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Another Rag Quilt Question

Another Rag Quilt Question

Old 05-25-2018, 04:51 AM
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Default Another Rag Quilt Question

I've never made a rag quilt. What stops me is the idea of all that "fuzz" in my sewer line. I washed all of my "I spy" fabrics before using them. Being all cotton, they frayed. Eventually, it stopped up my sewer line at the washing machine (not the whole house). What the guy pulled out of the line looked like mop strings. Since then, when I wash my fabrics, I put them in lingerie bags, which seems to have solved the problem.

With a rag quilt, you get all that fuzz that wouldn't be contained in a lingerie bag. Doesn't it stop up your washing machine?

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Old 05-25-2018, 05:30 AM
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Although I have not experienced the sort of blockages you describe I appreciate what you say about your fabric fraying.

When I pre-wash fabric - usually fat quarters - I put them in a pillowcase with safety pins in the corners to stop the fabric getting too creased. As the pillowcases are white (or used to be!) I can also see if there is any colour loss.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:56 AM
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I have made several rag quilts. I am on city sewer not septic, I may do this differently if I was on septic.

My machine (top loader) has a soak cycle that fills, agitates, but does not drain. I run an old strainer through the water quite a few times to scoop out the frayed bits. Then I reset the cycle, without draining. I do this 3-4 times until there is much less lint. Finally I run it through the whole wash cycle. If I am nearby I will stop the machine and strain again.

When it does into the dryer, I have to clean the lint trap several more times.

I do not use fabric softener.

If I was on septic, I would do the above, but also disconnect the drain hose from the drain line and run it outside through a strainer or an old pair of pantyhose doubled up, onto the ground. I would not use any detergent.

I have to clean out my washing machine by wiping down the drum as there will be more lint sticking to it. My old washer had a filter I could clean out, but this one does not.

I do know some people take them to the laundromat. But the ones here only have front loading machines and I do not think it would work as well for ragging.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:14 AM
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I've made several rag quilts and I prewash all my fabric, yet I've never had the problem you describe. Maybe I've just been lucky?
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:07 AM
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We are on a well and I have a front loader so I had the same concerns. The last (I should say Last) rag quilt I made, I held it on my lap on a hard board. Then I spritzed the seams with water and brushed the dickens out of each seam using a stiff-bristled brush. I couldn't believe the amount of thread/fuzz that came out. It's a method I would use again IF I were to make another (which is unlikely). I think it's called a Chenille Brush.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-25-2018 at 08:13 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:15 AM
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When I pre wash fabric which isn't often(usually for garment making) I sew the cut edges together with a narrow zigzag or my serger then when it's washed/dried I just cut the sewn edge off. No fraying strings left in the washer/dryer and I only lose about a half inch of the fabric cutting off the sewn edge so it's worth the effort to me. I haven't yet made a rag quilt but I've used flannel for several backings and this is also what I did with the flannel.

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Old 05-25-2018, 09:39 AM
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actually if it is clean, just soak it if you have a top loader. then spin and put in dryer. all the fuzz will be in the dryer filter. i check it a few times during drying.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:38 AM
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For years, I have used sink strainers in the laundry tub that the washer drains into. These strainers are stainless fine mesh screens moulded to slump downward into the drain about an inch. They come in different sized widths so have them for every drain in the house except the shower. I have bought them at a hardware store and at a grocery store in an area that was predominantly asian. If I am washing something that leaves a lot of lint, I clean the strainer frequently. I had a front loader and did not notice any difference in what drained out than what does from the top-loading Speed Queen. I've used the old nylon on the end of the drain hose and had it stop up frequently, filled for about 6 inches with lint.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dunster View Post
I've made several rag quilts and I prewash all my fabric, yet I've never had the problem you describe. Maybe I've just been lucky?
Prewashing isn't the problem for me. However, once the top is made I only wet it, then take it to the local laundromat to barely dry and fluff a lot. I found I had to often remove the lint manually. This was no big problem.
A story: the first time I took one to the laundromat a small foreign woman kept saying "is broke!" as I kept removing the lint. She did get to see the final product and smiled.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:44 AM
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I've made quilt sized ones and I've always washed them and had no problem but I live in the city so it may be a difference in the piping system. I think the washed ones looks do much nicer plus if any threads break or seams you'll know in advance. You could wash it in a bucket/pan of water or take it to the laundry mat. They can also be made with fleece which will curl but not fray, it looks super cute. Denim jean fabric also works well but may have the same problems with the fraying. this time of the year fleece is on sale really cheap. I keep a lot of quilt blocks made for a last minute gift. I use my Accu cut machine. If you cut the fringe before sewing them together, which is what I did since I did it on my cutter you could wash the squares in a mesh bag and it might be easier.
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