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Thread: How do you wash your fat quarters?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Helen6869's Avatar
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    Question How do you wash your fat quarters?

    I have several sets of fat quarters and want to have them ready for quilts, pillowcases, purses etc. I always wash my fabric due to allergies. Do you stitch around the outside to prevent fraying or do you use another method to stop them from fraying? I have tried pinking and this did not work very well. Thanks in advance for all the help! I love this board for information! It's the best!

  2. #2
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I serge the cut edges and throw them in the washer and dryer. If they are going to shrink or have color run, I want it to happen before I put it in a quilt. Zig zag will be fine too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Helen6869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryb119 View Post
    I serge the cut edges and throw them in the washer and dryer. If they are going to shrink or have color run, I want it to happen before I put it in a quilt. Zig zag will be fine too.
    Zigzagging might be faster...and use less thread? do you agree?

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I just toss them in the washer, on gentle cycle, separate any that are tangled when they're done, and toss in the dryer. If there are strings, so be it - I just cut them off. I guess I have a higher tolerance for fraying than some people do, but I'd rather deal with that than spend time preparing each piece. (I even use the same method for all scraps, no matter the size.)

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My washer has a handwash cycle. Just a gentle swish. No strings at all. I love this feature.
    Got fabric?

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    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    What about throwing them in a lingerie wash bag? Would that help? I haven't used fat quarters yet, but I think I might try that!

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    You would use less thread but serging is faster.

  8. #8
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I wash mine sometimes in mesh laundry bags and sometimes not, depending on whether I remember to do it. Like dunster, if they fray, they fray and I think it's a good thing to know ahead of time, because I can treat that fabric differently when it comes to sewing pieces together.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

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    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I toss mine in the sink to rinse through. If they run, I hand-wash until they have run their course.

    Then I wring them out and smooth them on a large towel which I roll up and squeeze any excess water into the towel. I either hang-dry or iron-dry the rest. It may sound like a lot of work but it doesn't seem so to me.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

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    Just use a gentle circle on your machine or if your machine is heavy on fabrics throw them in the largest lingerie bag you can find.
    Merivale
    Australia.

  11. #11
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    I put mine in a mesh bag and throw them in the washer. Sometimes I hand wash in the sink and spread out between two towels like madquilter said. What ever works

  12. #12
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I have done both the mesh bag or throw them in a bowl of water or sink and let them soak - ONCE.. just once I threw them in the washer on regular cycle .. just once was enough for me LOL too messy

    The soaking in a bowl / sink will tell you if the fabric will lose color , I have thrown fabric out after 5-10 soaks and they are still bleeding
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  13. #13
    Super Member deanneellen's Avatar
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    Wash mine by hand as I use them. I try to be careful with ones that look like the color might run and do them separately. Squeeze some of the excess moisture with a towel and then toss them in the dryer.
    Deanne Ellen

    Quilts,Books,and Wine,Oh My!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Helen6869's Avatar
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    Thanks for the really good suggestions. i have washed fabric that gets so tangled that I didn't want to lose the extra inches if I could help it. I think the serging and the laundry bag will do the trick. But....no laundry bag today. Will have to wait to use it so just serging today. Gotta get some sewing done!! Thanks again everyone.

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    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    I pink the edges (some unravel but most don't).

    Most importantly, I wash by colour and throw in a colour catcher or two: wash on gentle with either warm or hot water with two cold rinses using Tide Free. If I'm washing a group of really dark colours, say purples, I throw in all the purple catchers. (see below*)

    If the catchers are coloured after the cycles finish, I throw in an additional catcher and either "just" rinse again or rewash.

    Ultimately, the FQs go into the dryer on "Low".

    In between the extra rinses or re-washing, I also snip off any long strings. By the time the FQs go into the dryer they are string free
    .


    *BTW, colour catchers are reusable especially if you keep them separated by colour: they just get darker and darker. *LOL* They are actually quite pretty.
    If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

  16. #16
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    I've used one of those mesh laundry bags when I've washed them first which hasn't been too often. Depends on the quality of the fat qtrs.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Helen6869's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by HouseDragon View Post
    I pink the edges (some unravel but most don't).

    Most importantly, I wash by colour and throw in a colour catcher or two: wash on gentle with either warm or hot water with two cold rinses using Tide Free. If I'm washing a group of really dark colours, say purples, I throw in all the purple catchers. (see below*)

    If the catchers are coloured after the cycles finish, I throw in an additional catcher and either "just" rinse again or rewash.

    Ultimately, the FQs go into the dryer on "Low".

    In between the extra rinses or re-washing, I also snip off any long strings. By the time the FQs go into the dryer they are string free
    .


    *BTW, colour catchers are reusable especially if you keep them separated by colour: they just get darker and darker. *LOL* They are actually quite pretty.
    Oh thank you so much Housedragon. (with a name like that I think I need you at my house) I had forgotten about the color catchers. Yep, that's a great idea. Will do all of the above and I know they will be fine. I just hate cutting stringy messes off my beautiful fabric!! thanks again to all! ps I think I will stitch or serge around them as I have pinked them in the past and they were still a mess.

  18. #18
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    im with Dunster---i separate them according to color (if any worry about bleeding) and i toss them into the washer on a short/gentle cycle- then i separate them - and toss them into the dryer- when they come out-if any have alot of strings i pull them off (or cut them off) then i spend some time *lovingly* ironing, fondling, folding them to be put away.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  19. #19
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I usually just rinse in as hot water as I can stand, squeeze out the excess water, and if I'm doing a bunch, throw them into the washer just for a spin cycle, then into a hot dryer. They don't seem to fray too much. which reminds me, I have a pile of FQ's and HY's that need prepping. I also hate to stop 'the creative process' just to shrink a couple of pieces of fabric.

    Thanks for the hint about the colour catchers Housedragon. Will keep it in mind.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  20. #20
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
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    agree with kwilter I do lingerie bag

  21. #21
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I just finished washing twelve FQs. Not enough to fill a wash load. filled a bucket with hot water and just a bit of detergent. (I don't do anything to the FQs.)

    Swished them around for a minute and drained the water and refilled a couple of times to rinse the soap.

    I throw the water into the garden, not down the drain. That would be a waste. Every bit of water that can go back to ground, should.

    Squeezed out most of the water and tossed into the dryer untill damp dry. I would usually hang them outside but was in a hurry to use the fabric.

    When damp dry I spray them with home made starch and press them dry for immediate use.
    peace
    Last edited by ube quilting; 03-10-2013 at 04:23 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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    I use this same process for jelly rolls. Put in sink with straight Hot water and 1 - 2 tsp of Retayne. Like colors together. Gently swish with wooden spoon. Let sit 20 minutes. Rinse until water is clear. Place in salad spinner and twirl until most of the excess water is spun out. Hang on clothes drying rack to dry. When nearly dry press. I find using the straight hot water gets the shrinking accomplished without resorting to clothes dryer.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  23. #23
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    I have handwash cycle and never used it...Now I have to try it out for the fat quarters. Do you do the same
    for larger pcs. of fabric
    Sue

  24. #24
    Super Member wanda lou's Avatar
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    I wash, dry and iron them all.
    except Jelly rolls.
    Never look down on anyone, unless you are helping them up.

  25. #25
    Senior Member NOELLA's Avatar
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    depending on the # of fg's I put the in a laundry bag, the mesh one, or if at lot I just throw them in the washer.
    Dosn't seem to ravel too much, ,take them out while the are still hot and place over a clothes rack.
    Good luck.

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