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Question for those with experience blocking a quilt

Question for those with experience blocking a quilt

Old 08-03-2011, 07:56 AM
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I have a quilt that is for a show in September. I want to present my quilt as well as I can and I think blocking it is a good way to do that. Problem is I don't want to completely soak this quilt. Biggest reason is I'm worried about colors bleeding. This quilt is a lot of red batiks with light colored batiks. Recipe for disaster. Fabrics weren't prewashed because many were scraps and small pieces. I had no intention of washing the quilt so wasn't worried about it but I didn't consider blocking when I was first assembling the top. Here's my question; is it possible to pin the quilt out and get it all squared up then use a steam machine over the top of it? This quilt doesn't need any major adjustments, just a nice flattening out and sides pulled straight. I have quite a bit of polyester thread in the quilt though, will steam hurt that? Any advice from those who have done this is greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:59 AM
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Just try pressing the whole top first. Then hang it up on a design wall (drapes, anywhere it will hang flat) so you can take a good look. I have NEVER blocked a quilt, and no one I know does.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:06 AM
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If the fabric isn't color fast, even some steam may cause a problem. I would try it on some scraps layed out on white fabric first :wink: :D:D:D
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:12 AM
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I think your poly thread will be fine, it's nylon you need to worry about with heat.

I can't answer your question about blocking, sorry. I've never done it.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:15 PM
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I'm a fan of blocking quilts, mostly smaller ones. I can't stand it if they aren't perfectly in line, and hanging straight. I do my blocking after they have been washed and partially dried, so the question you are asking would be hard to answer. How about trying a small section to see if there is any color run, if not, steaming would be a way to go.

Good luck.
:)
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:05 PM
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I recently took the plunge and blocked an IRR quilt. I had NO idea if all the fabrics had been washed or not since others had worked on it. It is basically reds, bricks, browns and creams. It really really needed to be blocked, so I decided to just go ahead, close my eyes and go for it. I ran some water in the bathtub (cold) and threw in 3-4 color catchers and then dunked the quilt. I totally soaked it then pulled the plug and drained the water. I then carefully picked it up out of the tub and put it in the washer. I spun it for just a few minutes to get the bulk of the water out.

I spread towels, then sheets on the carpeted floor. Placed the quilt on top and carefully pinned it every 1" or so- measuring it with a metal tape measure as I went to insure that it was square. I covered the top of it with another sheet when I was finished. It dried in about 24 hrs. It was perfectly square and flat when I unpinned it.

The next time I do this, I will do a couple of things differently.

1. I'll "dip" a questionable fabric in the water prior to dunking the entire quilt (although my fabs did not run- the color catchers WERE brown when I drained the water from the tub. This will give me an opportunity to make sure whether it will run or not.

2. I'll go buy some foam core (4 x 8) sheets to lay on the floor to pin the quilt. It will block much better on a hard surface than on carpet.

3. If you don't want to "dunk"....misting might be a way to go

Otherwise...it works perfectly and really makes the quilt lay/hang much better...good luck!
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sandpat
2. I'll go buy some foam core (4 x 8) sheets to lay on the floor to pin the quilt. It will block much better on a hard surface than on carpet.
This is how I do it. While not necessary, I put a bit of velcro on the sides at the top, center and bottom to attach the two sheets to each other so they don't shift out of alignment while pinning the quilt.

I also picked up (at Lowes) some of the longer aluminum squares for drawing lines on the insulation boards and checking the corners (to use in addition to my quilting rulers).

The boards are the same ones I use for the design wall - 3/4" thick, although if it's just going to be on the floor then I guess the 1/2" would be enough.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:54 PM
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Okay... what kind of pins do you use to prevent rust? I used to crochet, and I made crocheted snowflakes that I starched and blocked with pins, but the pins rusted.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:55 PM
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You can dry block it instead of wet blocking it. I've used the steam method. Works fine. Instructions: http://www.quiltuniversity.com/blocking.htm
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Peckish
Okay... what kind of pins do you use to prevent rust? I used to crochet, and I made crocheted snowflakes that I starched and blocked with pins, but the pins rusted.
I used the pins with the round white heads, and sometimes the yellow heads.

To be honest, I never gave much thought to it. I've never noticedd a problem with the pins after use, and since I insert them right at the binding seam, I've never seen any discoloration on the fabric. Granted, I never use white fabric.

I'm sure I bought them at Joann's, so they're either Dritz or that other co (name eludes me right now). I used them because I had them.
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