More fabric preparation tips for your quilt

Now, where were we?? Ah yes, our beautiful fabric is just about to take a bath!

If prewashing is necessary, first snip the corners of the fabrics at a 45º angle to keep the edges from fraying. Use warm water with gentle soap & the delicate cycle – a front loading machine is best. Tumble dry on low heat until damp. Remove to press immediately.

Always press with the lengthwise grain to avoid distortion. Now is the time to use a fabric sizing or light starch sprayed on the wrong side of the fabric to give a crisper hand for better cutting & piecing. Don’t spray on however if you will not be cutting & piecing directly as the starch may attract unwanted critters into your stash! After pressing, cut as soon as possible in order to keep folds from creasing. If fabrics are to be transported to class, consider hanging them on a skirt hanger or a padded pant hanger – then only touchups will be required during valuable class time.

Are you finding this helpful? Let me know if you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!

More next time…

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Preparing fabrics for your quilt

For the next few posts we’ll look at preparing fabrics for cutting & piecing. Since most quilters deal exclusively in 100 % cotton fabrics, let’s focus on these. Choose good quality cotton fabrics – beware of second grade goods. Always test for color fastness & fading. To prewash or not to prewash? Think about the following questions: What is the finished look desired – flat or crinkly? Prewash for a flat look; don’t prewash for the crinkly antique look. Are there allergies to be concerned about? If so, wash first. Do you like the crispness of unwashed fabric? You can still have it after prewashing by spraying with sizing. How will the quilt be cared for after it is finished – is it a gift? It helps to give the recipient washing instructions to extend the life of the quilt. Answering these questions will determine the way to treat fabrics for each project.

Stay tuned for more hints on fabric preparation…

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How To Make A Quilt

Are you ready for an awesome journey in quilting??? This is such a wonderful pastime to be involved in – not only to create beautiful things for our homes but to give as gifts to cherished friends & bless those around us who have been through tragedy or tough times. What a wonderful way to let everyone know that we care! There are so many worthy causes out there right now to donate fabric or other supplies, finished quilts, your time…the list is only limited by what you are willing to give! Why not check out a guild or quilt shop in your area & see if you can make a difference in the life of someone who would really appreciate your quilts?

In the meantime, let’s get started on how to make your first quilt - whether you decide to keep it or not is up to you!

Choosing fabric (my favorite part):

Start with a pattern. This design may be from a book, magazine, or a pattern purchased from a quilt shop. FYI - the fabrics used in the pattern will likely no longer be available. More fun for you! You get to make your own, unique version. Instead of making an exact replica, look at the VALUE of the fabrics chosen – light, medium & dark. It may help to make a photocopy of your pattern photograph to determine this. Now go to your local Quilt Shop & find a print that has lots of colour that you absolutely LOVE! This will be your focus fabric. How many fabrics do you need to complete the project? Note what the supply list recommends then assign each fabric listed with a fabric #1, 2, 3, etc. in order to use the colours you will choose based on your focus fabric (which may not be the same as the pattern). Use the selvage edge information to help make your selections. Remember to stack the fabrics in a mock up of how much each will be used to get a better idea of how they work together. Look at the stack from a distance. Discard what isn’t working & add more. Keep on until you have the right combination of values to give your project interest & depth. Buy a little extra of each fabric – just in case you decide to make the project bigger! Go home, hide the bill & get ready for another adventure!

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