Monday, 8 July 2013

To wash or not to wash???

There are those who passionately believe you should always prewash fabric to remove chemicals, dyes and shrinkage.  Then there are those with their foot firmly in the do not prewash camp.  I have always been in the second category.  I like the feel of unwashed fabric and I think it is easier to handle, cut and piece.

But everything changed the other day when I succumbed to Swoon madness.  After seeing pictures all over the net of such beautiful Swoon quilts with incredible colour combinations I wanted in on the action.

There I was happily piecing my first block.  I marked my white fabric with a blue soluble pen to make half square triangles.  I have always used a blue pen for this process.  When it comes to ironing the pieces I give them a quick spritz of water to remove the blue and away I go. This time though I happened to be joining a white square with a red patterned square and when I pressed the red pattern was transferred to the white fabric.  NOT HAPPY JAN.  After careful soaking I have managed to remove most of the red transfer but some of it is still faintly visible.

This led me to the conclusion that I had to wash all of my red fabric to remove the dye so this does not happen again.  Then I read that batik's also have a tendency to run, so I washed all of those to. Hmmm, what about indigo, dark green and purple?  You can see where I am going with this can't you?

Three days later I am still washing fabric.  I decided to wash every single piece that I own.  Every scrap, every fat qtr, all yardage....everything.  That way I won't have a mix of washed and unwashed fabric that will shrink at different rates in a finished quilt.

So washing fabric is my WIP this week. It is a long and arduous process.  My back and shoulders are killing me from all of the bending, snapping and folding fabric and my next power bill is going to be HUGE because my washing machine and dryer have been running non stop for 3 days!  But I am determined to get it done before I do any more sewing.

Here is the block that started the washing madness.

I absolutely love the red fabric but the irony is that after everything I won't be able to use this block in the final quilt.  I used a new 1/4 inch foot that turned out to be highly inaccurate.  Of course I didn't realise this until after I finished the block.  It measures nearly 13 inch square instead of 12.5 inch.  (I am making my blocks smaller than the pattern).
I tell ya, that red fabric was cursed from the start!  I guess I can use it on the back of the quilt.

After ditching the foot and marking a scant 1/4" on my machine bed, I quickly pieced one more block.

This one finishes at exactly 12.5".  Phew, finally something went right.

So before I can do any more sewing I'm off to put in another load of fabric into the washer.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Where has the time gone?

Has it really been 2 months since I last posted?
Seriously, I cannot keep up with this blogging thing.  I read several blogs every single day but forget to post on my own.  I really have to rectify that (she says knowing it will NEVER happen).

We have been busy spring winter cleaning.  Plenty of cleaning out cupboards, garage, garden waste etc. which meant sacrificing sewing time.

I have made some progress quilting my mini string quilts.  I am really dragging my feet on these so they are now on the top of my 'to get finished' list.

I also managed to finish several tote bags and zipper pouches for swaps and gifts.

And I have just about finished a couple of quilt tops to be sent to USA for victims of the tragic and devastating fires in Colorado.

These should be on their way in the next few days.

Now to get onto one of the many WIP's I have before I start a new project.  Chances of that???

Till next time.