Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To Wash or Not to Wash? That Is the Question.

Hot, dry, August weather finally arrives to Ohio. We've had a chilly, damp summer here, and this is not a welcome change. The dogs are all showing allergy problems with licking, and running eyes. Poor things. They were awake all night, and all asleep now. Poor me.

Dry heat is perfect, though, for washing fabric, and hanging it outside to dry. And so the dilemma--Do you need to pre-wash your fabrics?
It used to be that everything needed pre-washing. Jeez, I remember shrinking thread as a kid! Nowadays most fabrics are more dependable for color fastness, people say. I disagree. I am shocked at the number of fabrics that still bleed in warm water. I know because I hand wash all but the largest chucks of cloth I buy. I use plastic tubs in a sink with a little detergent, and then rinse in the next until I see clear water. I know other quilters toss like colors together in the washing machine, but I've had too many things ruined that way. SO disappointing.

And what about quilts that are already done, and need washed? What now? I keep reading about Shout Color Catcher laundry sheets. You throw them in with your regular wash cycle when you're washing mixed colors, or a quilt with many colors, and the sheet absorbs the excess dye instead of your quilt. Sounds too good to be true, but the reviews all over the web are outstanding. One caveat is to ALWAYS use them inside a lingerie bag as they have a tendency to get sucked into the water pump. Walmart carries them for $3.88, and I have them on my list for this morning.

I have the baby fabric to do, and I have another pile to show you up above. This one is what I refer to as my 1930's carnival quilt fabric.

Inspiration comes in many forms, and there are SO many things that excite me. While I see some quilters leaning toward a repeated palate of colors or style, I'm beginning to think my palate is attention deficient. I'm all over the place like a kid at a candy store tasting styles I missed out on during my quilting hiatus. I seem to have a preoccupation with the first half of the 20th century fabric styles, though, since I repeatedly choose Depression Era prints. And so again. Laying it all out like this, I can see I'll need some darker browns to keep it from looking too perky or fresh overall.  I've been sketching, and see it coming together a block at a time. As it forms in my mind, I see it full of circles and wheels, triangles, hand embroidery, and sideshow mysticism. And, definitely more chocolate brown.

Off to let the Doxies out, and then down to business.

Come on, Doxie girls. 
Let's go sew.

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