Thursday, August 8, 2013

Washing Quilts

Howdy! Some minor injuries and illnesses have distracted me from blogging this summer. I've got sewing to show for the downtime, though, and I'm excited to share it.

I just finished this custom quilt, and I put it in the wash today to get all crinkly. A few months ago, someone asked in the Austin MQG facebook group if people wash the quilts they make before giving them as gifts. Here are photos of this quilt before and after laundering:


1. The quilt shrinks anywhere from 3-5% in my experience. It can certainly shrink 6% if you quilt it densely. I wouldn't want the recipient to feel like they did something wrong when the quilt came out of the dryer so much smaller.

2. The whole texture of the quilt changes. I love quilts in their pre-washed and post-washed states. They're so flat and smooth before they're washed, and you can really appreciate the quilting. It can't last, though. The quilt will have to be washed sooner or later, so I just get it over with. I wouldn't want the recipient to fall in love with the pre-washed texture then feel differently about the quilt when it's washed.

3. Last minute repairs. Heaven forbid a seam shouldn't hold up or the binding didn't catch all the way around. Yikes. If anything does go wrong during that first laundering, you can make repairs by hand before sending it on its way.


I'll do a proper finished quilt post about this guy tomorrow. In the meantime, I'd love to know what ya'll think about washing quilts before you give them away :-)

Happy Crafting!

Claire

12 comments:

  1. I have never washed them before, but those are some good points! I'll have to try it.

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  2. I wash them in case a colour bleeds since I don't prewash my fabric before quilting. I adore the crinkly look!!

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  3. What a stunning palette. So soft.

    I always wash my quilts before gifting them, so the recipient knows that they are meant to be used and washed. :) I also include a color catcher with the card, and a simple washing how to, if there is a color/fabric I'm worried could run the first few times they wash.

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  4. Always wash. But then again I have two fluffy doggies and wouldn't want their fur all over the quilt when it is gifted.

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  5. Always, always wash. It's my favorite part! I love the "after" crinkles.

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  6. I always wash, for a couple of reasons - I often starch the quilt top before I baste it, so it's nice to get all that starch and starchy smell out, I want to make sure I pick up anything that goes wrong in the washing process, and I want to be able to tell the recipient that it's been washed once already so they should feel free to wash it as they like. Many of the same reasons as you I think.

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  7. I wash, mainly for the colour catching, I'd hate someone to have colour runs, plus I often use starch too, so it's good to get rid of that too.

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  8. I always wash my finished. The quilt needs to be tested for cuddle-ability and that is best done straight from the dryer. :)

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  9. I always wash, if for no other reasons than testing for a color bleed and removal of any stray animal hair.

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  10. I always wash a quilt as soon as I'm done with it. I baste it on the floor, then it rubs on all kinds of things while I'm quilting it, and I've touched every last bit of it by the end. It doesn't feel like it's really ready to use til I've washed it.

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  11. I wash them too. I think making a quilt involves some dirt, cat hair and spray basting ;) So even if I keep the quilt I wash it anyway.

    I love the clean look too. That's why I love making wall hangings, mug rugs and so on. I try to avoid washing these.

    Susanne

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  12. In your post you mentioned my "beginner quilter dilemma". I just finished a quilt and while binding it I see that the binding didn't catch for about 6 inches on one side of the front and a bit in two corners. YIKES! I don't know what to do. I don't want to make a stitchy mess on the back. How does one best fix such errors by hand? Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks!

    And, by the way, I'm all for washing for all the same reasons mentioned here.

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