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Thread: Really dumb mistake - how to fix?

  1. #1
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    Really dumb mistake - how to fix?

    Hi, all!

    Ok, I'm sure no one else has ever done this! I am making a 56x52 inch quilt for the annual Washington State Linus Project meeting. I've been working my buns off for about 7 weeks, designing, cutting, throwing away, cutting some more, sewing, unsewing...you get the picture. So, I decided to prewash the backing as I am using flannel and didn't know how much it would shrink. Then I decided I'd better wash the quilt top, too, so it didn't shrink too much after the quilt is finished.

    Ooh, bad mistake! I sewed the raw edges to keep them from raveling, not remembering that the whole back of the quilt was raw edges. So, it came out with immense thread wads on the back, and some of the fabric shrank more than the others, so the quilt top, even after ironing, is very wavy - think hills and valleys. What to do to salvage this? The quilt is due on Tuesday. Thanks for any suggestions!

    Margaret

  2. #2
    Junior Member mommysewist's Avatar
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    Can you dampen it again and press it (very carefully) while it's wet? Then hopefully simple quilting and wash it when it's finished to hide mistakes left.

  3. #3
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    Mommysewist very good suggestion in my opinion!!! You can do it, and it will be fine!!!

  4. #4
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    Use a spray bottle to mist the top and block it out to dry. Once dry, quilt the heck out of it or use a high loft batt.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    You're wrong about one thing - you're definitely not the first to do this!

  6. #6
    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    I've had some success with blocking quilt tops. http://www.adventurequilter.com/e-Le.../Blocking.html

    This tutorial is for a finished quilt but the principle is the same for a top only. Also works well for quilts warped slightly by quilting.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    My heart breaks for you with all the work you put into it. You have to try your best to get the threads clipped and get it into some sort of flatness so it can be quilted. Don't give up. I spent over an hour trying to undo a mess of yarn for this friend. Someone had dropped of bags of yarns at the Senior Center. It takes a lot of patient and I only had to cut the yarn once. I find when I have a problem with a quilt, I will work on it for 15 minutes, then walk away and do a household chore and then come back to it refreshed and work on in for a bit more. Hopefully, it will make the task easier to get it done especially with the deadline looming.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  8. #8
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I too have had luck with blocking, including straightening a panel that was skewed so badly, that even the LQS suggested giving it up as a lost cause. I would start by measuring and marking the size needed on a flat surface. Lay down one side and tape the heck out of it. Then mist, stretch and tape down the opposite side. Then do the same with the last two sides. You may have to really wet down some of the shrunken areas, to get them to stretch enough but it CAN be done! Good luck!
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  9. #9
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    One of the reasons I wash all washable components before cutting them is because I have had experiences like yours.
    I decided that I would rather spend the time "up front" with the washing and drying - and not have to again deal with uneven shrinkage and/or bleeds.

    And when it gets wet again, the fibers will revert to the size they want to be.

    There are some that believe that dense quilting will stabilize/minimize the shrinking/reshrinking. I do not know if these inidividuals have measured the size of their items before and after washing them or not.

  10. #10
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    You're wrong about one thing - you're definitely not the first to do this!
    Uh Huh .. me too! I cut away the threads and pressed all the seams from the back to straighten out the quilt and then it was fine. Took a ton of time, but it worked.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  11. #11
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    Wet it and block it. Are you now converted to the pre-wash the fabric bunch?

  12. #12
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Yes, not the first! next time just soak and spin out. No agitation. Good luck.

  13. #13
    Super Member abdconsultant's Avatar
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    Nice save!
    Just passing through!

  14. #14
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    I am definitely joining the pre-wash group after this! Thanks to all for your suggestions. I had to make a flying trip to Seattle yesterday, will drive home shortly and spend the afternoon trying to block this thing. I spent way too long piecing it to give up now!

    You guys are great!

    Margaret

  15. #15
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    No, you are not alone. You were smart to wash the flannel that you were using for the backing, as flannel can really shrink quite a bit. I agree with mommysewist and kaeleynangelfoot about their methods to help get your top under control. I'm sure you can do this and sometimes quilting can cover a variety of blips..

  16. #16
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    It is a sorry thing to have have happen after all your hard work.

    What are the lessons here?

    You are going to learn how to block a quilt.

    How to save time and disappointment in the future by washing fabric before you use it.

    Wash fabric before you use it.

    Wash fabric before you use it with a smile knowing you are doing the best thing for your quilt.

    You will be able, in the future to piece your fabric with abandon, after they are washed.

    There will be no worry about fabrics shrinking/ bleeding on future projects and what fun it will be without the worry.

    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  17. #17
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    You are definitely not the first. I did this and totally ruined the quilt top. The fabric was fraying and it all got caught up in the wash and ripped holes in it. I was going to try and applique over the worst spots and quilt the heck out of it. Finally just gave up and will start over . Hope you are able to salvage it.

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