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Topic: Mixed washed and unwashed fabrics  (Read 2688 times)
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waterbaby
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« on: June 16, 2015 07:51:05 PM »

For our donations project this year my quilt guild is using fabrics from all our members to make group created scrappy diagonally disappearing 9 patch quilts.  Some of the yardage has been washed and some of it hasn't.  Initially we were going to try and separate these into two groups but it turned out not to be feasible since everybody just plunged into mix-and-matching each others' material.  Now I've got the first top is almost finished, just need to add borders, and am wondering if I should wash that fabric or not.  Which leads to a question I was planning to post when I got to that point: how about the backing?

Whad'ya think, oh quilting gurus?
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sloth003
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015 06:46:30 AM »

I wouldnt. But im lazy.  Cheesy

 I have mix and match in my stash. I havent found it causes that much difference once the final project is washed and dried. Maybe some areas will be slightly puckerier and crinkly but usually not so much its noticed.
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waterbaby
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015 06:33:54 PM »

Thanks, sloth, being able to use either will make it easier to choose the fabric!

Anybody have thoughts on whether the backing should be washed or not?  Or maybe we should do pieced backs also mixing washed and unwashed....
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jnicodemus
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015 05:38:52 PM »

My two cents:  I've mixed washed and unwashed in quilt tops, but I wash in cold water to help keep the fabric dye from getting everywhere.  I would probably wash the backing since it's such a big piece - you'll notice the shrinkage more.  Also, it may all depend on how much quilting you do. 
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waterbaby
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2015 10:45:10 AM »

Thanks, jnicodemus, that all makes sense to me.  Am also going to get some kind of color "catcher" or dye setter and wash the quilts before donating them, just to be on the extra safe side.
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donniesgirl
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015 07:27:36 PM »

 I'm with sloth. Unless you're doing some super precision quilting and/or elaborate blocks, I don't think it really matters as long as you're using good quality quilting cotton.   Plus I hate the thought of that fabric unraveling before you've quilted it into place  and having to get all the strings out, iron...Yuck. 

I like the color catcher stuff I use that on some of my quilts  when I'm doing something crazy like mixing bright batik with white.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015 07:29:38 PM by donniesgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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waterbaby
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015 01:54:48 AM »

Thanks for your input, donniesgirl.  In addition to some washed and some not, the fabric is also a mixed bag in terms of quality.  The blocks are all the same: a 9 patch, sliced diagonally in both directions, the resulting triangles mixed and matched for a great scrappy look.  It's been a great group project, with everybody contributing fabric, making squares, sewing 9 patches, and cutting triangles, all mixed together.

I've got the first top almost done (just want to add some borders) and it's been...interesting putting the blocks together as the triangles weren't all the same size because there's apparently a bit of a range in our members' interpretations of "1/4 inch seam"...!  Fortunately, even with the seam differences I've been able to trim all the blocks to the 12-1/2 inches, and while not all the squares on adjoining blocks match up, the scapiliciousness and visual patterning created by the combination of squares and triangles provides plenty of distraction:



« Last Edit: July 05, 2015 10:52:04 AM by waterbaby » THIS ROCKS   Logged
rockingbearranch
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015 07:47:52 AM »

That looks exactly like my first quilt! It is about 30 years old and has some of that tacky 1970s polyester in it. Even with the different fabrics it was fine as far as shrinking goes. I would pre-wash the back too. Anything super shrinky like linen would be the only concern.
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2015 10:43:40 AM »

that's beautiful!
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donniesgirl
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015 04:24:09 AM »

Thanks for your input, donniesgirl.  In addition to some washed and some not, the fabric is also a mixed bag in terms of quality.  The blocks are all the same: a 9 patch, sliced diagonally in both directions, the resulting triangles mixed and matched for a great scrappy look.  It's been a great group project, with everybody contributing fabric, making squares, sewing 9 patches, and cutting triangles, all mixed together.

I've got the first top almost done (just want to add some borders) and it's been...interesting putting the blocks together as the triangles weren't all the same size because there's apparently a bit of a range in our members' interpretations of "1/4 inch seam"...!  Fortunately, even with the seam differences I've been able to trim all the blocks to the 12-1/2 inches, and while not all the squares on adjoining blocks match up, the scapiliciousness and visual patterning created by the combination of squares and triangles provides plenty of distraction:



Pretty!   Well one thing I learned from the Quilt Block swap is to always measure the blocks I receive and trim as needed. Wink    There is only so much easing you can do before it starts looking lumpy.  Cheaper fabrics can be less reliable in terms of shrinkage hopefully you won't have any issues.  Personally I've never had an issue with the shrinkage on quilting fabrics from Joann's, but Hancock, omg -  shrinkage and bleeding.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015 04:27:38 AM by donniesgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I am collecting cotton Hawaiian fabric scraps for a quilt if you wanted to send any my way!
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2015 12:31:15 PM »

That sounds really fun! I have a quilt I made with both washed and unwashed fabrics, and I haven't had any issues with shrinking. I did hang it up to dry the first time I washed it, just to be safe. Oh, but also, it's hand-tied instead of quilted, so that might make a difference.
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