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Thread: OBW fabric disaster!!

  1. #1
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    I got the OBW book for Christmas, and read it through several times so that I would get the concept down. I decided to start with a fabric that I already had to make sure I knew what I was doing. But it had a 25 1/4" repeat. Odd. As I couldn't remember where or when I got this fabric, I decided to pre-wash it first (The author doesn't like doing that, but I felt it should be done). Wash, dry, starch, iron. Measure again. Now it has a 24" repeat. After cutting my 24" strips, I realize that the grain is off, like really bad! Now I've lost about 4" on each end of each strip, and I'm really upset. Has anyone had this problem? You are all so wise, please help!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member quilting.addict's Avatar
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    Washing is really bad for OBW!! I've only done a couple, but I'd rather it shrink after construction than throw that grain off!! Just practice on this one.

  3. #3
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You shouldn't wash the fabric for any of this type block, OBW, four patch posie, or stack and whack. If it's a stacked repeat block it needs the stability of the original finish to work.

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    Sometimes....as hard as it seems to do.....you just HAVE to follow the directions in the pattern. I agree, practice with what you have...measureing, cutting and sewing...the blocks will be ''off'' but should still look OK and you will have had the learning experience...who knows how it will look!!

    jodi in leavenworth

  5. #5
    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    I know I'm ignorant but what is OBW

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    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Send Cutebuns a PM and see if she can give you any help - she did a tute during the summer : http://www.quiltingboard.com/user_pr...p?usernum=1647

  7. #7
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feffertim
    I know I'm ignorant but what is OBW
    One Block Wonder

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    OBW = one block wonder. It's a kalediscope type of quilt - very pretty! Also called a hexagon quilt. Cutebuns did a tutorial on it here that was very easy to follow.

    I had no idea you shouldn't wash fabric that would be used for an OBW, that's my "learn something new every day" thing for today! :lol:

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all your advice. NO MORE pre-washing for this kind of block! I knew I'd feel better after posting this!

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Sorry you had to learn this way... :(

    Most all fabrics will get stretched slightly off grain when washed and dryed, especially during the ironing/pressing process to get the wrinkles out.

    When making a OBW/S&W type quilts, the slightest grain variation in the fabric will throw the fabrics designs off. These are what you line up in these techniques, and they need to be spot on :D:D:D

  11. #11
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    That is why I prefer not to prewash anything! JMHO

  12. #12
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    My first OBW, I bought some beautiful In The Beginning fabric. I was taking a class so did not wash it as instructed. During the class, my instructor noticed I was having trouble matching my fabric strips. After checking, we found that the last (maybe first) part of the fabric has been printed askew on that part. I lost about a foot of fabric as that was unusable! So it can happen with a new, quality piece of fabric. I was able to make my OBW but it wasn't as large as I'd hoped.

  13. #13
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    I think that's what I'll end up with. But that's okay. Chalk it up to experience!! :-))
    Quote Originally Posted by scowlkat
    My first OBW, I bought some beautiful In The Beginning fabric. I was taking a class so did not wash it as instructed. During the class, my instructor noticed I was having trouble matching my fabric strips. After checking, we found that the last (maybe first) part of the fabric has been printed askew on that part. I lost about a foot of fabric as that was unusable! So it can happen with a new, quality piece of fabric. I was able to make my OBW but it wasn't as large as I'd hoped.

  14. #14
    k3n
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    She clearly says in the book that prewashing should NOT be done as it can distort the fabric. I'm guilty myself of thinking I know better than the instructions from time to time though so I do feel for you! :mrgreen:

    I'm sorry this happened and I'm putting this thread in the OBW topic list to help pre-warn others. :-)

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    Thank you denveremerson...I just ordered some fabric to try a OBW and now with all these helpful responses you have saved me. I usually wash my fabrics as soon as I get them and would have had it in the wash before reading anything.

  16. #16
    Super Member Lindsey's Avatar
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    YOu do not want to wash the fabric for one block wonder. Sorry but they like the sizing in there to keep everything straight..

  17. #17
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    This is great info , I had never done a OBW , and getting ready to try one. I would have washed thinking I was doing the right thing.
    Any more tips?

  18. #18
    Senior Member roguequilter's Avatar
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    ...of course being me...i am going to have to buy some fab...divide amt in 1/2...wash block/iron one and not the other and see how things turn out....this ought to be fun!

  19. #19
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguequilter
    ...of course being me...i am going to have to buy some fab...divide amt in 1/2...wash block/iron one and not the other and see how things turn out....this ought to be fun!
    Why? There's only one fabric in the whole quilt. It will all shrink exactly the same.

  20. #20
    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Quote Originally Posted by roguequilter
    ...of course being me...i am going to have to buy some fab...divide amt in 1/2...wash block/iron one and not the other and see how things turn out....this ought to be fun!
    Why? There's only one fabric in the whole quilt. It will all shrink exactly the same.
    This is what I'm thinking. The fabric will shrink after it's done anyway, won't it? Why take the chance of messing up the fabric?

  21. #21
    Super Member Lindsey's Avatar
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    It gets stretched and goes askew. Its really hard to line up. I am sure they tested it both ways themselves and to save you time and money they are telling you not to wash the fabric. i can see why.

  22. #22
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguequilter
    ...of course being me...i am going to have to buy some fab...divide amt in 1/2...wash block/iron one and not the other and see how things turn out....this ought to be fun!
    If half shrinks, you'll never line the repeats up between the two halves. There IS a good reason for not washing. IF there's shrinkage afterwards (and I've never seen it in any of the dozen or so that I've made and washed) it will be even across the fabric so unnoticeable.

    Someone else was asking for more tips - I'd also say be really careful with the iron - PRESS don't WIGGLE. The key to being precise with these is lining the repeats up as near to perfect as you can - this isn't a stage that ccan be rushed. Once that's done, the rest is fun and straightforward. For further information get one of the books by Maxine Rosenthal and read it right through before starting anything. Then work from it as an instruction manual for the first one you do. Then you really CAN'T go wrong. :-D

  23. #23
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    cclip and tear fabric about an inch down the selvage edge and you will get a good on grain line.

  24. #24
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I don't ever prewash anything unless I have to. If it shrinks, it shrinks. Kinda gives a quilt an antiquey look.

  25. #25
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    oh boy I was going to try one of these. I have to wash fabric. I cannot stand the chemicals in them. Maybe if I am really careful when I press.

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