I found a place clearancing all their solids for 75% off. Most of their solids were Kona. (Woot!)
This is the cumulative of three different trips to that store. (Although some orange and green has already been used in the Ireland quilt.)
I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or giddy. Some of both, but leaning heavily on the giddy side.
See those reds on the bottom of the pile? This brings me to the topic of today’s blogersation.
Washing fabrics. Do you?
My mom has been a fabric pre-washer for years and so I was one too. Until I started working in a quilt shop. When making a quilt for the store, the employees just start hacking away at the fabric, sewing, quilting, binding, and then washing. Honestly, it’s much more time efficient. The vast majority of quality quilting fabrics are amazing. Their colors hold up beautifully. After seeing hundreds of quilts made and then washed over the past 6 years I could probably count on one hand the number that have had fabric-dye-issues where a color bled.
And this color is usually the culprit. See those sweet little doves?
One of my still all time favorite fabrics, but do you see how the doves on the left are more pink than the doves on the right? This is a little table runner and the bleeding was caused only by a spilled cup of water at dinner time. (Which is an inevitable occurrence around here.) Most of the red & white fabrics in this piece are completely colorfast, but here’s an example of that random one that’s not!
In one of my current projects I am using one of my newly acquired solid reds. [This one is not a Kona – therefore I’m a little more worried about it.] Since I’m also using a lot of solid white in this quilt – and I’d like it to remain white instead of pink – I decided to pre-wash this red. And the rest of the solid reds while I was at it.
While they were in the wash, I threw in one of these Shout Color Catcher sheets, just to see what would happen.
Here are the results. Check out how much dye it absorbed. Glad I took that precaution now.
I usually throw one of these color catchers in with any quilt I’m washing for the first time as an insurance policy. I’ve even used it to clean-up a quilt that did bleed after the first wash (thanks to those same little doves!) and it made a big difference. They’re available in the laundry aisle at your grocery store and worth every penny. (And no, they did not pay me to say this, although that would have been nice.)
Any other good fabric-washing-tips? I think this can be a topic that sparks hot debate among quilters, but since we all mourn the ruination of a pretty quilt, feel free to share what works best for you.
PS I almost couldn’t resist using another 80’s classic to title this post, but didn’t want anyone to have Tears for Fears stuck in their head all day.