Saturday, 15 June 2013

Tula Pink blocks 10,11 and 12

I am so enjoying this challenge,    three more blocks done,   some are very fiddly as the pieces tend to be small, one block  I had to cut 4 pieces 1" by 1".  I hope  I am learning more about colour too,  I am using my stash of fabric I have bought in drips and drabs over the years.  Now wondering about should I have washed the fabrics before using  them as I have not bothered to, maybe when I attempt a proper piece I will wash those.  It is misleading as there are arguments for both washing and not washing, have read what well know quilters have to say and they do not seem to agree either.   I would love to hear what you think about the washing process. Re my blocks, I have not tidied them up around the edges yet, will leave till all 100 are done and then decide what I should do with them if anything at all!

I went to a remnant shop in Harrogate yesterday and they had cotton poplin for £4.99 a metre, this threw me a bit as I had not seen the poplin name before for patchwork cotton..I ask myself if the cotton I have bought from the market is also poplin as it was cheaper than what you find in the quilting shops, maybe I should give more thought to what I buy and wonder about pricing. I did not buy any      how I resisted I am not sure but what I was looking for was some hand dyed thread to send to a friend.  No luck so popped on another bus and went to York, should have gone there in the first place as I got what I needed then home again.  The free bus pass is great for times like this,there are some advantages to being an OAP I seemed to spend most of the day on buses  about 4 hours in total but must not grumble!!


Queeniepatch said...

Great blocks! I think poly cotton is OK for learning piecing, and if you are making a 'use and abuse' quilt.
To me washing vs not washing depends on if the quilt will ever be washed. If so I will wash the fabric before using, maybe add a bit starch to keep it stable while working. After all you don't want to find that one piece of fabric shrinks or bleeds. Steam ironing is another way to make sure the fabric has had its chance to shrink.
For cq quilts with velvet, brocade etc of I never wash the pieces.

Nana said...

Good looking blocks!!! Bus driving can be a pain but it´s still good for taking a rest and let the thoughts settle down to bring good and new ideas.


Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Lovely, is the idea that you sew the blocks together? :) x

Margo Brooks said...

My mother is an avid quilter and never washes her fabric first. I am a sometimes quilter and always do. That said, I've washed a dried many of my mother's quilts without any shrinkage problems, but I Don't know that I would risk it--especially if there is any possibility of the color running! Of course if the quilt is destined for a wall, I agree with Queenie and wouldn't worry so much.

Isn't it funny all the names they give to quilting cotton and how they differe from one country to the next?

Pippas quilts said...

I always wash my fabric. I don't want to spend all that time making something only to have it ruined by shrinkage or colour run. It is because I am not to fussy on the fabric that I buy, as long as the weights are the same. I think that if you go for really good quality cotton then you probably find that they do not shrink. The backing fabric I would wash no matter what fabric I brought as it is such a big area and even a small shrinkage would show.
Love your small patches the best way to learn about colour and getting your pieces accurate.

Monica said...

The bottom line on washing for me is that I'm too sensitive to the chemicals in unwashed fabric to be able to use them.

But I'm also constantly seeing quilts at shows where the colours ran, and I know I would be devastated if that happened to me, so better safe than sorry.

I also went through a phase where I thought I could only wash some of my fabrics. After a while though, it became too confusing to know which ones were washed and which ones weren't.

Now I wash them all and I'm much happier all around. :D

Createology said...

I washed my fabrics and then ironed them with fabric spray. I would die if the colors bled after all the work of cutting and sewing. Your blocks look really good. Such tedious tiny pieces. You are very patient dear...

Mary Ellen said...

Life is too short to spend it washing and ironing fabric. The only stuff I wash is indigos that have tons of extra dye and red if it doesn't test colorfast (wet white washcloth rubbed onto it). If you see my stash you will know why I am not going to wash all this yardage. I have never had a problem and I have made well over 100 quilts. Something really old and vintage - maybe I would wash it. Dyes these days are colorfast. If you are using poly/cotton, even less reason to wash ahead of time as the shrinkage is about zero due to the polyester content. If you are allergic to the finishes in new fabric, then that is another issue. My constitution is apparently iron as I have no allergies and no sensitivity to foods or drugs (legal ones).

There is now a product called "Color Catcher" by Shout detergent people available in the U.S. I use it the first time I wash a quilt. They are sheets that look like dryer sheets (the ones with softener in them) but more substantial. You put them in the wash with the quilt and if there is any extra dye, it gets deposited onto the Color Catcher and not on the quilt. They usually come out some amorphous pale color. Not very dark. I have also forgotten to use them and don't see much difference really. I guess they might just be "mental" insurance.

Regarding poplin, if it is 100% cotton and not too heavy, I would use it. Poly/cotton I would never use.

That said, the Amish famously use poly/cotton as they go for color and not fiber content (bet you didn't know that about the fabled Amish, did you?). If you want a 100% cotton quilt made by them, you have to specify that and you will pay more.
And, of course, price being a consideration for you more than for me. I am aware of the high prices you pay for fabric in the U.K. and Europe.

Susan Hook said...

nice looking blocks , I never wash any of my material and I have never had any problems,I think iy is a personal choice.It sounds like you had a good day out. Harrogate is a place that I have never been but I have seen pictures and it looks a lovely place,I have been to York a few times many years ago now but I always enjoyed it.

Wanda Maria Roszak said...

Margaret, your works are different, and it is very much, I can see how you are very busy, and I love that you create. sorry I do not write as often, but you're on my blog and I see what you create, and also remember about you and your good heart, thank you for the memory and always nice words, I greet warmly.!

Sew Useful Designs said...

Wow Margaret - you have been busy! I'm so jealous of you being able to hop on the bus to York - such a beautiful city! I miss England so much sometimes as although I lived in the east midlands, I loved to travel around to visit different places. I'm so glad you enjoyed your day out!! Warm wishes! Vikki xoxo

Anneliese said...

Hi Margaret, I had to look up OAP!!! It is nothing to worry about. I am too:). Free bus is super. They don't do it in Germany. They did it in Croatia, but finished now.
Don't worry about washing. I never do. Even if you make a cover which has to be washed - parts will shrink a little, but this doesn't matter altogether. Fabric is easier to handle with the dressing it has on it when new. For the popelin I must tell you that it is not at all easy to stitch through. So when you want to embellish the piece it will drive you crazy and your fingers won't thank it. I would not buy it - exclusively for things like bags etc. And only if the offer would be so so tempting.

Dianne said...

Your blocks are coming along nicely Margaret. Personally, I don't tend to wash my fabrics cause, basically, I am too lazy. I have only had one piece run on me and it was red. I would advise washing reds, blacks, indigo and maybe purple - forget the rest :-) I believe cutting is the most important thing to get accurate in patchwork, and maintaining a scant 1/4" seam. Good luck with the rest of your blocks. You could be a little bit addicted after these VBG.

Stephanie said...

No distance is too far to hunt for fabric -- especial on sale! I love your blocks. I pre-wash all of my fabric. The minute it comes in the door it gets washed then it's ready when I am. I should buy stock in the color catcher sheets. I use them alot. The color I have the most trouble with, and don't even use a lot of, is red.

Jillian said...

I love the colours in these blocks. I'm not a quilter, so can't comment on washing. I wash fabric like batiks that I think will shrink or run before using them for bags or smocking

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