Wash your Pre-Cuts?

Wash Your Pre-Cuts?

It is a  dilemma!  What is a girl to do when you want to combine pre-cuts with fabric from your stash which is already washed?

And I know….some of you will probably think – serves her right for washing her fabric – right?  But the fact is, I do like to pre wash all my fabric which I have described here in this post ” To Wash or Not to Wash – This is the Question”.

To Wash or Not to Wash?…This is the Question

But getting back to the original problem. How to combine them??? I think the answers could be…..forget it, don’t worry, just do it, but I hesitate, because, we all know how much work goes into a quilt, and I don’t really want to risk the shrinkage, or forget combining them altogether or….,.take the chance and wash the pre-cuts. So after much deliberation, much longer then it would take to actually do it, I did.

Well I’m glad I did.  It’s all learning isn’t it?  And here is the result.

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In not entirely surprised. But what is surprising, is the variation. I laid the 5″ pre-cuts, which I washed, on top of a regular 5″ square, to show you the difference. They are all good quality fabrics but they have all shrunk somewhat, from 1/8th up to 3/8ths of an inch. So what to do?  I decided that of the pieces I pictured, the top two I will use as is, with a slightly more scant seam, but the bottom two I will trim for another project.

I just hand washed the squares In warm water then dried them on a flat-ish surface   Then a quick press and they were done.  It didn’t take long at all.

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I’m not sorry I did it.  I can make my quilt with confidence now. Some of my seams will be slightly narrower but I know they won’t be under tension in the future when the quilt is washed.   And the fabrics with excessive shrinkage I will trim and use for another project!

Now I’m off to start a new quilt – with confidence!

5 thoughts on “Wash your Pre-Cuts?”

  1. I found your blog via your gorgeous fabric baskets, and saw this discussion. I am new to sewing and also lazy 🙂. but quilting is so much work that I hate to think of my quilt coming apart at the seams. what do you think of washing the quilt top after this pieced but before it is quilted?

    1. Dear Joan. Thank you! Sorry to say, I would not recommend washing the quilt top before quilting. As the seams are only 1/4″ and are unfinished,I think the quilt top could be damaged, and the seams would no longer be well positioned for quilting. It is not essential to pre wash fabrics, however I do like to due to potential shrinkage and chemicals. As you said, there is a lot of work in a quilt, so its worth taking the extra steps to avoid disappointment. But I hope you have fun with your sewing journey and welcome to the wonderful world of quilting!

  2. I’ve never prewashed anything and never had a problem. Washing seems to mess the fabric up when you do it before. I follow Alex Anderson’s suggestion for color fastness, cut a one inch square ,put in a little dish of water, microwave on high for one minute. I’d rather my blocks do any shrinking sewed together. Materials are so much better today, but you won’t change p rewashers minds. Think of all the time you save ironing material!!

  3. Like you, I always pre shrink my fabric but I don’t wash it per se.
    I was taught to sew a very long time ago in the days when almost every fabric shrank so I was taught to pre-shrink and I still do.
    This involves placing the fabric in a tub or basin and running in hot water straight from the tap (usually way to hot to put you hand in). I make sure the fabric is thoroughly wet by using something to push it down (a wooden spoon or similar). I usually leave the fabric folded unless there is a lot of it i.e meterage, which I then may loosely unfold. I leave this in the water until the water is cold and then drip dry the folded fabric on the line.
    Make sure you don’t mix light and dark and only ever do reds and dark blues/blacks by themselves. I do mix lights/pastels.
    So Easy to do the same with pre-cuts and not run the risk of shrinkage.
    Love your blog and posts. Thanks. 😍

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