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Thread: I'm scared - is this what I should do first?

  1. #1
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    To start this I spy quilt I was going to be washing all the fabric today, then ironing - I was going to use 5" squares, but I'm thinking that they may not all shrink the same or some may just get out of shape - so do I need to measure them all and square them up/trim them - and then possibly they may wind up being a bit smaller than 5"? I was thinking I needed to do this before I cut the sashing so I knew exactly how long to make the sashing pieces....

    I was also going to put little squares at the corners (like this: http://ny-image0.etsy.com//il_fullxfull.103085060.jpg) - so would I sew the 5" (or less) squares together with the sashing in between, and sew the horizontal sashing with the small solid squares in between - and then sew the long rows together? Or is there a better way? I do worry about one row being "off" and not lining up....

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Personally, I would not wash the sashing or border or backing fabric if you are using 5" squares that have not been washed... I think it would cause a bigger problem when you launder it the first time.

    I would sew on the vertical sashing first, so that you can sew the blocks into horizontal rows. Then you can cut sashing strips that run the whole length of the row, instead of individual pieces.

    I can't get that link to open.....:(

    This one will work
    http://ny-image0.etsy.com//il_fullxfull.103085060.jpg

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Personally, I would not wash the sashing or border or backing fabric if you are using 5" squares that have not been washed... I think it would cause a bigger problem when you launder it the first time.

    I would sew on the vertical sashing first, so that you can sew the blocks into horizontal rows. Then you can cut sashing strips that run the whole length of the row, instead of individual pieces.(
    I totally agree with this advice.

    Eliminating cornerstones from the sashing will make the quilt easier to assemble. To guarantee that the blocks will line up if you are not using cornerstones, I advise doing the following.

    Sew a sashing strip to one horizontal row. Turn it over and, using a pencil and ruler, mark the wrong side of the long sashing strip at all the seams lines. In other words, draw a pencil line across the wrong side of the sashing exactly as if there were going to be cornerstones.

    When you go to attach your next horizontal line of blocks to this sashing, pin the seams of the new row to the pencil lines on the sashing. This will guarantee that your blocks will line up.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ladygen's Avatar
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    If you're going to wash fabric first, wash everyhing first... before cutting anything. Then iron... Then fussy cut your squares, all the size you want them. Just don't cut anything until all your fabric (squares, sashing, the whole bunch) is washed.

    I'm not sure if that's what you were looking for or not, or if I'm being silly and redundant with something you already knew.

    The pattern's adorable, though!

    (The link works if you edit out the last ")" before hitting enter.)

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I just answered your other post.

    Have you cut the 5" squares yet? Or is the fabric still in yardage?

    If you haven't cut the fabric yet, you do have the option of prewashing. Some people do and some people don't. I personally don't prewash. If I suspect a fabric might bleed, I test a small piece with water and a white cloth to see if any dye transfers out of the fabric. Not prewashing keeps the sizing in the fabric, which helps stabilize the fabric throughout the piecing and quilting process. People who prewash their fabric often iron with starch before cutting, to restore stability to the fabric.

  6. #6
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Hmmmm.... most of the squares are already cut, but I do have a piece or two that I will be cutting myself - plus I need to cut all of the sashing which will be black, so maybe I should prewash..... maybe I can do it in a bucket instead of the machine...

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Why don't you hit them with a burst of steam from your iron? That should give you a clue if it will bleed or not. Or rub a wet q-tip (gently) over the color. If it bleeds, the color will transfer.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama
    Hmmmm.... most of the squares are already cut, but I do have a piece or two that I will be cutting myself - plus I need to cut all of the sashing which will be black, so maybe I should prewash..... maybe I can do it in a bucket instead of the machine...
    I definitely would not wash do any prewashing of the already-cut 5-inch squares. I personally also would not mix prewashed squares with unwashed squares, so I would just cut the remaining fabric.

    I would test the black fabric for dye stability before using it. Drop a piece in a clear glass of water and see if it discolors the water (give it an hour). Also, rub a piece of white fabric across the dampened black fabric to see if any black transfers to the white. Most black cotton fabrics have been colorfast for me, but I know that blacks can be bad about transferring color. You definitely don't want black bleeding!

  9. #9
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I've had small pieces of the black and a red in white cups of hot water - and no bleeding. At all.

    So I'll just iron it all flat - and do some more reading so I get it into my head. I'm so afraid to start cutting! Is there a "Quilting for Dummies" book?

  10. #10
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    I have not been prewashing and I use a color catcher in the wash when I have finished. I love the pattern you chose.

  11. #11
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama
    Is there a "Quilting for Dummies" book?
    Yes, but you don't need to spend your money. Everything you ever wanted to know about quilting can be learned/found here.

  12. #12
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    guess why?

  13. #13
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Personally, I would not wash the sashing or border or backing fabric if you are using 5" squares that have not been washed... I think it would cause a bigger problem when you launder it the first time.

    I would sew on the vertical sashing first, so that you can sew the blocks into horizontal rows. Then you can cut sashing strips that run the whole length of the row, instead of individual pieces.(
    I totally agree with this advice.

    Great advice.

    Eliminating cornerstones from the sashing will make the quilt easier to assemble. To guarantee that the blocks will line up if you are not using cornerstones, I advise doing the following.

    Sew a sashing strip to one horizontal row. Turn it over and, using a pencil and ruler, mark the wrong side of the long sashing strip at all the seams lines. In other words, draw a pencil line across the wrong side of the sashing exactly as if there were going to be cornerstones.

    When you go to attach your next horizontal line of blocks to this sashing, pin the seams of the new row to the pencil lines on the sashing. This will guarantee that your blocks will line up.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sandy1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama
    I'm so afraid to start cutting! Is there a "Quilting for Dummies" book?
    Yes, there is! :D I've read a lot of the books for beginning quilters, but I haven't read "Quilting for Dummies." I saw it at the library, but it didn't have enough pictures to satisfy me. I can recommend:

    "Quilter's Academy Vol. 1: Freshman Year" by Harriet Hargrave I haven't actually read this yet, but I've read Harriet's other books and she's excellent. Someone else on the QB bought this and recommended it, too.

    "The Quilting Bible" created by the editors of Creative Publishing International
    I bought this book after getting it out from the library because it has a LOT of pictures and I thought it was one of the most understandable books for a beginner. The quilts included aren't especially pretty, but there are other projects besides quilts such as table runners, a quilted jacket, a quilted vest, a sleeping bag, a baby bunting, and a couple of tote bags. I didn't buy it for the projects though, but to learn the basics of quilting.

    "Your First Quilt Book (or it should be!)" by Carol Doak This one is also good.

    If you go to Amazon and pull up any of these books, Amazon will recommend similar books and you can browse to your heart's content to see which ones might be best for you. I like it when they let you "look inside the book." I used Amazon to figure out which books I thought would be good, then I got them from my library.

    There's a wealth of knowledge on the QB, of course, as well as other internet sites. Even so, I'm the type of person who likes to hold a book and read, especially when there are lots of pictures when reading about something like learning to quilt. I think a book makes it easier, especially when I need to read a section over and over to completely understand it. :roll: I also tend to get distracted when I'm trying to learn how to do something while online, it's too easy to click the links and go somewhere else.


  15. #15
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    You know, I actually do already have a couple of quilting books :oops: , but it's still kind of a foreign language to me. I keep trying to tell myself that it's just like my journey into soapmaking - in the beginning it was all foreign - and even scary! Now it's old hat. So I know I need to jump in to start to fully understand what's what. But right now, I'm having trouble figuring out how exactly to do that! Besides growing a fabric stash I mean - I've already been starting that! :lol:

    And as far as the cornerstones, my heart is kinda set on that splash of color mixed in the black. I even picked out a brightly colored/matching fabric to do the binding with. I guess I just need a "step 1" "step 2" etc - more than what I've seen in the quilting books I have. I will just do more searching here - and then asking!

    Thanks for all your help - you have all been great!

  16. #16
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    Personally, I wash all fabric first. If you are giving an I Spy quilt to a child, you would want all the chemicals and sizing washed out before they use it.

  17. #17
    Super Member deranged_damsel's Avatar
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    if you decided to use the corner blocks ( I think they are WAY cute) then how I would recomend stitching them together is blocks at a time and not strips. strips are harder to get lined up and more of a pain to unpick! even with the sashing it can be difficult to line up!

    take your Ispy square and sew a black strip to it, then take your corner square and sew it to the end of another black strip. then sew the small square/strip to the top of the large square/strip.

    do this with each Ispy block, lay them out to make sure your pattern matches up ok, then sew two together, then two more, then those two to make four, and so on... you will need to sew more on at some point for one side and the bottom, but that will be easier after you start getting the hang of how they need to go together.

    at least thats how I do it, I hope it makes sense.

  18. #18
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    There is a quilting for dummies book but its so much better to come here and get real advice from REAL quilters!! And fun too! I never wash my quality fabric prior to quilting and never ever small pieces. They would be a huge mess after they got out of the machine.

  19. #19
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I usually don't wash first. After the quilt is done I wash and I love the crinkly look of the quilt.

  20. #20
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Thank you Deranged Damsel - I printed that off. It actually clicked in my brain, although I'm sure once I start that I will have more questions.

  21. #21
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama
    You know, I actually do already have a couple of quilting books :oops: , but it's still kind of a foreign language to me. I keep trying to tell myself that it's just like my journey into soapmaking - in the beginning it was all foreign - and even scary! Now it's old hat. So I know I need to jump in to start to fully understand what's what. But right now, I'm having trouble figuring out how exactly to do that! Besides growing a fabric stash I mean - I've already been starting that! :lol:

    And as far as the cornerstones, my heart is kinda set on that splash of color mixed in the black. I even picked out a brightly colored/matching fabric to do the binding with. I guess I just need a "step 1" "step 2" etc - more than what I've seen in the quilting books I have. I will just do more searching here - and then asking!

    Thanks for all your help - you have all been great!
    You can also get many quilting magazines with "basic instructions" sections in them every month. Although they are pretty basic, they are a very good start. Also you can find some good instructions written into quilt patterns in those magazines, along with many pictures. They are cheaper than buying books....also, many web sites with good instructions. About.com has a quilting section with excellent tutorials and instructions sections.

    Good luck, and just keep going. You'll get better faster than you think!! ;-)

  22. #22
    Super Member deranged_damsel's Avatar
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    GOOD! you know... remember as you learn it will get easier and your work will look better, be patient with yourself.

    and dont worry about the wash/dont wash thing right now, I think when your learning there is no right/wrong way to wash/dont wash just sew your quilt and enjoy every minute :)

    if you do decide to wash, do you have a zippered bag for delicates? it would help when dealing with those small pieces you have.

  23. #23
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Ok - how do I deal with this -- I bought some red flannel to use for the backing (this I spy is for the car so I wanted it to be warm) -- and I tested it in the hot water and it turned pink. :evil: So I will definitely wash that first, but does that mean that I will now NEED to wash the top fabric or will it still be ok not to?

  24. #24
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama
    Ok - how do I deal with this -- I bought some red flannel to use for the backing (this I spy is for the car so I wanted it to be warm) -- and I tested it in the hot water and it turned pink. :evil: So I will definitely wash that first, but does that mean that I will now NEED to wash the top fabric or will it still be ok not to?
    I wouldn't. I would just wash the flannel. Be aware that occasionally a fabric (especially a red) will never stop bleeding dye. You need to test the fabric again after washing and drying. It has to go through the washer without pink water to be safe.

    If this fabric is a bad "bleeder", you may be able to save it by washing in Retayne. Quilt shops that cater to dyers carry it, and it is widely available online. Retayne sets dye into fabric. For this reason you *never* want to use it on a finished quilt (could set a bleed); however, it is very useful on those rare occasions when a fabric won't stop bleeding.

    Flannel is the one fabric that I routinely prewash and dry twice before using. This is because flannel can shrink so much. Not all flannels shrink badly. If the flannel comes out of the wash the same size, I don't bother to wash again; if it has obviously shrunk, though, I wash and dry it twice. Flannel is the only cotton fabric I know that can have this shrinkage problem. Regular quilting cottons don't shrink enough to give me any concern, which is why I don't make extra work by prewashing them.

  25. #25
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Good - I will put it in the washer now and hope. I'm pretty sure I have some synthropol on hand so I can use that if it continues to bleed. I should've thought before I bought red. :-P

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