Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To Wash or Not to Wash

It seems like every year one quilt group or another has a discussion about whether or not to prewash fabrics.  There are many good reasons on both sides.  At my old house where the laundry room adjoined my crafting/sewing room, I was more inclined to wash fabrics before cutting them.  Now that I have to trek through the rain and mud to get to the laundry room, I only prewash when absolutely necessary and take my chances on everything working out.  So far, I've been pretty lucky.

But no one bats a thousand.  I recently unearthed a small wall hanging UFO that had to be laundered before it could be completed (somebody's muddy paw prints!).  When it came out of the dryer, I faced an unpleasant surprise: one fabric, the one I had used for sashing the blocks, had shrunk.  Groan!

Since it's a simple seasonal wall hanging for Halloween, I debated just finishing it with puckers and all.  Strategically placed quilting would have camouflaged a great deal.  But as I studied it, I decided that I really didn't like that pumpkin fabric anymore (tastes change over the years).  So I dug out a seam ripper and took everything apart while "watching" a tv show.  Then I decided to take a detour from my Valentine fabric project and get this UFO finished before this Halloween.  I dug through my stash for other fabric possibilities, spent several days testing this combination and that combination (while sewing heart fabric HSTs), and finally settled on two fabrics for a border and binding without any sash.

If I'd had an appropriate black fabric in my stash, I think I would have added a very narrow inner black border.  But I still like this look better than the original one.  And I have one less UFO cluttering my studio.  Tomorrow, it's back to work on my red and white Sunrise, Sunset blocks.

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