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Thread: Washing Jelly Rolls?

  1. #1
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    My sister washes all her quilt fabric when it comes in the house for the first time. Unless it is red, I usually pass on the washing as I like the feel of the crisp material when I am cutting and sewing. Pressing it is good but it is never as crisp as when it is new.

    She recently bought some jelly rolls. Lovely stuff, but then she washed it.
    So my question to her and my friends here at the board is this? How can she be accurate in her piecing now with the fabric all frayed!?

    Would you wash jelly rolls?

  2. #2

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    I am not a prewasher either. I personally like the feel of the new fabric and my time is limited in sewing so it won't go into ironing:))Plus I like the look of older quilts so this works great for me:)) I do know that people that prewash their charms, jelly, etc...they usually put them in panty hose or a netting that is w/a zipper and made for washing smaller items.

    As far as her being accurate w/her rolls now...depends on how much she lost washing them. If they were frayed beyone the correct measurements..then she will just have to recut to one that works for all the strips so they are even. (which will throw the measurments off w/specific patterns) I would imagine she is very frustrated at this moment:))Skeat

  3. #3
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    oh no...I imagine she has a huge tangle of strips and thread knots. I prewash reds since they thend to bleed the most. Anything else, if I think it may bleed, I'll take a snippet of the fabric and put it in a small glass of warm water, let it set for an hour and hold it up to see if there's any color in the water. It's perfectly ok to prewash in your kitchen sink to avoid the tangle monster that the washer creates. To answer your questions however, each strip needs to be pressed and trimmed of the threads then measured to judge any accuracy. She may end up with 1.5 inch strips. I would not prewash jelly rolls in a washing machine but by hand only.

  4. #4
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    I do not pre-wash the jelly rolls. It would make sure a mess and would lose it's accuracy for sure.

  5. #5

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    :(

  6. #6
    Alaskan lady's Avatar
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    I'm like you. I will check the reds out as I have had them bleed. I also will safety pin them together before putting them in a mesh bag so they don't get beat together even on a gentle cycle. Hope this idea helps your sis.

  7. #7
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    I prewashed some Moda Charm Squares and ALL of them shrunk a full 1/4 inch. (these weren't frays,thiis was actual shrinkage!) I didn't think a "quality" fabric should shrink at all. I guess you learn something new every day.

  8. #8
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    Moda shrinks a LOT. More than any other brand of fabric I have used.

    I am very reluctant to use jelly rolls and charm squares for this reason (I always prewash to get rid of excess dye and chemicals) and also because I can't be sure that they are cut accurately on the grain. If a fabric strip comes out of the wash all shredded up and warped, I probably don't want to use it in a quilt, anyhow.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for asking this. I've just bought a bunch of charms and layer cakes. I was afraid to wash them with all the stuff that already comes off of them. I've washed smaller cuts of fabric (quarter and eighth) and they came out pretty bad so I didn't wash these. I did put them in the mesh bag to wash them and still got alot of thread tangles and balling. I'll just know that I will get the shrink after its washed.

  10. #10
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
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    I'd rather it shrink before I make the quilt than after I have made it. My Springtime quilt was made from jelly rolls and boy did it shrink when I washed it. I had made it to fit my queen sized bed with about 2 or 3 inches of overhang and now there is no overhang. So the Jelly rolls I just got will be washed in the sink so they'll shrink now instead of later.

  11. #11
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    If I didn't trust them in a lingerie bag in the washer, i'd at least scald them in the sink. . I hate shrinking, and I hate dye running more.

    A question for those who don't - do you wash your tops and backs once they are assembled?



  12. #12
    Jerrie's Avatar
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    i only wash darks because of the bleeding but other than that i do not wash . there are not as much chemical in the fabrics as their use to be

  13. #13
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    I always soak fabric in cool water first-I am always careful with pinked fabric because of the fraying. Just keep soaking until there is no more color washing out, and dry between two towels (sometimes if I am too impatient to use the fabric, I'll use a dry iron to speed the process.) I wish fabric companies wouldn't pink the edges, that seems to make it worse.

  14. #14
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I don't prewash either, unless it is flannel, that is a whole different story. I try to check deep reds to see if they run. I wash all my quilts that are going out as gifts before they leave my hands. The only things I have not washed are a wall hanging or two. Anything that may potentially be washed by the new owners or me gets washed after it is finished and the label is on it. I love the look of how is shrinks up a little.

    It helps that I have one of those large front-loading washers and can fit even queen size quilts in there with no problem.

  15. #15

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    I don't prewash and have washed my quilts later...not right after. Mine are fine. I really like the older looking quilts so this works:0). I don't worry about the chemicals in the fabric either. Maybe I should but, I figure between my carpets, furniture, cleaning supplies and what he leaves in the garage and what is inside my car...a quilt won't matter:))LOL
    Just recently I used some Rit dye to tone down a panel and rinsed good, and dried..then I had to fight w/my iron and talk to the panel to get it in a square again....so, for me, never again!:))Skeat

  16. #16
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    I'm a prewasher :roll: and have purchased charm packs before and been very disappointed in the results. I would consider purchasing again if they were larger than the size I required but am afraid that due to shrinkage I could not get them ready to go into a project unless it was from the charm swap (they are pre-shrunk before cutting).

    Like other members, I imagine your sister would have a huge tangled mess to deal with in addition to the loss. She should be able to get about a 2 inch noodle from each if they were 2.5 inches to begin with, but might not if the fabric is off. Kyiav has a noodle swap every so often, maybe your sis could find more there to coordinate with her project (she's got a schedule for '09 posted, too). Best wishes & Happy Sewing!!

  17. #17
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    I have made a few things with jelly rolls and I don't wash them, have not had a problem with washing after the project was done. :)

  18. #18
    Senior Member Missi's Avatar
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    I purchased a Jelly Roll that was dark red, brown, teal and cream. I was raised pre washing for shrinkage, and with the dark colors afraid of the bleeding. I washed them in net bags on gentle and dried. I had, wait I still have a disaster on my hands. NEVER AGAIN WILL I BUY JELLY ROLLS

    My nice precut strips now measure 2 1/4 and I cut my background fabric strips after I washed it at the correct 2 1/2. I am now sewing the two together, then trimming both to 2 1/4 due to the frayed Jelly Rolls. If I didn't have over $100 invested in background fabric, and backing I would have tossed the whole project.

  19. #19
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I'm a prewasher if it is possible to take care of the shrinkage. Remember, if you don't prewash to use those fantastic "Color Catchers" made by Shout...They are fantastic!!!!! I love them. Even though I prewash (when possible), if I make a gift of a quilt...I include color catchers with it...just to make sure when they wash the quilt that there are no "mishaps" sometimes..all the dye might not come out in the first or even second wash.

  20. #20
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    The washing debate is never settled.

    Reds are not the only fabrics that might spill color.

    I won't buy jelly rolls because or precut little pieces because:

    1) I hate the pinked edges
    2) I like to prewash
    3) Sometimes fabric gets pulled off grain in the processing and then the strips are off grain.
    4) Sometimes fabrics (even the "good" ones) shrink and I prefer the flat look in my finished quilts.

    One can soak the strips in a basin and then just lay them out on a towel. Kind of a bother, but if one is the obsessive/compulsive type, it works. Minimizes tangling and fraying.

  21. #21
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have yet to buy a quilt fabric that ran when washed. Quilters would quit buying that brand of fabric. I have never washed charms or jelly rolls and have not had a problem.
    I do wash all my newly made quilts as they get so covered with lint and cat hair that they have to be washed.

  22. #22
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Rose Marie,
    So glad to hear that you haven't had fabrics bleed, lucky you. However, I purchase quilt shop quality fabric for the most part and they do occasionally bleed :cry: . It's not a specific brand and not always reds as others will attest----always washed in cold water....this is my experience, I can assure you it does still happen. I hope this is never a problem for you but for those of us who have seen it happen and have ruined perfectly good fabrics, it is a must to prewash. Whether we're talking jelly rolls, fat quarters, charms or yardage.

  23. #23
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    I don't prewash but let people know that there are products out there for bleeding fabric.....shout out has one called color catcher....

  24. #24

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    I'm a prewasher, but have not used the jellyrolls yet and had not thought about the downfalls of prewashing them. I guess I will not was these and may not buy anymore cause I really like to rewash the fabric.

    Great thread, made me think and maybe kept me from a real disaster.
    :?

  25. #25
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    moonpi...i wash the heck out of my fabrics the minute i bring them into the house. 2x in the hottest water and dryer on the hottest heat. i buy some extra fabric to allow for shrinkage. i don't bother to wash the tops any more after that. i also wash the backing the same way. anything red washes alone. if it bleeds, it's out. i have no time to play with it. as a result, i
    hardly use real reds, unless it's part of a print.

    i know you're not supposed to use regular wash detergent on quilts, but if i am giving a quilt as a gift i know that people will use detergent, so i begin that way. no bad surprises later. if it is for me or for a wallhanging, i am careful to wash using quilt soap only.

    i turn down a narrow bit at the edge of the fabric before washing. i find it's the only reliable way to eliminate fraying. i think it's worth the extra five minutes.

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