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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Snow Keeper
Date: 03-23-2005, 02:11 AM (1 of 8)
I am about to start a new quilt.
This one will be a One-Piece Counterpane.
One piece of fabric, crib size, with the design depending solely on hand quilting.
I have never done such a quilt before, but find the design irrestible.
Ok, so I went out and bought my fabric, White-on-white, 100% cotton, and got it home.

Do I prewash this fabric? I am guessing yes.
But I do not have a washer and dryer available right now. And I just hate to have to go to the laundrymat.
Can I get away with washing the fabric by hand in my kitchen sink then hanging it to dry? Or does prewashing require machine washing and machine drying?
And will I want to be using a detergent of specific type? Something more gentle possibly? Or is this not an issue?

Also, if I do have to wash it by machine, how do I get past the horrible fraying that usualy occurs?

Thanks for your help!!!
Yesterday is History...
Tomorrow a mystery
Today is a Gift....
That's why it's called the Present.

**And if your Happy in the Lord, Notify your face!!!
User: Snow Keeper
Member since: 12-26-2002
Total posts: 14
From: Snow Keeper
Date: 03-23-2005, 04:32 PM (2 of 8)
Researching this topic in a book I found this:
When cotton batting is washed, it shrinks by almost the same percentage as cotton fabrics shrink in the first washing. Therefore, it is a good idea to eliminate the prewashing of the cotton covering fabrics and allow all the shrinkage to take place at once, after the quilt has been finished. This shrinkage imparts an unmistakeable, lovely old appearance to a quilt.

Has anyone gone this route before?
I would hate to hand quilt a whole project and come out with nightmare results.
Yesterday is History...
Tomorrow a mystery
Today is a Gift....
That's why it's called the Present.

**And if your Happy in the Lord, Notify your face!!!
User: Snow Keeper
Member since: 12-26-2002
Total posts: 14
From: AndreaSews
Date: 03-23-2005, 09:27 PM (3 of 8)
I'm not a big quilter, but I never stitch on a piece of fabric that hasn't been pretreated. The rule of thumb is to pretreat a fabric as you expect to treat the finished piece. A quick hand-dunk in the sink is fine, don't even need detergent, but it would have to go in the dryer, unless you want the recipient to always hang to dry. Here's why. On more than one occasion, I have purchased yardage of an all-cotton weave, brought it home to pretreat, and found that it not only shrunk but also twisted. The fabric was now a big slanty parallelogram, and could not be cut properly. That fabric was defective and needed to be returned to the store, rather than used to make something with care that could only be ruined on its first washing. The store manager didn't appreciate my return, but imagine how disappointed she'd have been if I'd made a piece of junk with that yardage and then never returned as her customer.

To minimize fraying, you could use a simple straight machine stitch across the cut edges of the fabric.
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: paula1725
Date: 03-26-2005, 06:05 PM (4 of 8)
I have just started quilting this year and I have made four quilts so far and have prewashed everything including the batting. I have not had any problems with doing this. good luck and let us see it when your done :coffee:
User: paula1725
Member since: 03-26-2005
Total posts: 8
From: mamadus
Date: 04-01-2005, 01:45 AM (5 of 8)
I always, always prewash and machine dry my quilt fabrics... no way I want to go through all the effort of making a quilt and then have different fabrics shrink at different rates and distort all my hard work...

just my 2 cents...

life is too short, not to explore
User: mamadus
Member since: 12-31-2004
Total posts: 492
From: shirleyp
Date: 04-01-2005, 02:13 AM (6 of 8)
Most of my quilts have been made without washing anything. I only wash a fabric if I am scared the colour might run, such as red and black. Its true, the quilts are really nice, I love the way they come out. Have never had a problem doing it this way. I have done this with hand or machine quilting.
User: shirleyp
Member since: 02-12-2002
Total posts: 352
From: carman
Date: 04-01-2005, 11:04 AM (7 of 8)
the material stops at my back door, does not come up to the sewing room till it goes through a 4 minute wash and then a dry.
User: carman
Member since: 04-17-2000
Total posts: 692
From: SummersEchos
Date: 04-01-2005, 01:47 PM (8 of 8)
I think this is a question that will be asked as long as people sew. I pre wash everything. First I don't want to put all the work into something and then have it ruined by washing drying and shrinking. Second is the fabric is treated with chemicals. I am not into handling chemicals. I don't want them on my hands or in my machine. So I wash and away they go. If you knew some of the chemicals that go into the fabric, you would be digusted.
Just my thoughts on it.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
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