Can you believe the first month of our second Mystery QAL is almost over! It seems like only yesterday that we were getting started. The rules for our Mystery QAL state that Tracy and I will give you a little nudge each month around the 28th. The purpose for this gentle prodding is to rekindle your enthusiasm. We’ve been keeping a watchful eye on your updates. The progress you have made is so encouraging. This Mystery QAL looks like it is on track to be the best one yet.
If you are visiting for the first time and would like to join the Mystery QAL you will find the specifics about participation listed below. All of us are using the fabric chosen by my cohost Tracy. Tracy selected Tea Flowers from Connecting Threads.
Here are the rules for participation:
Please note: In order to be entered into the drawing for Mystery QAL # 2’s prize you must complete your item, and post a story about it on or before June 30, 2018. The story must include a photo of the finished project along with a link to Tracy’s blog as well as this one.
My series What’s Your Style explores topics related to sewing and quilting. This is my fourteenth edition. On December 17, 2017, I published a post called Wash or Not? In the article I shared that I didn’t pre-wash my fabrics for these reasons:
I disliked the fact that the fabrics got all wrinkled and
I wasn’t fond of the threads that unraveled and twisted the fabrics together.
After reading the responses to my question I went on a mission to learn even more. Through that research I found a wealth of opinions and techniques. One lady was frustrated with her struggles to achieve a properly sized finished block. To explore the possible reasons she did a detailed experiment. During the discovery process she learned that the heat from her iron was shrinking her fabrics. I had personal experience with the same situation during my 100 Modern Quilt Block challenge.
After reading the articles I decided to change my philosophy. I now pre-wash all of my fabrics and have resigned myself to dealing with the labor intensive process. Hopefully this will head off future potential issues with fabric bleeding, block shrinkage, etc.
Now I sort all of my fabrics by color. Anything other than hand-dyed and batiks are washed in warm water and dried in a hot dryer. If I’m concerned about bleeding I toss in a color catcher. Some of the hand dyed fabrics I wash individually with Dawn in a bucket of super hot tap water. The process is repeated until the water comes out clear. Next I rinse them in clean water to remove any remaining soap residue. The fabrics are then gently squeezed and spread on top of cotton towels to absorb excess moisture. Once the fabrics are damp to the touch I either draped them over a hanger or tossed them into a dryer to finish the drying process.
If I remove the fabric from the dryer right away I can avoid excessive wrinkling. After removing them from the dryer I sometimes iron them, fold and stash them away. Then other times I skip the ironing (depends on the condition of the fabric when it comes out of the dryer and/or my mood).
I must admit that I’m much happier now with my pre-washed fabrics because they are softer to the touch and seem to be much easier to work with. They are also less apt to bleed colors and experience excessive shrinkage.
Well, not actually! We’ve loaded our truck with supplies for our LCITW (little cabin in the woods) and are headed north to awaken our summer getaway from it’s winter slumber.
Before hitting the road we made a pit-stop at our local library to retrieve a book I had on hold. The book, Fabric Embellishing The Basics & Beyond by Ruth Chandler, Liz Kettle, Heather Thomas and Lauren Vlcek, was one I had learned about on IG.
Rather than buy the book right away I decided I should follow the example of Tierney from Tierney Createsand browse a borrowed copy. Often times my spur of the moment book purchases end up being a disappointment.
As we pulled into the parking lot of the library I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten my most important personal item, my purse. Needless to say a trip back home was in order. To complicate things my library card was inside the purse! Thankfully my husband had his card so he could use it to retrieve the book. Of course that meant he would have to endure the berating of the librarian for not having mine. He usually makes up a pretty good sob story to persuade them to go outside their policy and allow him to check my items out.
After returning with my book we went back home to get my purse. The short distance between my home and the library afforded me ample time to browse the book and conclude that it would be a worthwhile purchase.
Before leaving town I located an online resource to acquire a “very good” used copy. The book should arrive in a week or so. In the meantime I can read my borrowed copy. When I decide to begin experimenting I will share tales of my adventures. Now, back to my reading and the bouncy ride provided by our oversized, diesel truck.
Thank You for visiting. I look forward to our next encounter.