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Thread: Need Help with Washing Smaller Fabric Sizes

  1. #1
    Member hrtireladie11185's Avatar
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    I need your help! I walked into my quilting room this morning to look at what I will need to do to clean it this weekend. I have not been quilting or scrapbooking in over a year due to work and family issues. Oh, my, the mess I saw in the closet where I store my fabric on shelves. My 3 cats have been having a ball while we are away from the house. All my fabric is on the floor! They are a mess!

    I have pieces ranging from 5" squares to fat quarters to 1 yrd increments. I am afraid of them unraveling in the washer even with having an he washer with a gentle cycle. It is way too much to wash by hand especially with their fur on them.

    In hoping that dh would sympathize with me this morning, he says to toss them and go shopping for more fabric. Does he not realize how much I have put into picking these particular fabrics and cutting them.

    My stash is not near as much as your's may be but it is little pieces. What would you do? Wash them? If yes, then how without them unraveling? Toss them and start fresh? Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

    Right now I am glad I have to go to work. I will have work to take this off my mind until I get home this evening and decide what to do.

    Thanks.
    Nicole.

  2. #2
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    You can use a mess bag to wash them in the machine on the gentle cycle or there is always hand washing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member emmah's Avatar
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    Try tumbling them in a mesh bag in the drier in small batches with fabric softner sheets. That may get off the cat hair. If not, take a basin of water and a table outside. Cover the table with a sheet. Rinse a few at a time and lay them out on the sheet to dry--not on a windy day, of course. Refresh water as needed and the small pieces will dry quickly. If you are worried about fading, after the tabletop is full of pieces, cover with another sheet. They should dry fast in your Texas sunshine.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I admit I am lazy, I would use a mesh bag.

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You can take all of the cat fur off with a Fur Fighter. They're made by Scotch and take off fur you can't even see.

  6. #6
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    First, see if you can vacuum them using a hand held to get some of the fur off. Then I would sort it by size. I think I would start with the yardage and wash that in the washer, then gradually move down to the smaller sizes. You said that there was too much to wash by hand, but if you loaded up a mesh bag & swished it around by hand in your laundry tub, that might work. Several folks have mentioned spinning the wet fabric in a salad spinner. I had a disaster with fat quarters and my old washer. I got a front loader about a year ago and I can wash smaller sizes in a bag in there. Ask around to see if anyone you know has a front loader that would let you try a mesh bag of charms in their washer. good luck!

  7. #7
    Super Member Twisted Quilter's Avatar
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    I had a bunch of small scraps that I washed yesterday. Couldn't find my mesh bag, so I put them in a pair of pantyhose. I put a pile in each leg then tied the legs in a knot and a rubberband around the top. Next I filled a bucket with soapy water and let them sit overnight. Whenever I thought about them I would give them a good dunk & swirl. The next day I rinsed them and laid them out on newspaper to dry.

    No, this was not fun, but it had to be done. :roll:

  8. #8
    Super Member babyboomerquilter's Avatar
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    I would use the mesh bag, in case you don't have one I love TwistedQuilters idea with putting them into pantyhose. I learn something new on here just about every day

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyboomerquilter
    I would use the mesh bag, in case you don't have one I love TwistedQuilters idea with putting them into pantyhose. I learn something new on here just about every day
    If cat fur is your problem the solution isn't going to be washing inside of pantyhose. You'll just have nice clean cat fur on your fabric.

  10. #10
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    One thing you might want to think about - when I wash something fat quarter or less in size, I dry it on a dryer rack. (The thing used for drying sweaters in the dryer.) After using a mesh bag, the dryer rack saves a lot of my pieces from raveling.

  11. #11
    Member hrtireladie11185's Avatar
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    Hi, Everyone!

    Thanks for the suggestions. I found my mesh bag. No pantyhose here anymore. I do have a front end loader. We bought it a year ago. Unfortunately, I do not have the sweater rack for the dryer.

    Dh had a great point. If I tossed my stash and started over, I would not be able to get the same prints since they are discontinued.

    Thank you for all the suggestions again. I am more optimistic than I was this morning.

    Have a great night.

    Nicole.

  12. #12
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    did you get your fabrics washed???

    Quote Originally Posted by hrtireladie11185
    Hi, Everyone!

    Thanks for the suggestions. I found my mesh bag. No pantyhose here anymore. I do have a front end loader. We bought it a year ago. Unfortunately, I do not have the sweater rack for the dryer.

    Dh had a great point. If I tossed my stash and started over, I would not be able to get the same prints since they are discontinued.

    Thank you for all the suggestions again. I am more optimistic than I was this morning.

    Have a great night.

    Nicole.

  13. #13
    Member hrtireladie11185's Avatar
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    Yes. It was a long day of washing, drying and folding. The fraying was not bag even on the jelly roll strips. I posted a "Thank You" thread since I did not want the Thanks to get lost in this thread. I really appreciate all the help and suggestions.

    Going through those yard cuts brought back the reasons why I bought them in the first place. It has given me a renewed sense of purpose in getting back to my quilting.

    Thanks for thinking about me.

    Nicole.

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