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Must. Sew. Faster.

I say it a lot. I use it as a hashtag all the time. But this weekend I proved it out.

I’ve decided to go back to prewashing fabric. I did it faithfully for years, but I quit several years ago, and virtually all of my stash is unwashed ~ with the exception of reds and the Essex Linen.

Since I’m also doing a “little” swap with Katie, and it involves cutting 6″ strips (and then squares), by color, from most of my stash, the timing was perfect to start.

Imagine my surprise when just the pink (granted, one of the colors I have most of) was 3 loads through the washer on Friday afternoon.

Then came the pressing. 80+ fabrics and just over 50 yards total. And cutting. 6″ squares to keep and swap, 2.5″ squares for the scrap box. And finally the folding.

This is gonna take a while.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. OK now you are my hero! I always prewash but I can’t imagine having to do that sort of production. You need an achievement badge now.

    April 29, 2013
    • Do they give achievement badges for crazy? ❤

      April 29, 2013
      • I sure hope so, because I am winning!

        April 29, 2013
  2. yikes. i’ve never been a pre-washer and certainly won’t be starting now. i can’t imagine that kind of work. you definitely need that achievement badge! or at least a beer. (i love the idea of quilting achievement badges… how fun would that be? maybe a guild activity at some point?)

    April 29, 2013
  3. I’ve never been a prewasher. I’m curious what made you decide to go back to washing?

    The one reason that has made me reconsider for a moment was for hand applique – washing removes the sizing and makes the fabrics stick together better when sewing. Maybe that would change my mind about hand applique as well!

    April 29, 2013
    • Several reasons: first was how much time I spend around this fabric. I’m concerned about chemicals (either during the manufacture or pesticide treatments on import), not to mention the general grime of international ground and sea transportation. It’s obvious from the amount of lint and dust generated in my sewing room that I’m not only handling but breathing the gunk.

      Second, I’ve been told that even with a longarm, prewashed fabrics quilt much easier and more beautifully. It makes sense to me that while the sizing might make the pieces feel more stable for piecing, it’s going to be harder to needle.

      Then there’s the end result. I want my quilts to have a stable, soft hand, but I don’t want it to look like it was scrunched up in the trunk of my car (I’m exaggerating – it was the trunk of my son’s car). It was interesting to see how many high quality fabrics did not come out of the wash with the same grain-line as they had when they went in. They twisted considerably, and would have done so in a quilt. I’d rather work through those issues ahead of time.

      The bonus is there’s treasures galore in here ~ I’d completely forgotten some of them. So it’s got me back focused on using my stash instead of growing my stash.

      April 29, 2013
      • I love hearing your reasons. Thanks! I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that the dust is bothering me more & more. It may be good for me to start prewashing to see if it makes me sneeze less.

        April 30, 2013

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  1. A finish (sort of)! | Sleepy Owl Studio

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