July 18, 2017

Do you Pre-Wash Your Fabrics? A sad tale.

This is a sad tale about fabrics.  While making the blocks for the #100Days100Blocks2017 quilt along, I noticed a spotty stain on one of the orange fabrics I had sewn into a block.  Not wanting to finish a quilt with something I could easily change, I took the block into the bathroom and soaked it in the sink.  Imagine my dismay when I returned to the sink to find a DARK pink water.

The block that started it all
Mind you, I always prewash everything, even solid white.  And wash dark fabrics many times or soak until clear. So this was unexpected.  I tested several of the suspect fabrics, and discovered at least 3 problems ones burgundy, magenta, pink--and teal.  Sigh.  What to do since most of the blocks were finished and the plan was to use an off white lattice around them.  Double sigh.  And these were washed before.  Triple sigh.

So one by one I soaked each block with a color catcher until the water was clear.  I had to replace several pieces in a few blocks that absorbed the colors that bled.  Then I soaked all the solids fabrics I had until they were no longer running.  And ironed all the blocks--again. 

And found more stains on the orange fabric.  The orange fabric was staining when I used Mary Ellen's best press.  I have no idea why.  The fabric is 30 years old.  But the stains wash out, so I didn't replace the orange. 

I'm still hoping to use the white lattice.  Am I crazy?--Asking for trouble?  It looks the nicest, but maybe I will rethink it.  It would be horrible to get it all quilted and have it ruined with one wash.  Needless to say, my enthusiasm for this project has waned.

Some of the sets of 4
On a positive note, while ironing all the blocks again (a real pain after soaking--it's hard to get them flat again), I noticed that some go really well together.  And the matching blocks seemed to happen in 4's.  So I decided to sew them together in groups of fours, making them 12" blocks.  So that's a bit of a decision and one step closer to the White or No-White lattice decision.  Would love to hear from you what you think.  Should I risk it, or just go with something darker in between?

1 comment:

alibobbles said...

Pale orange lattice?