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Thread: Pre-washing FQs

  1. #1
    Junior Member PrettyCurious's Avatar
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    Do ya do it or not?
    I do, cuz I prewash everything, new or 2nd hand, but I find FQ's don't seem to come out very square. It is cuz they're cheap? or do all FQs lose their shape?

  2. #2
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I prewash. I work too hard on my quilts to not prewash them...they do shrink and bleed. I do not prewash my batting so I still get a nice crinkle look.

  3. #3
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    I am a pre-washer so I put my FQs in a bag and wash/dry as usual. I know of people who wash them by hand.

  4. #4
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Depends on material

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    since all woven fabrics (if they shrink) will shrink more in one direction than the other it is normal for fabric to be a bit (mis-shaped) after washing/drying. many people who choose to pre=wash pre-cuts find this happening- it can be quite bad with 5" charm squares-
    when pre-washing yardage you simply don't notice it as much it is not as big a deal....that's why if you contact the fabric manufacturers and ask they will tell you they do not recommend pre-washing any pre-cuts- they say they are meant to be used as they are- pre=washing is not necessary ...
    they simply do not understand that (some of us) always pre-wash- regardless---
    so we have to live with the results of our (not-recommended) decision.
    one of the big reasons i seldom spend my hard earned $$ on pre-cuts...the frustration (and waste) seems to outweigh the convienience for me....i'd rather cut my own pre-cuts after pre-washing- that way i know my 2 1/2" strips are going to be 2 1/2"...and my fq's are going to be 18"x20"

  6. #6
    Junior Member tupoms's Avatar
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    Did it once. Threads everywhere. What a mess!

  7. #7
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    I rarely prewash anything; use a colour catcher in the first couple of quilt washes.
    If I feel I need to wash FQs I do it by hand in the sink. They're too distorted by machine washing, even in a lingere (bad spelling) bag

  8. #8
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I am also a prewasher. Have had too many fabrics bleed like stuck pigs. Fat quarters and fabrics from BOM's get a quick rinse with hot water. If the piece is really small, I'll even iron it dry instead of using the dryer. I care more about not ruining my finished product, than losing an inch of fabric.

  9. #9
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    I only prewash yardage. Use color catcher.

  10. #10
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    fabric bleeds.. absolutely !!! small stuff, I use .. OK.. will get a lot of flack from this.. but really does test the fabric.

    Dawn dish soap in a 6 cup glass measuring cup under the facet.. in hot water..

    really does test the fabric and can see right away if it will be a problem.. some just washes out.. and clear water then is what comes after the soap is gone..

    I don't want to chance some fabric running color.. too much work !

    Larger sizes, I wash normally, and dry normally.

  11. #11
    Super Member BluegrassGurl's Avatar
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    I pre-wash everything for the same reason as others have voiced... given the time and effort I invest in a project, I do not want any surprises in the end.

    I hand wash small pieces (fat quarter and below) and iron dry.

  12. #12
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    ...i'd rather cut my own pre-cuts after pre-washing- that way i know my 2 1/2" strips are going to be 2 1/2"...and my fq's are going to be 18"x20"
    me too. and my shapes won't go wonky

  13. #13
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    I pre-wash for the same reasons. Material is the cheapest part of a quilt if you consider your time at minimum wage. (federal: $7.25hr). The thought of having my work ruined by one of the fabrics bleeding is enough for me to take the time to wash everything.

  14. #14
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    I do the hot water/Dawn in measuring cup test.....really works......BUT, I only test anything primarily red or navy blue...those are the ones that seem to bleed if they're going to bleed....and actually I seem to stay away from those.....I do not pre wash anything else for quilts, but if I am doing a tablerunner or placemats I will pre-rinse fabric with hot water so the finished product does not pucker in the future (use poly thin batt).

  15. #15
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
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    I prewash FQ. I've done tests with both FQ and yardage and found some of the shrinkage is enough that my finished project would have been terribly wonky. I envy those that don't and have not had problems. But since I mostly hand quilt and it takes me 6+ months to finish a quilt I don't want to risk any odd shrinkage. Also, I know the quilts I make will end up in the wash and the dryer with no special handling so pre-washing is a must.

    If I were making something for display or knew that it would only be gently washed and laid out to dry I wouldn't worry about pre-washing.

  16. #16
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    No prewash for me - I do wash the quilt after I finish so far no problems.

  17. #17
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    I pre-wash in a mesh bag. :wink:

  18. #18
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    I finish the raw edges (either serge or zigzag) of the FQs and wash them.

    Look at the threads after they are washed - they probably are trying to be perpendicular to each other.

    If the fabric got misaligned during the processing, it was probably wound on the bolt off-grain. When it was cut, it was probably cut perpendicular to the fold or selvage - but the crosswise threads may or may not have been perpendicular to the selvages.

    Which is why the FQ looks "wonky" after is is washed. It went back to what is "normal" for that piece of fabric.

  19. #19
    Super Member Doreen's Avatar
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    I don't prewash anything. I've never had problems

  20. #20
    Super Member happymrs's Avatar
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    I prewash, in cold water, using delicate cycle & the little bags for delicates, & softner, then trim any threads & toss them in the dryer. Then I fold them & mine usually come out square. I don't iron them till I am ready to use them, then only iron what area I need....

  21. #21
    Junior Member PrettyCurious's Avatar
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    Ok, so ya'll confirmed why I don't buy FQ's. I did get a bag of at least 20 of them in our quarterly gift exchange, and am washing them now. They are all small checked patterns in anteeky lookin green, red, and tans. I know I'm gonna enjoy using them on something!

    I also trim the threads before putting them in the dryer.

    I doubt I will ever buy jelly rolls or charm packs. Too messy, and expensive for my taste. I supose I'm a little bit anal about some stuff.

  22. #22
    Junior Member scrapbeagle's Avatar
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    I am a pre-shrinker. Smaller pieces of fabric I usually soak in hot water for about fifteen minutes then I put it in the dryer. I have been disappointed too many times when sewing garments that haven't been pre shrunk and after the first washing just didn't fit right, etc. I would never want to spend all that time on a quilt and then have it bleed its colors.

  23. #23
    Super Member lass's Avatar
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    Ditto -prewash in a lingere bag

  24. #24
    Super Member LindaMRB's Avatar
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    [quote=chairjogger]

    Dawn dish soap in a 6 cup glass measuring cup under the facet.. in hot water..
    really does test the fabric and can see right away if it will be a problem.. some just washes out.. and clear water then is what comes after the soap is gone..

    [partial quote]


    I love Dawn and use it most of the time, but I think there is bleach in Dawn. I have had my dish clothes bleed forever and ever, even when I bleach them in the wash.
    So Dawn might not be the best choice for washing fabric where you do not intend to bleach at all.

    I use laundry detergent and mostly pre-wash. It depends on the source.

  25. #25
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    i prewash by hand in the sink and then iron dry. this avoids the fraying and still will shrink the fabric. I have noticed that fq's are not always cut straight so that is the reason they come out wonky. I do the best I can in cutting them but loose fabric on both ends.

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