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Thread: Does anyone else have this problem????

  1. #1
    lovequiltedstars's Avatar
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    I heard some of you use starch to stiffen your fabrics so they don't move as much while cutting and sewing. Have you ever had your fabric shrink while ironing it?
    I put together several blocks and started ironing them only to find out that one color had shrunk!!!! I don't have anymore of that material to make more blocks. Am I doing something wrong? I made sure that the iron wasn't too hot, and that I did not iron too long. I don't know what to do. HELP!!!!!!

  2. #2
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    This tells me the fabric *probably* was not 100% cotton, is this a possibility?
    If the fabric had a polyester blended into it, the poly will melt or shrink when overheated.

    I got into this issue with my first quilt, because I did not even know about different fiber content of fabrics.

    Just a thought.
    .

  3. #3
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I'm a member of a BOM at a local LQS($9-$11pr yd stuff) and they only give you enough fabric to cut your blocks with very little left over (maybe a quarter inch now and then). Since the fabric isn't prewashed I had some shrink HORRIBLY and it was 100% cotton, the buyer had just purchased some cheap fabric to pass off as good stuff. I had to substitute fabric from my stash. SOoooo, what I'm trying to say is that if it wasn't prewashed even cottons can shrink up a lot if it's cheaply made fabric.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    Yes I've had 100% cotton shrink while ironing too. I find it's more the darker colors that do this. Could be due to the dye they used.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    I just washed about 40 pieces of fabric. Many of them were FQs. Several are no longer FQs. They shrunk so much that some measure at less than 17". I am so glad I washed them first, as now when the finished quilt is washed, there should not be any major puckering.

  6. #6
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    No kidding wow.
    Well I will look more carefully now at my quilting cottons.
    I have almost all of it washed, but not all, and I think I'll just go in there and serge all the raw edges and get that taken care of.
    Thanks for the heads up all you guys.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovequiltedstars
    I heard some of you use starch to stiffen your fabrics so they don't move as much while cutting and sewing. Have you ever had your fabric shrink while ironing it?
    I put together several blocks and started ironing them only to find out that one color had shrunk!!!! I don't have anymore of that material to make more blocks. Am I doing something wrong? I made sure that the iron wasn't too hot, and that I did not iron too long. I don't know what to do. HELP!!!!!!
    Try blocking the blocks to size. Sharon Schamber has some videos on Youtube that show how to do this. Ironically, it involves spraying the block with starch until wet (then pinning to size).

  8. #8
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    that's exactly why I'm a FIRM believer in prewashing, you just never know what's gonna happen.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by lovequiltedstars
    I heard some of you use starch to stiffen your fabrics so they don't move as much while cutting and sewing. Have you ever had your fabric shrink while ironing it?
    I put together several blocks and started ironing them only to find out that one color had shrunk!!!! I don't have anymore of that material to make more blocks. Am I doing something wrong? I made sure that the iron wasn't too hot, and that I did not iron too long. I don't know what to do. HELP!!!!!!
    Try blocking the blocks to size. Sharon Schamber has some videos on Youtube that show how to do this. Ironically, it involves spraying the block with starch until wet (then pinning to size).
    What happens to the stretched/blocked blocks the next time they are just washed? Do they revert back to size?

  10. #10
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    I think if the cloth is prewashed, then it will not change shape again.
    That is to say, if the binding, for instance, is starched and ironed prior to applying to the quilt, but is torqued or twisted, looks good at first, but after washing it will show the warping.
    But otherwise it should no longer shrink if washed again.

    Hopefully.

    .

  11. #11
    cjr
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    I have this happen all the time. Usually prewashing helps. I can see shrinkage when pressing. I steam press, don't like dry pressing not definite enough. When everything on a project shrinks it seems to work out. If not I'm good at creative add ons.

    I have a major problem now. I bought fabric from LQS for a class cut there. Was so excited about project that I proceeded to cut 12 background sq 12 x12. After I got home I had to wash because of allergies. Sq have shrunk to 11.25". I will take it to class next week and see what instructor (store owner ) says.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjr
    I have this happen all the time. Usually prewashing helps. I can see shrinkage when pressing. I steam press, don't like dry pressing not definite enough. When everything on a project shrinks it seems to work out. If not I'm good at creative add ons.

    I have a major problem now. I bought fabric from LQS for a class cut there. Was so excited about project that I proceeded to cut 12 background sq 12 x12. After I got home I had to wash because of allergies. Sq have shrunk to 11.25". I will take it to class next week and see what instructor (store owner ) says.
    Seems like a "noticeable" amount of shrinkage to me.

    That was 6.25% shrinkage. That amount/rate of shrinkage on a 44 inch strip of would be 2.75 inches.

  13. #13
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    I have had Kona cotton muslin do this. It wasn't just a tad amount either, it was significant. So now I always wash my Kona....

  14. #14
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts
    I have had Kona cotton muslin do this. It wasn't just a tad amount either, it was significant. So now I always wash my Kona....
    Thanks for the heads up on Kona. I just bought a bunch for a couple of projects.

  15. #15
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    Measure "before" and "after" washing - let us know what happens.

  16. #16
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    I don't pre wash,but haven't had any probs.In fact,all my 1st quilts were made with Walmart fabrics.They've survived several diff moves & being hung on the walls for both DDs & the 3 Grkids use theirs like old favs....to scrunch up on the floor for tv watching & as a bed cover most nights.They must be 12 yrs old or so.Just realized, it must have been better fabric than I knew. :-)

  17. #17
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjr
    I have a major problem now. I bought fabric from LQS for a class cut there. Was so excited about project that I proceeded to cut 12 background sq 12 x12. After I got home I had to wash because of allergies. Sq have shrunk to 11.25". I will take it to class next week and see what instructor (store owner ) says.
    I always cut background squares larger and plan to cut down to exact size after the applique is done. Aside from the shrinkage you have now, applique can also draw up the edges of the background (often unevenly). I learned this lesson the hard way on my first applique quilt *after* I had put tons of time into the applique.

  18. #18
    cjr
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    Prism, Thank you for that heads up. I will learn from your experience. will keep that in mind.

  19. #19
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    When I buy any fabric I always get atleast a half yard more for shrinkage on all fabric no matter were I get it even the LQS. I use what ever I have left of the fabric to make small projects or make a scrap quilt. I'd rather have more fabric then not having enough because it may not be available anymore.

  20. #20
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Did you steam press your fabric before cutting? I don't prewash all my fabric, but I do use a lot of steam & press -matching selveges before I start cutting quilt pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by lovequiltedstars
    I heard some of you use starch to stiffen your fabrics so they don't move as much while cutting and sewing. Have you ever had your fabric shrink while ironing it?
    I put together several blocks and started ironing them only to find out that one color had shrunk!!!! I don't have anymore of that material to make more blocks. Am I doing something wrong? I made sure that the iron wasn't too hot, and that I did not iron too long. I don't know what to do. HELP!!!!!!

  21. #21
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Thats why I always wash my fabrics, too, you just NEVER know~

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooMuchFabric
    This tells me the fabric *probably* was not 100% cotton, is this a possibility?
    If the fabric had a polyester blended into it, the poly will melt or shrink when overheated.

    I got into this issue with my first quilt, because I did not even know about different fiber content of fabrics.

    Just a thought.
    .
    100% cotton will shrink. poly/cotton blends will pucker and melt if too hot an iron. Personally I prewash everything in a cool temp. cycle (65-75 degrees F. Tepid) wash and dry on medium in the dryer. Take out while still a bit damp and press. Make sure to try to use scant 1/4 inch seams --my blocks were shrinking at one point when my machine settings had been changed and I didn't realize it. LOL

  23. #23
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    I always prewash fabric in warm water, dry on medium, and iron with steam before I start cutting. All brands and lines of 100% cotton fabric can shrink (even the quilt shop quality).

    If you are using pre-cut kits and the pieces of fabric are large enough to allow some shrinkage, but you don't want to risk washing them, press them with steam or spray sizing BEFORE you cut them to size.

  24. #24
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovequiltedstars
    I heard some of you use starch to stiffen your fabrics so they don't move as much while cutting and sewing. Have you ever had your fabric shrink while ironing it?
    I put together several blocks and started ironing them only to find out that one color had shrunk!!!! I don't have anymore of that material to make more blocks. Am I doing something wrong? I made sure that the iron wasn't too hot, and that I did not iron too long. I don't know what to do. HELP!!!!!!
    Yep, it happened to me twice. Using some vintage fabric that my mom gave me. I ironed the first block and it went all out of shape. The fabric was vintage and had very little extra for errors. I turned the iron down and was very careful. I now iron before I piece.

  25. #25
    Senior Member nellebelles's Avatar
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    I participated in a BOM from a LQS--they advised that we NOT use steam when pressing our blocks. Of course, the fabric wasn't washed before it was cut into the bits needed for our packs. This makes me wonder (and worry...) what will happen when the quilt gets washed. If it happens more with dark fabrics than with light ones, that really scares me. The quilt I'm referring to is made with a very dark brown background and lots of bright colors as accents. It's beautiful, but I guess I will just have to wait and see. I'm making it for one of my twin step-daughters. The other twin will receive a quilt made entirely by her father. The quilts are "twins" too, except the one DH made has a very light background with more muted colors for accents.

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