How many quilt shows have you been to? Have you ever noticed whether or not the quilts in the show have had the fabrics pre-washed? I have been fascinated by this question lately and finally took the plunge for the first time pre-washing my fabric. It was very intense ironing out the fabric afterwards, but it softened up so very nicely. My only issue with this was that I could never seem to get the wrinkles out of the fabric no matter how much I ironed!! I’ll wait to see what it looks like after quilting though.
Part of the five quilts in nine days that I mentioned in a previous post had three of the same patterns, but with different materials. So on the first quilt I prewashed all fabrics and the second quilt I didn’t. I’m not going to make a final determination until after they’re both bound and washed again. My first impression however, it’s impressive how soft and manageable the pre-washed fabric was. The unwashed fabric was stiff and hard to manage. It would slip and slide while I was working with it, which is good and bad. It seemed to slip a little more while on the sewing machine as well, where the pre-washed didn’t.
As I was sewing the pieces together, they just seemed to fit better. When piecing the non-washed fabric, I felt like a wrangler on a ranch trying to herd the fabric to its proper position. It may have been perception and not fact, but I could have sworn the pre-washed fabric wanted to go together correctly!