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Thread: A question - Measuring before and after

  1. #1
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    A question - Measuring before and after

    How many of you actually measure your

    Fabrics before and after washing them (if you are in the wash before cutting group)?

    Your quilts before and after they are quilted?

    Your quilts before and after they are washed?


    I have heard that heavy quilting can "take up" several inches from the unquilted size.

    There was just a post today about a quilt that shrank five inches after being washed.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...s-t247055.html

    When figuring on a "finished" size - after quilting and washing - do you make it bigger and expect to "lose" a couple of inches in the quilting and washing processes?

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I am not one of those who throws the quilt into the washing machine as soon as it is finished being quilting. I haven't read the post but I measure each of my blocks as I am making them. If you are not careful with piecing, you probably could loose some inches. There is some shrinkage with quilting. With applique, I always add some extra inches and then trim the block after I have finished. Never took the time to measure a quilt after it had been quilted. sorry.....
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    The only time I measure anything to do with a quilt is when I need to make sure the units...blocks, sashings, borders, batting, backing, binding, etc...fit together accurately during construction.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  4. #4
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    I measure the blocks to make sure they fit together. I measure the quilt top so I know how long to make the borders. Once the borders are on I measure the entire top so I know how big to make the backing and batting. Other than that I don't care what the measurements are.

  5. #5
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    I agree with ghostrider, there comes a time when it is what it is, and measuring one more time isn't going to make a difference.

  6. #6
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    My mother always prewashed everything, so that was my thought when I started to quilt. Then I joined this board and read about lots of folks who never prewashed, so I decided to measure before & after to see if pre-washing made a difference. The first couple of times nothing seemed to change. A yard in the wash, a yard out of the dryer. I was just thinking about abandoning my prewashing, when I decided to also measure the WOF. I was amazed. There was very little to no shrinkage along the length, but ALWAYS across the width. Sometimes more than 2". (Except batiks... and they bleed.)
    As far as before & after quilting I don't make anything a specific size, so I've never paid attention.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  7. #7
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    I'm with you, exactly the measurements I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by citruscountyquilter View Post
    I measure the blocks to make sure they fit together. I measure the quilt top so I know how long to make the borders. Once the borders are on I measure the entire top so I know how big to make the backing and batting. Other than that I don't care what the measurements are.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Craftnut's Avatar
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    Same here. If I measure it again it is because I have to fill out a form for a show.

    Quote Originally Posted by suern3 View Post
    I'm with you, exactly the measurements I do.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citruscountyquilter View Post
    I measure the blocks to make sure they fit together. I measure the quilt top so I know how long to make the borders. Once the borders are on I measure the entire top so I know how big to make the backing and batting. Other than that I don't care what the measurements are.
    This is what I do too!!

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I do like citruscountyquilter, except that I also measure when the quilting is finished (so I know how much binding to make) and after the quilt is bound and washed. The reason for the final measurement is so I can fill out the quilt size for my journal of completed quilts, so I know the size if entering a show, so I can mention the size if I post about the quilt here, and so I know how big it is if I'm looking for a quilt to gift someone. I can't say that I have actually compared the size before and after washing, but I haven't noticed a lot of shrinkage, probably because I prewash my fabrics, I quilt fairly densely, and I often use poly batting (though not always).

  11. #11
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    That sums it up for me.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  12. #12
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    I measure the fabric as I cut it and that's about it. Oh, and measuring for borders, I've finally started doing that.

    Binding...I just make excessive amounts of it and toss the extra into my 'scrap binding' bin for use on scrappy quilts and pot holders. I love doing scrappy bindings. I cut my binding at 2-1/2" so extra binding can be ironed back flat and used in scrappy jelly roll type patterns too.

  13. #13
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    When I washed the backing for a quilt, 3 yards worth and should have been plenty for the longarming process, it shrunk and I had to add a "cheater" strip so she could have enough. She also told me that one of her clients had said that their backing had shrunk 12 inches. I am not sure how many yards that it was but that is a bunch of shrinkage.

  14. #14
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I sometimes measure the finished top just to see if I want to add a border. Mostly I keep a record of the size of my quilts so that I can add it to the label, and the list I have with all the other info, such as the date completed etc.

    Since a large portion of mine are lap quilts, or wall hangings, I do not have to worry about whether it will fit a certain sized bed.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  15. #15
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    The only way I measure after I make a quilt is to throw it on a bed to see how it fits and if I need to make it bigger. Then measure for boarders to add for size.

  16. #16
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I measure ,my quilts before I quilt them so that I know what size batting and backing fabric I need. But otherwise I don't measure.

  17. #17
    Super Member grandme26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citruscountyquilter View Post
    I measure the blocks to make sure they fit together. I measure the quilt top so I know how long to make the borders. Once the borders are on I measure the entire top so I know how big to make the backing and batting. Other than that I don't care what the measurements are.
    This is the way I also do it.
    Grandmeto6 aka Judy

  18. #18
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    I do agree with ghost rider on her measuring criteria. I am one of those that pre-washes 99.9% of all my fabric, so if the fabric was going to shrink, it would be at that time. I also carefully measure my finished blocks so that they come out to the correct size, so I'm usually good to go.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    The only time I measure anything to do with a quilt is when I need to make sure the units...blocks, sashings, borders, batting, backing, binding, etc...fit together accurately during construction.
    This is what I do.

  20. #20
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    When I buy fabric I always add 1/4 yard to what is needed. I do wash first. When I make the quilt I try to figure the top of the mattress plus at least one block per side for the drop. Then I test the size on a bed to see how it fits with the drop. Then I add borders based on the "look" from the bed test. I do not measure the size other than that. I do square up blocks to size but that is it. I always figure for some shrinkage and do wash after quilting but will only do a bed check after the quilt is finished just to see how it looks. I am not a big fan of heavy quilting so do not expect a lot of shrinkage from the quilting.

  21. #21
    Super Member sharin'Sharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    How many of you actually measure your

    Fabrics before and after washing them (if you are in the wash before cutting group)?

    Your quilts before and after they are quilted?

    Your quilts before and after they are washed?


    I have heard that heavy quilting can "take up" several inches from the unquilted size.

    There was just a post today about a quilt that shrank five inches after being washed.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...s-t247055.html

    When figuring on a "finished" size - after quilting and washing - do you make it bigger and expect to "lose" a couple of inches in the quilting and washing processes?
    I have always prewashed my fabrics with RETAYNE (except for the last all batik quilt) and I measure BEFORE and AFTER washing and there is ALWAYS shrinkage. I don't like the crinkle look as some people do. I do not prewash my batting but note that after the quilts are laundered, they still lay quite smoothly as though they were just quilted . I also measure before and after quilting (I don't allow heavy quilting---once my Longarmer did a 'tight' quilting job and it shrunk 5"--UGH!!!). I do not wash my quilts after they are finished.

  22. #22
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    Yep, guilty of all those measurements. I log every quilt on a spreadsheet (comes from my background in accounting) with all particulars, dates started, finished, fabrics used, batting, picture, designer if pattern was used. It also helps to determine what percentage to increase the size so that it fits on a particular bed. I've also had 108" backing fabrics shrink as much as 13". A little OCD? Ok, maybe...

  23. #23
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    How many of you actually measure your

    Fabrics before and after washing them (if you are in the wash before cutting group)?

    Your quilts before and after they are quilted?

    Your quilts before and after they are washed?


    I have heard that heavy quilting can "take up" several inches from the unquilted size.

    There was just a post today about a quilt that shrank five inches after being washed.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...s-t247055.html

    When figuring on a "finished" size - after quilting and washing - do you make it bigger and expect to "lose" a couple of inches in the quilting and washing processes?
    - I prewash but don't measure the fabric at all.

    - I measure my quilts after they're quilted, but for binding purposes only.

    - I occasionally measure them after they're washed - pretty much only if I think they've shrunk up significantly.

    I believe it is true that heavy quilting can "take up" inches from the unquilted size, from personal experience. Since I LA my quilts, it's not really during the quilting process, but when the quilt is finally washed. My opinion is that the thread is going to shrink (especially cotton thread, which I use) - even just a teeny-tiny bit - because you can't prewash thread. Plus, the batting is going to puff up a little when you wash the quilt, which gives that beautiful crinkly look we all love, and that's going to draw up the quilt a tad.

    I've only quilted a few quilts with my DSM, but I'd guess there would be more "shrinkage" (jeez, I just laugh every time I see that word - think Seinfeld!) because you're manually moving the quilt around while you're quilting it. This would lead to the fabric shifting a tiny bit while you're quilting every time you moved the quilt - no matter how well it has been basted. Please correct me if I'm wrong here - that's just my guess. On the LA, you're basting down the sides evenly as you advance it so the quilt doesn't shift.

    This is a very interesting topic!
    Last edited by cindi; 05-22-2014 at 03:06 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaluvs2quilt View Post
    I've also had 108" backing fabrics shrink as much as 13".
    Wow! 13"????? Was that lengthwise or widthwise??? That much shrinkage could really make a huge difference in whether you could use it or not!

  25. #25
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I know! (from selvage to selvage/cross grain) I had to buy more fabric to have enough for the backing and had to piece it...I was NOT happy!

    Quote Originally Posted by cindi View Post
    Wow! 13"????? Was that lengthwise or widthwise??? That much shrinkage could really make a huge difference in whether you could use it or not!

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