Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Washing Debate

A few people have blogged about this in the past, but a little 'whoops' last night bought the issue back to mind. Quilt washing; do you do it? how do you do it?

You see, I've never washed one of my quilts. Besides the fact that they aren't used heavily enough to need washing, I find the whole idea a bit scary. Who would want to spend weeks/months on a quilt, only to have the colours run, ruining all that hard work?

Usually I would pre-wash all my fabrics, but with the invention of charm packs and jelly rolls, this isn't really possible anymore. I'm also told that the quality of dyes these days is good enough that dye-run should be minimal.

My whoops? I was getting ready for bed last night when some water sloshed out of my glass and onto my Verna/Wild Thing quilt. I quickly yanked the quilt off the bed to shake off the excess water, but I wasn't quick enough. Immediately, there were a few small patches of pink clearly visible on the white fabric. In the light of day, the water has dried and it's not so bad; a few tiny pink spots that you wouldn't notice unless you put your face right up to it.

The culprit is the whirly-gig second from the bottom on the left side.

If I get dye run from the tiniest amount of cold water, am I right in not wanting to wash any of my quilts? I'd love to hear your thoughts...


Carol said...

I always wash my finished quilt with a Shout Color Catcher...I've never had a problem.

Renee said...

oh bugger! I never pre-wash my fabrics but I usually wash my finished quilts, especially if I have used a spray adhesive to baste them. I have never had a problem with any of the Moda or other designer fabric running, but some of my fabrics from Spotlight have leaked a little colour.

I have read about people washing quilts with sheets to catch the colour - but I don't really know how it works. Hmmm... I'm not really sure what I would do in your position Kate, I think I would probably just turn a blind eye and pretend I couldn't see it. Good luck with whatever you choose to do :)

Sarah said...

What a pain Kate! I have had problems in the past with red and navy! I dont usually wash, unless there is alot of red or navy - like in borders. I dont think there is a rule, as they are alot for and alot against..... It really is personal choice. You can wash with some salt (in future), this traps the colour and is a cheaper alternative.
x Sarah

Lynda said...

Buy yourself a box of the colour catch sheets (available from Woolies in NSW) - fantastic product. The only fabric I've ever had run is very dark red homespun and that was when water was spilled on a quilt and wasn't discovered for a very long time. Washed the quilt with 2 of those sheets in the machine (it was a king size quilt) and all the runs disappeared.

Bec said...

I am always hestitant to wash my quilts and luckily have only had to wash 'not so good' ones due to children. The first quilt was washed in warm water with clothes and now doesn't have a white background but it is kinda pinky. A lesson learnt! Lucky it was a quilt bound for the car and lots of more rugged use! Now I wash quilts separately, in cold water and on a gentle wash.
I did see on Leanne Beasley's blog a while back that she uses Matilda's Own stuff for washing her quilts.

Quilting Memories said...

I never prewash my fabric's either and often use precuts. I too wash using the shout color catchers and I have never had my whites come out discolored from the other color's bleeding. The catcher's come out completely discolored but not the quilt!