May 13, 2013

ABC Quilt Progress - Prepping My Fabric

In my last post, I told you to yell at me if I didn't discuss actually stitching something in my next ABC Quilt progress update. I'm not going to write about stitching in this post, but don't yell at me just yet.

As excited as I am to start stitching, I needed to make sure my fabric was prepared before I could whip out the needles and embroidery floss. I know that whether or not you wash your fabric before sewing or quilting with it is a contentious subject - some always pre-wash their fabric while others never do - but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

I'm not a quilting maven, so I was hoping I could get away with not pre-washing my fabric. Accurate cutting and sewing will be easier with crisp fabric. Common worries are fabric shrinkage and color-bleeding. I don't think I'll mind if the fabric shrinks a little after the quilt is all put together; it'll give it a lived-in look. I've read that most quilting cotton fabrics won't bleed, but to be on the safe side, I decided to check my fabrics to see if they are colorfast. I'd hate to spend hours cutting, embroidering, sewing, and quilting just to have the finished quilt get ruined when I wash it.

To check my fabrics for colorfastness, I cut a small piece from each fabric, soaked the fabric pieces in very hot water, rubbed the fabric pieces to get rid of the fabric processing chemicals, and then laid the pieces out to dry on a paper towel. When I checked to see if any color transferred from the fabric to the paper towel, I was happy to see there was none. So, I'm planning to get started on my quilt without pre-washing my fabric. Since I am still a bit of a worry-wart, I bought some Shout Color Catchers to use in the quilt's first wash - just in case.

Checking fabric for colorfastness

Next up, I'll be cutting my ABC block squares, transferring my embroidery designs to the blocks, and will start stitching! I only have 11 days left.


  1. Great way to prep! I've never quilted before, but these seem like great tips :) Thanks for sharing!


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