ve never used the fragrant version. Does it really have a strong fragrance?

    Thanks,

    K
    Last edited by Faireweedamsel; 04-28-2019 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Typo

  11. #11
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I don't wash my fabrics but I do dunk them into a pan of home-made starch and then put them thru my home-made wringer and hang them to dry, the press before I ever cut into the fabric. This most times helps the fraying to be minimal. Also by starching beforehand I find which of my fabrics might bleed too. If they do I can dunk them into vinegar. I've also started adding vinegar to my spray bottle of water I use to mist my fabrics when I press them as well as during my process of making the blocks.
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  12. #12
    Member Faireweedamsel's Avatar
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    Hi Snooze and All,

    Snooze, I was so tempted to dump the whole lot into my bathtub with lots of starch! I did, however, remain calm even though I'm rather ticked at the manufacturer!

    I've washed all my quilting cotton by hand with Soak Wash and hung up to dry (no washer or dryer). A little more ravelling along the edges. The biggest problem has been the fraying after cutting out the blocks.

    I'm waiting on my order for lots of unscented Best Press and other supplies.

    Many thanks,

    k
    Last edited by Faireweedamsel; 05-01-2019 at 08:49 AM.

  13. #13
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    When "hanging" yardage on a line, I am very careful to not pull the selvages out of kilter.

    When dealing with small pieces, I hang them on a drying rack - if you have one - or lay them on a towel and let them air dry.

    I try to avoid pulling the threads out of alignment.

  14. #14
    Junior Member stitch678's Avatar
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    I'd be tempted to use a slightly wider seam allowance throughout the entire project...you can always aff a border to bring the size up.

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