Wild Cats Complete

I took the Wild Cats quilt off the machine this morning and popped it into the washer to run through the rinse cycle. I ended up marking the setting triangles with a glow pencil. It's a crayon textured pencil that glows in the dark - or at least under a black light. I marked the design on the fabric with the pencil then switched the white light bulb in the machine with a black light. I had to turn off the overhead lights in order for the black light to show the pencil marks, but it worked great! I was able to quilt the design without any trouble. The only thing is that the pencil has to be washed out.

One thing though......batik fabrics need to be prewashed - MORE THAN ONCE! I always prewash my fabrics - always and every single piece I buy. The Wild Cat quilt has one piece of brown batik fabric in it and that's the sashing separating the cat blocks. I did prewash that fabric, but only once. When I took the quilt out of the machine to dry it, the batik had bled into the white fabric :( So I put the quilt back into the machine and tossed in a Color Catcher sheet and added a touch of detergent. Most of the bleeding dye came out, but not all. So back into the washer we go. A little more came out, but not all. It doesn't look too bad, but it's still there. I may try a bleach pen tomorrow to see if it will take out the residue of the bleeding fabric.

Prewashing fabrics has always been a hot topic for quilters. Do you prewash - yes or no? As I said, I ALWAYS do. Anytime I buy fabric it goes directly to the laundry room ready for it's turn in the laundry cycle. Some quilters do not prewash. Most fabric won't shrink since the dyeing process that manufacturers use already preshrinks the fabric. So preshrinking fabric is not the point. The finishes that manufacturers use on the fabric is an issue - at least for us machine quilters. Some of the finishes on the fabric is so heavy that it's very difficult to get good tension and good looking stitches when quilting. I result to using a larger needle to get good tension and that sometimes leaves holes in the quilt where the needle penetrates the fabric.

Batiks are another concern. There is soooo much dye in a batik fabric. If you think about the batiking process, the fabric goes through several dye baths in order to get the layers of color in the fabric. It's hard to get that out. So if you plan to get your quilt wet in the future or even think you may get your quilt wet (for blocking or cleaning the quilt) prewash your batiks a couple of times before stitching them into your quilt. I recommend at least 3 times, and that is based on the amount of dye that the Color Catcher attracted from the Wild Cat quilt.

Ah, blocking! That's another topic to be discussed in another blogging session :D

Stay tuned!

Susan

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