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Thread: Usinga combination of washed & unwashed fabric in a quilt

  1. #1
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    Usinga combination of washed & unwashed fabric in a quilt

    Has anyone used a combination of washed and unwashed fabric in a quilt? If the quilt was washed, how did it turn out?

    I used to always wash the fabrics first but now I like to switch and not do that. Has anyone had success combining previously was fabrics and ones unwashed in the same quilt? I know I could it for a wall quilt but what about a bed quilt given as a gift?

    Thanks for your responses!

  2. #2
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    I use pre cuts a lot, and mix them with FQs and yardage (usually washed yardage), and I haven't noticed any difference in the final quilt after washing. They all seem to shrink at the same rate. No problems yet. So far. Sometimes, the batting creates troubles....but that is a whole different topic.

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    I have measured hundreds of fabrics (yes, really!) before and after washing them.

    In my experience, fabrics do not shrink at the same rate. Assuming a 42-45 inch width of fabric - i have had some shrink up to 2.5 inches in width or length (per yard). Most only shrink about an inch in one direction or the other. Very few have little or no shrinkage, and I think one stretched a tiny bit.

    Most of the fabrics I've washed shrink mainly in either length or width.

  4. #4
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    Bonnie Hunter (www.quiltville.com) has talked about using fabrics that are washed and unwashed together. She is one of the most prolific quilters that I've ever seen. She's never had a problem.

    I don't prewash - I prefer the crinkly look - and have not had a problem with anything yet. If I'm using a fabric that I'm concerned about - reds, purples - I test a piece.

  5. #5
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I have used a mix of fabrics many times, often because sometimes I am too lazy to prewash, other times I do it. I have not noticed any issues with mixing them.
    I just want to spend the rest of my life laughing.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    As long as you are quilting fairly closely (lines 4" apart or less), there is no problem. This is because, once the fabrics are quilted, the batting limits how much any one fabric can shrink.

    When washed by themselves, fabrics can shrink at drastically different rates. If you are using large pieces of fabric in a quilt and your quilting lines are far apart (say, 10"), then you can run into problems with varying rates of shrinkage.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceandjoy View Post
    Bonnie Hunter (www.quiltville.com) has talked about using fabrics that are washed and unwashed together. She is one of the most prolific quilters that I've ever seen. She's never had a problem.

    I don't prewash - I prefer the crinkly look - and have not had a problem with anything yet. If I'm using a fabric that I'm concerned about - reds, purples - I test a piece.
    I have had at least one bleeder of every color - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and brown. Of "reputable" brands.

    I have also had the majority - of every color - be "dye-fast" .

  8. #8
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    I've had combinations and never had any problems.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    My concern with prewashing stems primarily because of the chemicals contained in the fabrics from the manufacturing process -- I am asthmatic, and I sure don't need anything adding to that. That being said, I have had problems with it for not prewashing the fabrics, so I always prewash everything, except the batting (and I use primarily poly batting, but not the cheap stuff). I'm not trying to get rid of the crinkly look -- I just don't want to have asthma attacks because those can kill you. Another reason for prewashing, and my primary reason, is the bleeding dyes. That problem could ruin a quilt, so I don't chance it. I've had a lot of fabrics that did bleed, so I test them, treat them if necessary, and then use them, knowing they won't bleed after the dye has been set.

  10. #10
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    I am like Jeanette - I prewash my fabrics to remove the chemicals - they eat my fingers and destroy my finger nails. I have used unwashed fabric with my washed fabric without any bad results. But I tend to even wash my pre-cuts to remove the chemicals too.

  11. #11
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    i have used both with out a problem

  12. #12
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I have as well.

  13. #13
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    I do it all the time and never had a problem.

  14. #14
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    I hear you loud and clear!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

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