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Thread: Lesson I learned today

  1. #51
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    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.


    I have taken classes from several top quilters who have been on TV and at national retreats, including Alex Anderson and she said NOT to pre wash and also she did NOT starch. One teacher said she always uses a steam iron to iron the fabrics before cutting so they will shrink if they need to. The steam shrinks them slightly but they remain straight. When the blocks are catty wumpus or wonky it's me, not the fabric! I'm usually getting tired and it's time to quit for the day.


    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.

  2. #52

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    I do wash mine because of allergies. The formalehyde and I don't get along. Also some of the dyes can cause skin irritations. If you have ever seem someone with a staph infection from clothing that is made in other countries you would wash everything the minute it gets in the door. Fabric is printed overseas and the places it has been and the handling is all questionable to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by carolynjo
    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.

  3. #53
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolynjo
    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.
    Oh now that's a lovely idea!!!!!!! That way I don't have to worry about the darn problems I have with washing!!

    I was thinking about it, and I THINK part of my issue is my washer. It's a pretty heavy duty kind of thing and might just be too hard for my fabric which might be why my stuff got SO distorted. I love your option as an alternative!!

  4. #54
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayluvs2quilt
    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!!!
    I love nice smells while I press also. I love the smell of the new Bounce spray. Yum.

  5. #55
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teacherbailey
    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.
    lol. Love it!!!!!!!! :thumbup: :thumbup:

  6. #56
    Super Member Homemother's Avatar
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    It seems like I pre-wash when I'm ironing because I saturate the cloth with water than put a hot iron on it to press out all the wrinkles.

    My washing machine is really busy around here and I would need to take a number if I wanted to squeeze fabric washing in! The dryer is worse because my teenage and young adult munchkins consider their wash done once they get it into the dryer.

    I think one on my many epitaphs will be, "Please empty the dryer!" That might come right after "Exactly when were you planning to get that done?" :roll: ;) :lol:

  7. #57
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homemother

    My washing machine is really busy around here and I would need to take a number if I wanted to squeeze fabric washing in! The dryer is worse because my teenage and young adult munchkins consider their wash done once they get it into the dryer.

    I think one on my many epitaphs will be, "Please empty the dryer!" That might come right after "Exactly when were you planning to get that done?" :roll: ;) :lol:
    Hahahaha.... In my house it's the young adults and not so young dh guilty of that charge!!! The worst thing is when they take it out of the dryer, put it in a basket so they can load the dryer... Then leave the basket!!!! Ugh!!!

  8. #58
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    I wrote earlier about "washing" one's fabric before cutting. I did not say that I put the damp fabric into the dryer and dry it before cutting. An oversight on my part. I would never agitate cut pieces of fabric in the washer or put cut pieces of fabric into the dryer for they would fray beyond use. To rephrase: I put my uncut fabric in the washer in warm to hot water just long enough to get it wet through, spin the water out and then put in the dryer. Then starch and cut it. Be sure to clip the corners of your fabric just a tiny bit to keep the piece from raveling before you dry it.

  9. #59
    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    Also, use only the same brand of rulers, or cut a little larger piece to square up if using a different brand ruler.... (see this related thread) http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-91841-1.htm

  10. #60
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish
    And hopefully you'll never have problems with bleeding, either. :)
    I always figured for the bleeding, that the color catchers will keep that from happening??
    I thought that as well, and never had a problem....until last week. Even with color catchers in the laundry in cool water, my red and white quilt is now red, white and pink! I had three different reds in this quilt. Only one bled, but did it ever. Through the stitching onto the back of wherever this one fabric was stitched is made a pink swirl on the white.
    It will still keep my arms warm this winter while I sit in the Living Room in front of the TV, and my cat likes it anyway (though I don't have a quilt he doesn't like!)

  11. #61
    Super Member nancia's Avatar
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    it's not the starch that shrinks the fabric. heat and moisture combine to shrink fibers. cold water alone will not shrink cotton until you add heat from an iron or the dryer or any other source.

  12. #62
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
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    I have so many fabrics that bleed, I am afraid not to prewash....it seems you get more bleeding with quilt shop fabrics than others too. So many opinions, hard to know the right thing to do.

  13. #63
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancia
    it's not the starch that shrinks the fabric. heat and moisture combine to shrink fibers. cold water alone will not shrink cotton until you add heat from an iron or the dryer or any other source.
    Actually, it really was just the wetness. The color and design of the fabric was such that I literally watched it shrivel right before my eyes before I even got the heat near it.

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