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Thread: Lesson I learned today

  1. #26
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnnMc
    I have gone back and forth on this issue, and I've decided I'm prewashing everything. I'm just not willing to risk a quilt's worth of hard work to bleeding fabric. I've tried all the methods to prevent fraying, including stitching the raw edges together first (what a hassle, and it still frayed). My conclusion is the good old-fashioned pinking shears are my best bet. And I can instantly tell if a fabric has been washed or not!
    I agree. I have recently found out that pinking the edges before washing works great. Instead of using pinking shears, I bought a pinking blade for my rotary cutter. It goes fairly fast and no fraying!

  2. #27
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    I am not a quilter but am being drawn more that way. As a quilting novice, when you refer to "starching", are you spray starching or doing the old dip in real starch solution to the fabric?

  3. #28
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopec
    I am not a quilter but am being drawn more that way. As a quilting novice, when you refer to "starching", are you spray starching or doing the old dip in real starch solution to the fabric?
    Well, you can do the old dip and roll method, but I spray. As I said before, I use Mary Ellens Best Press, because my area is very buggy and I don't want bugs eating my fabric.

  4. #29
    Junior Member bj riley's Avatar
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    More info please.
    As a new quilter, my question is why do we startch? None of my "teachers" have mentionrd it? and if the fabric has not been washed isn't it stiff already?

  5. #30
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Jeepers Kim, I'm awfully glad you posted this topic! I've only recently learned (through th QB!) how handy starch is and your prewarning will save me much grief!

  6. #31
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    I would be sooo afraid to use fabric that has not been prewashed. I always use Retayne and don't have a worry; you can always even up with frayed edges with one small cut with your rotary. To me, it's just scary not to prewash. I haven't gotten into the starching yet.

  7. #32
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bj riley
    More info please.
    As a new quilter, my question is why do we startch? None of my "teachers" have mentionrd it? and if the fabric has not been washed isn't it stiff already?
    You don't always have to starch. It just helps to stabilize the fabric. I starch when I'm working with bias or very small pieces. I also use starch with some applique projects to "fix" turned-under seam allowances.

  8. #33

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    After using the Retayne I still use the Color Grabber sheets. They still can bleed. Little extra care and you will enjoy your quilt.
    Quote Originally Posted by betty jo
    I would be sooo afraid to use fabric that has not been prewashed. I always use Retayne and don't have a worry; you can always even up with frayed edges with one small cut with your rotary. To me, it's just scary not to prewash. I haven't gotten into the starching yet.

  9. #34
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    No, I'm not a pre-washer. When I took my first class at my LQS they advised us NOT to, and so I have gotten in the habit of not, and up until now it's never been a problem.
    I did once, before that first class, wash all my fabric (in preparation FOR the class)and it was a disaster!!! It all frayed HORRIBLY and also I had SO much waste when squaring it up to get ready to cut! So since then, since I've had good results from not pre-washing, I've stuck with that.

    I did just go and spray a piece of the fabric with water and it did shrink. I'll just have to start making sure I starch before I cut.

    Oh, and it's most definitely 100% cotton. The shrinking actually happened right in front of my eyes AS I sprayed it, but from what I read above, the heat must have shrunk it more. ugh.
    The pre-washers will be along shortly to give you what for for not pre-washing. Feel free to ignore them.

    Do starch and iron before cutting though.

    In the most recent class I took the instructor said if you're not going to pre-wash then iron and starch before cutting and after that only use a dry iron.
    I prewash but it is not up to me to tell her how to store her fabrics, washed or not.

  10. #35
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Love all the advice, really..... I think everyone has valuable information and even if it's something I'm not accustomed to, I'm never against learning.

    As for the pre-washing...... does this fall true of things like batiks too?? That they should be pre-washed? I'm just soooooooo scared to pre-wash! It just ruined my fabric so badly!! ugh.... maybe I'll buy some for a simple little project and try it. lol

  11. #36
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Another thought...... what a about charm packs and jelly rolls...... those fabrics haven't been pre-washed have they?

  12. #37
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    If you trim the edges of fq's with pinking shears will they ravel as much? I don't prewash so was wondering if it's worth the extra time to trim.

  13. #38
    Senior Member SharonTheriault's Avatar
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    I don't prewash. I use a color grabber in the wash after the quilt is done. I have used starch on seams to make them crisp, but just started doing that. I never thought of pinking the edges of the fabric, will have to get a cutter with the pinking blade and then try some prewashing. It's the ironing and starching after washing that gets me. Need all my strength for the actual cutting and sewing. Learned some new things here today. Thanks.

  14. #39

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    No they are prewashed, but I rinsed them out by hand and let them dry enough to iron them. I laid them on a towel to air dry.
    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    Another thought...... what a about charm packs and jelly rolls...... those fabrics haven't been pre-washed have they?

  15. #40
    Super Member wildyard's Avatar
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    By using deconstructed thrift store finds, I know my fabrics are prewashed. :D

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    Starch shrinks fabric. Well, I'm actually specifically using the Bounce spray. Dangit! Now I know why my pieces seem that I've cut them wrong! I have NOT cut them wrong! What I did was to cut them, then starch and press them. On one dark fabric with little circles on them, I finally saw why it was coming out smaller... the darn stuff actually shriveled right before my eyes!!

    SO, lesson learned is to starch and press BEFORE cutting!!!! :o(
    Did not know this thanks for the tip!

  17. #42
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    You don't actually "wash" your fabric. I tell my students to get the fabric wet by pressing it down in the water and making sure that it gets wet clear through. Then, press in towels till moist. Hang to dry on clothes hangers or an Amish drying rack until almost dry. Then press. Or, dampen slightly with a spritz bottle and press. You should have no more problems with shrinkage.

  18. #43
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    Even LQS quality 100% cotton (Moda) will shrink...I am also not a prewasher - (Hate washing clothes because I am getting bad knees and washer and dryer are on a different floor) but thanks to you, LL I have started starching before cutting. I use Mary Ellen's Best Press just because I love the lavender scent when I iron. (just started another flap between the scent/no scent group, I know :lol: ). I quilt because I love to and whatever makes me happy in my quilt room is OK with me and my kitties :lol: :lol: and I don't have any quilt police here. It sure is fun, amazing, curious to watch the fabric shrink before my eyes tho!!!

  19. #44
    Super Member Doreen's Avatar
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    Another lesson learned!

  20. #45
    Senior Member quilt gramma's Avatar
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    I always prewash my material except the jelly rolls and yes zigzag the corners does help stop the fraying which i have done a couple times and should make a habit of it as it works . Also for the loose threads on the back i spray starch it and it makes it easier to pick up the loose threads .

  21. #46
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I prewash everything and rarely starch. I tell my students to either prewash everything for a project or not to for the entire project. I've had bad experiences with not prewashing. If there is any shrinking I want it done before I have pieced, sewed and quilted. I don't like kits bc it's hard to prewash tiny pieces. I had one kit that I did prewash the pieces and one pieced shrank and raveled so bad that I had to substitute another fabric. If I had not prewashed would that fabric have ruined my project? I don't know, but I'm not willing to take that chance. Again. It's your quilt, your fabric and your time, do it the way you want to.

  22. #47
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    I've been quilting since before some of the board members were born and I've never used starch or prewashed a fabric. And I've never had anything happen that made me wish I'd done either..... just a thought.

  23. #48
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    Love all the advice, really..... I think everyone has valuable information and even if it's something I'm not accustomed to, I'm never against learning.

    As for the pre-washing...... does this fall true of things like batiks too?? That they should be pre-washed? I'm just soooooooo scared to pre-wash! It just ruined my fabric so badly!! ugh.... maybe I'll buy some for a simple little project and try it. lol
    Prewashing is especially important when it comes to batiks. They are notourious for running/bleeding.

  24. #49
    Super Member arizonagirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    No, I'm not a pre-washer. When I took my first class at my LQS they advised us NOT to, and so I have gotten in the habit of not, and up until now it's never been a problem.
    I did once, before that first class, wash all my fabric (in preparation FOR the class)and it was a disaster!!! It all frayed HORRIBLY and also I had SO much waste when squaring it up to get ready to cut! So since then, since I've had good results from not pre-washing, I've stuck with that.

    I did just go and spray a piece of the fabric with water and it did shrink. I'll just have to start making sure I starch before I cut.

    Oh, and it's most definitely 100% cotton. The shrinking actually happened right in front of my eyes AS I sprayed it, but from what I read above, the heat must have shrunk it more. ugh.
    The pre-washers will be along shortly to give you what for for not pre-washing. Feel free to ignore them.

    Do starch and iron before cutting though.

    In the most recent class I took the instructor said if you're not going to pre-wash then iron and starch before cutting and after that only use a dry iron.
    I learned the same lesson you did. I now starch and press before cutting. I used to pre-wash before cutting but do not do that anymore. However when I am get around to using some of the batik fat quarters that I have I think that I will pre-wash those as I have heard a lot about them bleeding heavily. Other than that I will just use color catchers after I wash my finished quilt.

  25. #50
    Super Member arizonagirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    No, I'm not a pre-washer. When I took my first class at my LQS they advised us NOT to, and so I have gotten in the habit of not, and up until now it's never been a problem.
    I did once, before that first class, wash all my fabric (in preparation FOR the class)and it was a disaster!!! It all frayed HORRIBLY and also I had SO much waste when squaring it up to get ready to cut! So since then, since I've had good results from not pre-washing, I've stuck with that.

    I did just go and spray a piece of the fabric with water and it did shrink. I'll just have to start making sure I starch before I cut.

    Oh, and it's most definitely 100% cotton. The shrinking actually happened right in front of my eyes AS I sprayed it, but from what I read above, the heat must have shrunk it more. ugh.
    The pre-washers will be along shortly to give you what for for not pre-washing. Feel free to ignore them.

    Do starch and iron before cutting though.

    In the most recent class I took the instructor said if you're not going to pre-wash then iron and starch before cutting and after that only use a dry iron.
    I learned the same lesson you did. I now starch and press before cutting. I used to pre-wash before cutting but do not do that anymore. However when I am get around to using some of the batik fat quarters that I have I think that I will pre-wash those as I have heard a lot about them bleeding heavily. Other than that I will just use color catchers after I wash my finished quilt.

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