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Thread: Mixing washed and unwashed fabrics

  1. #1
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    Has anyone ever mixed fabrics that have been laundered with fabrics that have not been laundered in the same quilt? I now no longer pre-wash my fabrics. I love the crinkly look. However, when I first started I did pre-wash. Now I have a couple of large pieces of fabric that have been washed and an unwashed stash.

    I would like to use the washed pieces as backing and mixed in with the other projects. Has anyone had any experience with this? Will the washed piece still crinkle with the batting and other fabrics?

    I hate to experiment and ruin a project but then again I hate to just have the fabric sitting unused as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThreadHead's Avatar
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    Watch out for the dark colors like reds and blacks, they will bleed the first couple of times they are washed. If you wash light colors like whites, pinks, and yellows along with the darks, the lighter colors will pick up the dyes and you will end up with dull whites, pinks and yellows,
    Especially if you don't use a lot of water. Same goes for washing regular clothes. There are people out there that CRAM their washers with clothes when they wash and it can't rinse properly and leaves soap and dirt scum on the clothes making them dull

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have many times- without adverse effects- i only pre=wash fabrics that may run- or feel funky to me so most of my quilts contain both.

  4. #4
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    i have many times- without adverse effects- i only pre=wash fabrics that may run- or feel funky to me so most of my quilts contain both.

    Same with me. If I think it will bleed, I wash or if it is for something very important, I wash. Otherwise I don't wash. Sometimes the washed and unwashed get mixed. I haven't had problems.

  5. #5
    deema's Avatar
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    I have...sorta. For one quilt, it was an irish chain, I used a FQ collection for the nine patch colored squares and an old cream colored sheet for the contrast/background. The sheet, obviously, had been washed the FQ's not washed. It turned out fine.

  6. #6
    Super Member mimom's Avatar
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    use color catchers by Shout, when you wash your quilt for the first couple of times. I am a true believer in these little white sheets of wonder.

  7. #7
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    I did that once, didn't turn out, 100% cotton fabrics, but didn't shrink uniformly. Personally won't do that again.

  8. #8
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I do all the time and have had no problems sofar. Like you I used to wash and iron everything while now I am going for the crinkled look.

  9. #9
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I am going to get some. Thanks for the tip.

    Quote Originally Posted by mimom
    use color catchers by Shout, when you wash your quilt for the first couple of times. I am a true believer in these little white sheets of wonder.

  10. #10
    Super Member KarenK's Avatar
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    I haven't. I wash everything before adding it to my stash. My fabrics come from a variety of sources and are made by many different manufacturers. Some are older (Mom's stash) and some are newer. I need to know I can pull any thing from my stash and not be concerned about bleeding issues.

    The wrinkly look can be achieved with the batting. Most of the time I use Hobbs Heirloom batting, 80% cotton, 20% polyester. For a wrinkly look, don't pre-wash the batting. When the finished quilt is laundered, the cotton will shrink a bit and give that antique look. For a smooth look, pre-treat the batting. The instructions are on the label.

  11. #11
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I always wash my fabric before I sew with it and sort the fabric by colors. If the fabric is light weight I spray startch the fabric and iron it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    I've done this several times...most recently in a baby quilt that had pre-washed fabric for the outer border and backing and un-washed jelly roll strips for the inner border and binding. Came out great...lots of crinkles and very soft.

    But I do always use the Color Catcher things...and if the quilt is a gift and has colors I'm afraid will bleed, I give a box of the Color Catchers also along with printed washing instructions.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenK
    The wrinkly look can be achieved with the batting. Most of the time I use Hobbs Heirloom batting, 80% cotton, 20% polyester. For a wrinkly look, don't pre-wash the batting. When the finished quilt is laundered, the cotton will shrink a bit and give that antique look. For a smooth look, pre-treat the batting. The instructions are on the label.
    It is funny. I was at the library today and I was looking at a book that talked about this. I always thought it was the fabric that caused the crinkly look but now I know it is the batting. I don't pretreat my batting so I feel better about using the mixed fabrics now.

  14. #14
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    I will definitely try the color catchers. I've been lucky thus far, but I'm not one to tempt fate. I will start using them to be safe rather than sorry.

  15. #15
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    I mix washed and unwashed all the time. No problems to date.

  16. #16
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i prewash everything. i don't want any surprises after the work is done.

  17. #17
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    When I started quilting so many years ago I did indeed not worry about mixing W & UW fabric. Not any more. I wash everything before cuting it. Different fabric shrinks at differenr rates and as much as I love the old wrinkeled look of a washed quilt. If the shrinking is not even it doesn't look as good and it will not wear as well.

  18. #18
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    I too wash everything that comes in to my house. Some of it comes from LQS, some of it is from Handcock's or Wall-mart, & finally some is from estate, & garage sales. With all these different fabrics I need to know that they won't shrink differently or bleed.

    I do like the crinkled look. I use wool batting. It shrinks wonderfully, is warm in the winter, cool in the summer, & the quilting needles go through it like butter.

    As soon as I finish putting the binding on I wash on delicate & dry in the dryer. I then get the look I want & know if it needs any thing fixed. I then instruct the recipients to only line dry it (so it won't shrink any more!)

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