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TOPIC: 2009 BOM--prewash or not?

due to chemicals - prewash always 03 Mar 2009 12:10 #32986

to quote Benita Skinner, Victoria Quilt Design, "As a special note: All my new fabrics are washed before they get added to the collection. There are good reasons for this (dye running & shrinkage), but I mostly do it for removal of the chemicals fabric companies use. I don’t want to risk my health. When you press unwashed fabric the steam travels the chemicals into your breathing zone. Please be careful…I learnt about this from a fellow quilter who got very ill for this reason."
http://quiltinggallery.com/2009/02/24/fabric-storage
for her full article
Last Edit: by Lois1.
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prewash 02 Mar 2009 09:05 #32953

I don't prewash. I did once on a line of fabric because they knew it to shrink alot. To the point they rewrote the pattern based on the shrinkage of the line. But otherwise I don't. I also like the puckery happiness that you get when you wash fabric for the first time. And the first time I wash a quilt I always use Retayne. Don't know if it works, just know that I have never had bleeding issues and that is good enough for me.
Last Edit: by vintagevanity.
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01 Mar 2009 06:14 #32904

  • Margo
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Patti, if you don't want that much shrinkage, you should prewash (pre-shrink!) all of you fabrics before you make the quilt and pre-shrink the batting before you make the sandwich or use a batt that does not shrink. READ THE DIRECTIONS ON THE PACKAGE! Some cotton batts will look like wet kleenex if you wet them!
Then wash it in cold or warm water (I use hot!) and don't dry it in a hot dryer, but lay it flat on the floor or bed to dry, then fluff it in the dryer set on no heat! You won't get as much shrinkage that way.
I know how this family does their laundry, so I wanted to shrink it as much as possible so they wouldn't think they had done something wrong the first time they washed it and it got smaller than when I delivered it! I do the same thing when I gift a baby quilt....hoping that it will get used and loved to death!! :wink:


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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28 Feb 2009 21:23 #32888

Holy cow Margo, I'm surprised at how much shrinkage you got! That got my attention. I like the old fashion look too but that much is something that one must consider a significant element. Things that make you go....hummm.
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26 Feb 2009 06:05 #32836

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Looking forward to seeing and hearing more! It's nice to have a man around the house!! :lol:

We do have other members who are guys, but they are mostly the silent type. Glad to have you sharing our journey!


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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26 Feb 2009 00:08 #32833

  • Keith
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Admit things?!? Did I do that? :o

Feathered star: done
Triangles to put it on point: done
Four patches (I'm appliqueing circles instead): done
Setting triangles: half done
Spacer borders: fabric picked but don't know the size yet...
Variable stars: haven't started them

2 days left and I have to bowl our city tournament this weekend - I'm behind. But I didn't start until this month so really I'm almost caught up... :)

We had a home break-in two weeks ago (It wasn't bad, but this is maybe more for a member blog - I'll have to figure out how to do that...) and I'm staring right now at my new chocolate Canon PowerShot. It should be easy to figure out... I'll get pics in soon...

Thanks for the encouraging words!!
Last Edit: by Keith.
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25 Feb 2009 22:14 #32830

  • she-quilts
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Margo wrote:
OK, Keith! You've admitted that you are working on the BOM!

WE WANT PHOTOS!!! :D And a Member Blog would be great, too!

BTW....Your Christmas Crossing is looking really good!!

Oh yes... do tell!! :)

Joyce
Last Edit: by she-quilts.
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25 Feb 2009 12:17 #32810

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Keith,I agree your Christmas quilt is really nice. Yes and we're waiting for pix on your BOM.

denise
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25 Feb 2009 11:19 #32809

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OK, Keith! You've admitted that you are working on the BOM!

WE WANT PHOTOS!!! :D And a Member Blog would be great, too!

BTW....Your Christmas Crossing is looking really good!!


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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25 Feb 2009 09:32 #32803

  • Keith
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Opps! :oops: I forgot this was about BOM and prewashing so I just read the BOM materials again. Susan gave good advice. Prewashing removes excess dye and helps even out or eliminate shrinkage for flatter quilts.

And Margo gives good advice. I'd prewash if I wanted my quilts to have a smooth surface. But I don't. And I'd prewash if I hand quilted, but I don't.

I'm making my BOM in Holiday red and greens using only my stash, focusing especially on my tubs of scraps - 95% is unwashed. This worries me a little bit, but not enough to do much about it. I'm just doing it and I'm going to have fun. :) With maybe some careful steps that Margo will show us in March... :)

I don't know much about chemicals in fabric. I read Harriet's From Fiber to Fabric but I've lost it. And a lot's probably changed in 10 years. I thought it was very interesting. My family thought it was dry as a bone so I don't think my sisters stole it... :D
Last Edit: by Keith.
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25 Feb 2009 08:29 #32801

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I'll post again to say that you really need to know what "look" you are going for in your finished quilt. I love the "puckery" look I get using unwashed fabrics, unwashed cotton batting (usually 80/20) and putting the finished quilt through a wash AND DRY :shock: cycle like regular laundry.

I just posted the second pieced BOM that I made for my niece. The pieced top measured 84" square. After the wash/dry treatment it now measures 77" square! That's a lot of shrinkage if you aren't expecting it, but I love the look!

Someone also mentioned bleeding fabrics. I guess I've been really lucky, because in almost 20 years of quilting, I've never had a problem with bleeding. Because I usually starch my fabrics, I can catch bleeders before they are stitched into the top and either prewash them with Synthrapol until they don't bleed any longer, or treat them with Retayne.

In a few days, I'll post my March BOM tutorials where I show what I had to do with a couple of bleeders!


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
Last Edit: by Margo.
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25 Feb 2009 01:45 #32790

I usually prewash, but I think you all are right about today's fabrics not bleeding as much as they did years ago. (exception: batiks--I washed mine by hand for the 2008 BOM, and boy, did some of them bleed!) I'm just worried about the chemicals in the unwashed fabrics because I like to hand quilt most of my quilts. What do you all know about the chemicals? Am I being too paranoid? :lol: Judy in Torrance
Last Edit: by Judymc.
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25 Feb 2009 00:25 #32789

  • Keith
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One of my favorite quotes from Elly Sienkiewicz's show and book seems to apply here. This is something about which wise women can disagree.

But I'm going to vote to help even it out. I don't prewash. A few reasons: 1) I like the body of unwashed fabric. I even starch my unwashed fabric. 2) Like Harriet Hargrave and Margo and others, I like the patina and shrunk-up look that new quilts get immediately after their first washing when they shrink as a complete project (especially with a 3-5% shrinking batt). And 3) I don't know that prewashing solves a color transfer problem. I don't think that color bleeding into the washwater is big a problem. Nearby fabrics retaining the color would be a problem for me and there are products that might help block color transfer better than prewashing does.

And I generally buy good quality fabrics from reputable quilt stores.

And I'm knocking on wood a little here too because I haven't had any big problems yet... :D

I prefer straight grain binding for most projects, I sometimes press seams open, I like turned-edge applique stitched by machine, I fussy cut pieces off grain if the design suits me, I use monofilament thread, I don't pin a lot, I dry my quilts part way in the dryer, I shouldn't type too much before I go to bed, and I love reading what everyone has to say in the forum... :D
Last Edit: by Keith.
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24 Feb 2009 16:35 #32776

Ditto to everything Amethyst said. With GOOD quality fabric there is no reason to pre-wash, also starch does NOT attract bugs, guess it must be an old wives tale. I did a lot of research on that.
Last Edit: by grandmanina.
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