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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.

  7. #7
    Power Poster 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

  11. #11
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    I clip most of the ones I find especially those nest balls underneath. Always afraid they will catch in my needle when machine qulting.

  12. #12
    Member peggyquilts's Avatar
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    You asked why your mother put the clothes in the fridge after they were starched. Back in the olden days when I was young, we would dry the clothes then before ironing we would "sprinkle" them with water, roll them all up in a towel and place in the fridge for awhile before ironing so the dampness would migrate throughout. It was much easier to iron starched clothes when they were damp. Boy, I'm glad they invented steam irons.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by peggyquilts View Post
    You asked why your mother put the clothes in the fridge after they were starched. Back in the olden days when I was young, we would dry the clothes then before ironing we would "sprinkle" them with water, roll them all up in a towel and place in the fridge for awhile before ironing so the dampness would migrate throughout. It was much easier to iron starched clothes when they were damp. Boy, I'm glad they invented steam irons.
    That's what my mother did too!! And so did I .......for awhile.
    Shirls

  14. #14
    Senior Member Grambi's Avatar
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    My DGM also kept her starched laundry in the fridge. She made her starch and sprinkled it on the clothes the night before ironing day and then kept it in the fridge to keep it from souring overnight. I think she did it ahead of time for the moisture (containing the starch) to spread to dry parts of fabric.
    Bambi

  15. #15
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    As for putting the sprinkled clothes in the fridge. It also keeps them from mildewing before you iron them. One way to avoid fraying is to overcast your seams. If you press seams open this is a lot of work but it you press to one side it isn't too bad. Just run a medium zigzag up the edge with one side of the stitch just a hair or two over the edge.

  16. #16
    Super Member jmabby's Avatar
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    I also clip each block once it is complete, then all the seams when blocks are sewn together, but I don't prewash so the problem is not as major as you have.

  17. #17
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I don't get to picky over threads if the material is frayed a little. I only remove long threads and other loose threads that cling to the fabric. If there isn't a lot of contrast in the material, or very light material, it shouldn't matter to much. Don't over work or worry yourself to distraction over threads showing through. enjoy!
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  18. #18
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    We used to put the sprinkled (damp) unironed "ironing" in the freezer. Sometimes it stayed there for months.

    Some fabrics fray just from being handled - doesn't matter if they are washed or not. Doesn't matter if they were expensive or not, either.

  19. #19
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    starch all my fabric and put it in the fridge overnight. It helps distribute the starch evenly. Starching also prevents fraying.

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