Saturday, October 09, 2010

why prewash?

No, I'm not talking about pre-washing fabrics. I wouldn't touch that discussion with a ten foot pole. I'm talking quilts. After posting the Eleanor quilt, Tiffany asked, why do you wash and dry your quilts before gifting them?

First off, I generally pre-wash quilts before giving them. Not always, but generally. I think it's a good idea especially for baby quilts. Pre-washing softens them, makes them more cuddly and they feel....I don't know...finished. "Broke in" may actually be a better description. The texture of the quilt increases dramatically. Pre-washing also helps temper minor quilting issues. Not that THAT ever happens here. Ahem. (The key word here is 'minor'. Washing doesn't do miracles, no matter how hard you hope!) It's also nice to see how much the quilt shrinks, (especially if it's going on a bed), or to see if it bleeds. Or to see if it actually holds together. (Popped seams anyone?) It's a whole lot better to get those kinks worked out before gifting.

That's simply my 2 cents.

How about you? Do you pre-wash your quilts before giving them?

142 comments:

Alicia said...

I prewash because the the dog likes to "test" their comfy-ness throughout the sewing process, and as hard as I try, he usually gets to test the finished product before they are gifted. Also, this way I know if there are any flaws that show up after the first wash!

Karen said...

I prewash the quilts not only for all the reasons you mentioned, but also because by the time I've completed a quilt, it's been on several floors in my house. My finished quilts are dusty, usually with random threads picked up somewhere, and are just a wee bit dirty (and this is w/o pets!).

I think it's much nicer to receive a clean and fresh smelling quilt!

mandy said...

Oh yes, I prewash! For all the reasons you listed, plus I always feel like the finished quilt isn't entirely clean after I've had my paws on it for days, weeks, or months. And knowing that I'm going to wash it makes me not worry about leaving it lying out, or forgetting to wash my hands before I start sewing, etc. Plus, you know the recipient will most likely wash it, so you want them to know what it will look like forever thereafter and not worry about ruining it.

QuiltingKrazy said...

I like to wash my quilts before going them away. With cats in the house who just "LOVE" to me with the quilting process, I have to wash my quilts! Plus it gives them that well loved look that all quilts needs.

Marisa said...

I always prewash, from the fabric to the finished product. I find it helps to get the worst of the starch out (I am a starch maniac!), and makes me feel better about using the quilt right away.

amber said...

what do you do with popped seams, I dont know how to fix them

Terry said...

I always wash and dry a quilt before giving it. I just think it feels nicer that way! :0)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh yes... it needs that wrinkly goodness :D

kmodich said...

I used to pre wash fabric, until I read on your blog that you didn't. After I did my happy dance, I have never prewashed fabric again. I do prewash my quilts before gifting or use. If they are gonna fall apart I'd rather it does it on my watch. I also love how crinkly they get. It's like getting a old new quilt. Thank you for giving me the option NOT to pre wash fabric!!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I never pre-wash quilts when gifting them. I just love the look of a quilt all smooth and pretty. I know most everyone likes the crinkly look, but I guess I've mostly made wall hangings and enjoy the way they look fresh from the sewing machine ;-)

Sherry said...

I do prewash quilts that are being used but not it there ging on the wall I like them to be strait. Well the next question I would like to see is how many people pre wash or not pre wash there fabric before there quilt there tops.

ktquilts said...

Prewash, someone else said that she was a starch maniac....me too!! If there were too much piecing, I thing that I could stand it up against the wall!! Definately prewash, maybe twice!!

Brynn said...

I'm a prewasher too. Most of my quilts (okay, all but two) have been baby quilts, so I hate the thought of new little babies on dirty quilts. When I wash them, I even wash them in Dreft so that there's nothing to bother sensitive newborn skin.

Carolyn J. said...

I pre-wash all my fabrics before they go in my stash.....and have learned to love the crinkly goodness over the years so have started to wash quilts before gifting. I even wash wallhangings now because eventually they will need washed just to get rid of dust :)
I enjoy all your lovely work, thanks for sharing!

Simply Sandy said...

I just don't considered my quilts "finished" until they are washed. That wrinkly look is part of the finished product, isn't it?

Katie said...

I've never prewashed a quilt before giving. Though I look the crinkly, broken-in look, I'm not sure my recipients would "get" it and might wonder why I was giving them a used "blanket." (Maybe that's the whole problem...they they think they're getting a blanket?) I just get out my trusty lint roller and have at it!

carol said...

The only quilts that I pre wash before gifting are baby quilts. And I don't pre wash the fabrics either. If I had to wash, and dry and iron all that fabric twice, I'd probably quilt quilting! LOL E-gads! I love nice crisp, smooth, newly made quilts. I figure the new owners can wash them at will so let them do it.

The Tulip Patch said...

I pre-wash before gifting always. Why? Well, waiting for that quilt to come out of the dryer is like Christmas to me. It's my favorite part of the whole process, and yeah...it can work some magic with imperfect quilting. My sister's OBGYN wouldn't allow dads to cut the cord b/c he said feeling that life flowing was the most satisfying part of his job. Kind of weird, but seeing the life that comes into a quilt with all that wrinkly texture is kind of the same for me.

Goddess in Progress said...

I always, always wash a quilt before I gift it, for exactly the same reasons you mention. Gotta make it soft and crinkly!! Plus, I want to wash out all of the chemicals and sizing from the fabrics, as I have long-since stopped pre-washing fabric.

Quilt n Queen said...

Never thought to prewash my quilts in the past when I've gifted them but maybe I should reconsider.... All your reasons do seem valid. Do you wash and dry the larger queen/king size quilt in your domestic washer and dryer? What is the best way to wash and dry them? I have noticed a few quilts hanging in quilt shows that have been washed but I find the majority of them are not washed. This has been an interesting topic and one that I haven't really thought about.

Love your 2 cents, it has got me thinking. Thanks Amanda Jean

Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

I'm a washer of all big quilts because of the dirt/grimy hands factor. My basic baby quilts I tend not to wash. I'm sure it's out of laziness more than anything.

qltmom9 said...

I often do, but not always. If I've made it at home, instead of a retreat, it HAS TO be washed...the children have touched and spills and MESS!
I love the crinkly feel.~
Fun post.

Lucy~

Anonymous said...

I always prewash quilts that I am giving as a gift. I don't want the owner to think they wrecked a quilt once they washed it. I also think the quilt comes to life after it is washed!!

Cary, WI

Allie said...

Absolutely - I always pre-wash my quilts! Like you say, it's the best way to make sure you won't have any issues, and they feel a lot more cuddly when they're washed. Besides, I would hate to give a quilt covered with cat hair, lol!

Sarah Craig said...

I always prewash my finished cotton quilts, to get that lovely crinkled feel. I think that the recipients better understand that it's to be used, not put away and looked at occasionally, if it has that wonderful soft, huggy feeling. I do not, however, prewash flannel quilts. I find that it makes the quilt looked used, not in a good way! So flannel quilts go out unwashed, but cotton quilts are always washed. And I don't prewash my fabrics, so I get all the shrinkage in that finished wash. I love the way that makes a quilt look!! By the way, the Downy fabric softener with Febreeze in it makes the quilts smell fabulous!! I get more comments on how nice they smell.....

Christine said...

I too wash my quilts as I feel they do get grubby handling them during sewing, even if you can't see any dirt and of course I like the look of washed quilts.

cheers
Christine

Jacque. said...

AmandaJean. I wash my quilts before gifting them because I LOVE the soft, crinkly look! And, because I have dogs and no matter how careful I am, there will be dog hair here and there. And, all the reasons you stated. There is nothing like pulling a brand new quilt out of the dryer...soft and crinkly. {sigh}

Erin said...

Yes! I always prewash for those reasons and the fact that it also removes any oils from my hands. I too use Dreft on my baby quilts that I gift (LOVE that smell!!)

Sandra :) said...

I always prewash - if any seams are going to come loose I want to know before I gift the quilt! Also, my Quilt Inspector has 4 legs and fur, and not everybody appreciates him as much as I do, lol.

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

I always pre-wash them. They get dragged on the floor, across dusty sewing tables, the dogs like to sneak a nap on one when I'm not looking... and frankly most of the time, people are like, "How do I take care of this quilt?" So you never know when they will ever get their first wash... And I want to inspect a quilt after it's been washed to make sure everything is A-OK... no pulled seams, no fabric bleeding... etc etc... dry either hanging to air dry or a low heat in the dryer does help keep that just quilted look...

Stitched by St├ęphanie said...

I do too! when it's not washed, you don't see the wrinkles. A trip to the washer and dryer and voila! all the wrinkly goodness is there for the world to enjoy! I love it! The quilt just so different before and after washing.

Susan Entwistle said...

Thanks for opening this discussion. I've always thought washing enhanced the quilting, but I also didn't want to gift a quilt that might look 'used'. Since I now personalize the quilt label of the gift, I guess the 'used' argument is a moot point.

stitchinpenny said...

I have yet to have a seam open, but I do like to see what the quilting looks like when the shriakage from the Warm and Natural happens. It is kind of a way to make the quilt look less commercial and more homemade in my opinion and homemeade is the way I want my gifts to look. Lastly, my cat thinks that if I am sewing a binding on a quilt, that she needs to lie on it to get attention, so qashing is required.

~Jess said...

I've never even thought of prewashing before gifting....I might have to try that with a quilt I'm keeping...if I ever manage to get one finished.

Love the quilt in the post.

Callipygian said...

I wash my quilts before giving them away because they spend a lot of time on my floor throughout the process and I've been known to walk on them if they're in the way.

Michele said...

The look of a washed quilt just says cozy. I adore that look. Crinkly goodness.

Leslie said...

I prewash before gifting too. I absolutely LOVE it when it first comes out of the dryer.

karenfae said...

I love the look of a quilt after it is washed, dried and shrunk just a little bit giving it that antique look. Every quilt I have ever made has been washed and I don't consider it finished unless it is washed and dried.
On seams popping, someone mentioned earlier - it does occasionally happen - has to me - use an applique stitch and pull the two sides together gently - it has always held up for me - if it is real bad you can applique a flower or something over it maybe.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

April said...

Washing before gifting is my favorite part of the quilting process! It's the ONLY time i ever get giddy doing laundry ;)

Miss Sews-it-all said...

So...I'm not really a quilter, but want to start next year, and I'm wondering...how do you properly wash a quilt?

marilyn said...

I don't prewash before gifting because then it looks like a used quilt. I like the look of fresh and crisp and a little bit stiff. If someone wants to wash it before they use it, they have that choice. I have dogs and kids and keep them off the quilts when I'm working on them :)

Leslie said...

i generally have to because of using a fabric marking pen. it makes me cringe a little while i am waiting to make sure it turns out ok...but in the end they look so much better and loved when they get a wash

jezibels said...

I agree with Katie, I have never prewashed my quilts before giving them, for fear they would think it was an old one and not crispy and new.

Alia said...

I have mostly only given the quilts to my hubby and kids. I have done a few for charity and definitely i prewash! Nothing new. All the reasons you mentioned and also what others said in the fact that usually it takes me a while to get my quilts done and they are all over the place in the house and so i want them to be clean and also because of my cats. yep, I definitely prewash!

Strlady said...

I always prewash the quilt too. When I make the quilt I have to use some type of Marking tool and those need to be washed out. The quilts that get done by a longarm quilter need washing because I don't know where the quilt was lain. I also NEED to see the quilt all crinkly and rumpled. It just doesn't get that homemade feel until it's been washed and dried.

Jessica said...

I prewash in my washing machine with regular Tide, fabric softner, and a Dye Catcher. Then I toss it in the dryer..
I like to smell a freshly washed quilt-- it's like stepping out of the shower and walking on just washed floors with bare feet. That moment or two of cleanliness that you know won't last (I've got a 2 yr old). I wash my quilts before gifting because the one time I didn't, I think the recipient (a new mom) was scared to wash it because she didn't want to ruin it, and in turn she didn't use it because it wasn't "clean." If I'm gifting a quilt, i want it to be USED. I also want it to smell good and not like the dust on my sewing room floor or my sweaty hands..

Elena said...

I've only given a couple as baby gifts, since I've just started this year, but I pre-washed both. I feel like it's the final stage of completion, plus it lets me see how it shrinks up and ends up looking which is so fun! I also would never want someone to think they "messed up" their quilt by shrinking it in the wash...better to gift it in its final state :)

KQuiltyBee said...

If the fabrics are predictable, I wait to prewash as a quilt for that crinkled look, and yes, to be sure it holds together. Plus I have pets. If I'm worried, I prewash before sewing.

Debra said...

It never even occurred to me to wash my finished quilts before gifting them. Boy, am I enlightened!

Kimberly said...

Always.

WendyLou said...

Always! LoVe the crinkly, fresh-from-the-dryer look!!

KarrieLyne said...

Without a doubt, yes, I always prewash before gifting. Then again, all my quilts get washed before used. To me, a quilt isn't done until you pull it out of the dyer and it's all smooshed up! :D

Madcap said...

I have a baby quilt in the washer as I type. I really like to know EXACTLY what the recipient is getting as far as stability, shrinkage, etc. Also, especially if there are reds in the quilt, I pre-treat it with Retayne to keep it from bleeding. Had a bad experience with a set of log-cabin pot-holders once, and I'm not about to let it happen again.

And of course, I love to pet the crinkles before boxing it up!

Lillian said...

used to pre wash fabric, until I read on your blog that you didn't. After I did my happy dance, I have never prewashed fabric again. I do prewash my quilts before gifting or use. If they are gonna fall apart I'd rather it does it on my watch. I also love how crinkly they get. It's like getting a old new quilt. Thank you for giving me the option NOT to pre wash fabric!!

zarina said...

I thought pre-washing the quilt is a must for gifts (for purchase maybe). And it also makes giving it away difficult.

Blue Is Bleu said...

My quilts always get washed before they get delivered to their new owners for much the same reasons you listed. Plus I just love the crinkly look of it.

Annie Hollenbeck said...

I always wash all my quilted projects before gifting.

LOL about not touching the prewash the fabric debate. I've stepped into that debate without knowing it when I first started quilting. I've decided no to. I like the stiffer fabric straight from the store. That is unless I am making a garment. Then, and only then, do I prewash.

CraftyMummy said...

I think I'm in the minority! I don't wash before I gift. But having read lots of comments here I think I'll have to start...

nanann said...

I never prewash my quilts. Ever. I love the way a new unwashed quilt is and like it to remain in its original condition as long as possible.

I do prewash all my fabrics though.

Mama Mel said...

I can't imagine NOT washing my quilts before I gift them. I do half of my work on the floor, and I have pets, and no matter how much I vacuum or wash the floors, there is always pet hair lingering. I like a nice, clean, fresh-smelling, wrinkly quilt, hot out of the dryer. :)

nicolette said...

I prewash the quilts I quilted myself, but when I’ve had them quilted by a professional longarm quilter I never do.
Honoustly, I don’t like the crinkled look of washed quilts... Pretty crazy he?

Dree said...

I always prewash. I also prewash crocheted gifts. I have cats--need I say more?

Zibu said...

I prewash for all the same reasons plus a few more: I don't prewash before quilting so I want it to be clean and chemical-free when I gift the quilt.

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a quilt come out of the drier for the first time - all soft and crinkly!

Shrinkage is not a huge deal for me since I rarely make true bed quilts but I still get paranoid that the quilt will shrink into a placemat!

I wash/dry on regular settings (warm, med-high) just to make sure nothing weird will happen when the recipient tosses it into a hot wash (even though I normally do my laundry in cold and dry on medium).

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I definitely wash at the end..If not for all the reasons you mentioned, but also to remove any stray threads and misc. dirt. I also want to know that if the user washes it, they aren't going to get any surprises.

Katy said...

yep yep yep - always, unless it's the biggest thing you've ever seen and it won't fit into a washer.

I wash for all the same reasons as you, and also because any WIPs are often 'borrowed' by my cats so they have a little bit of extra fluff to them ;)

Contented Caroline said...

For me it depends, if I have shed blood during the process then definately yes, I always seem to get either dirt from the Iron/floor/dog along the quilting process. If the quilt has managed to get to end stage with no marks (a miracle in my eyes) then I don't wash first but I will make sure there is no chance of any surprises to the recipient and I do give washing instructions and a colour-catcher just-in-case!

Diane said...

I've only made 2 quilts (so far) but I have washed them before gifting. I love the way they look, feel and smell fresh from the dryer.

Kate said...

Yes I always wash them - I love the crinkly look after and when I sell them at the markets I want people to buy how they are going to look in the future. (especially non quilty people who might get a shock at how they change after they are washed).

Lara said...

Absolutely! Pulling it out of the dryer is one of my favorite parts in the quilting. It just doesn't feel done until it's all nice and crinkly!

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

I definately prefer to wash quilts before I sell or gift them. That way I can see whether they run or not and as you said test the product to make sure that there are no faults in the blanket. I tend not to pre-wash fabrics unless they are red based, as red is a bitch of a fabric in terms of running in the wash.

Linda said...

I agree with Happy Cottage Quilter. I don't prewash my quilts because I love the new look of them. I always work in a clean space, the quilt kept in a bag when I'm not sewing so. hopefully, there shouldn't be a problem. Also, I don't have a Tumble dryer!

Stephanie said...

Because I never pre wash my fabrics, I always prewash my quilts before gifting them. I like to quilt them before shrinking the fabric because I love the old look of quilts being puckered. Only a few times did I prewash everything and not shrink the quilt after making it and I didn't like those nearly as much. Steph

Islay said...

I pre wash my fabrics AND prewash my quilts! SOmehow they just don't feel finished to me otherwise. Sometimes I use quite a range of fabrics, too (including vintage), so it's good to be able to check that there's no freaky shrinkage after costruction.

Nichole said...

i always wash my quilts. i do it mostly to check whether there are any flaws in the quilt and that it makes them look so nice and cozy.

beautifulshell said...

I always prewash fabrics because I've had some bleed in a finished quilt before, and that is suck-o. I never pre-wash quilts, though, and when I wash my own (to clean them), I never put them in the dryer. I always make my bed quilts a specific size (to fit the beds), and I'm afraid of too much shrinkage. I've started putting care instructions in gift cards, too, telling them that the dryer will probably = shrinking.

EmilyP said...

Boy, are my eyes opened this morning!! I can only think of a few that I've pre-washed. But I guess I'll have to start now!!

Jeanne said...

It's funny because I came from the "old school" way of quilting...learned back in the 80's...and I was taught NEVER to machine wash quilts.

But now, I even machine wash my hand-quilted baby quilts. Gentle cycle, of course. I only hand quilt for the grandbabies' first quilt now...the rest are machine done...but I want them to actually use them...and I know they aren't going to hand wash them. So, I just make sure there's tons of quilting and those babies go in the wash!

I love the way they look and feel!!!

Jeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanne said...

I'm having trouble with my words here!

Disclaimer on my first comment: I don't throw the grandbabies in the wash...just the quilts! LOL

Kimberly said...

I always pre-wash too. I agree with everything Amanda said and also because I tend to work on projects over a longer period of time and I have a young son and a cat so this way I know I am gifting a nice clean quilt.

Kelly said...

i do prewash. of course, i've only made 2 quilts (1 of them was a gift), but i have several others in the works, and i plan to prewash them all.

for all the reasons you mentioned, plus, i have 2 kids (ages almost 1 and almost 3), and they love to touch the quilts with their grubby little hands. :)

KTMae said...

I always prewash before giving. I am not very good with the binding thus I can spot any booboo's

Karen said...

I always pre-wash quilts when they're finished. Reasons.... I LOVE the crinkled look they get. I want to know how much it shrunk and of course, hygienic reasons. Any imperfections I thought there were before washing seem to disappear magically following laundering!

Karen

Marianne said...

I truly feel that washing after binding is just part of the finishing. Because the fabrics are new, they just pop

Sherrie said...

I always wash a quilt after it is complete! My dog likes to cuddle up under it as I am hand sewing the binding on and it has dragged across the floor etc! I love that washed and crinkled look. I use 100% cotton batting.

BaileyGirl5 said...

Always. Favorite part :)

Beth Gracie said...

definitely prewash. i agree with all your thoughts. it feels more finished, works out any small imperfections, and of course the crinkle factor is my favorite!

Linda said...

Always! For all the same reasons. :)

Quilting Grannie said...

I prewash in cold water. Dry in dryer also. I like the rumpled look around the quilting stitches. I use water erasable markers a lot of the time, and that erases them.

Anonymous said...

I always pre wash....two cats and a dog in the house. Always despite my best efforts they donate some hair to my quilts. Plus I figure I've pawed over ever piece of fabric at least three times (cutting, sewing, and pressing) at a minimum. I wash my hands before I start but still that's a lot of handling.

But really I just love that wrinkled look....My aunt will wash them for the reasons above and then work to iron all the wrinkles out....

Mary said...

I totally agree that a quilt just isn't done until it's washed and dried! Love, love, love a washed and crinkly quilt.

Anonymous said...

Especially if your giftee doesn't have many homemade quilts, it's nice for them to not have any surprises once they wash it for the first time. Because it does look quite different (and so much better) after washing.

Quiltin' Jenny said...

I always prewash a gift, especially baby quilts. I love the idea that the mommy can open the package and wrap that baby right up in it!

Also, I want to get out as many allergens (dust, dog hair, etc.) from my home as possible.

Last, sometimes there is a tiny spot of binding that isn't as tight as you thought and needs to be tacked down, or loose threads that are more visible when the quilt is fresh from the dryer.

Mary said...

Yep, I pre-wash to, don't want any "suprises". Mary

Munaiba said...

I wash before giving quilts away.

Sooz said...

Yes, I ALWAYS wash my quilts after they are done. Besides the yummy "crinkle" effect, I like to wash out any sizing that might be left on fabrics, dust or grit that might have accumulated from basting on the floor, and, of course, my own fingerprints! Think of how much we handle a hand-made quilt! And although I'm certainly no Pig Pen, I can not guarantee squeaky-clean fingers every time I sit down at the machine!

Sara said...

The more it's washed, the more crinkly and soft it gets to me anyhow:) OOOH also YES it does hide some boo,boos!

CJ said...

I prewash the quilt. I want to see it all crinkly and 'broke in'. I think if I got a quilt as a gift (and I was not a quilter) my first inclination would NOT be to wash it, so then when I did wash it I might wonder why it looks so different.
I also use washable glue to do my bindings so I like to get that washed out.

Anonymous said...

I always prewash my quilts before handing them out. I think no quilt is finished until it's washed...

kelly said...

i always prewash. IMO, a quilt isn't done until it's washed!

Kristal said...

Thank you for addressing this question. I have only finished one quilt to gift and a baby quilt to gift as well. I did wash the first and for the same reasons as stated all over this post I will be washing this baby quilt. Personally I believe in washing before gifting. No one can possably keep fabric clean while sewing not to mention all that fabric goes through before even hitting the store shelf.
I have seen fabric dragged across store floors and by sticky little kids. Sick people touching fabric in stores. Ick.

Fabric Fanatic said...

Yeah, I think that a quilt isn't really finished in my mind until it comes out of the dryer...that's where the magic happens. I love that.

corinne said...

I pre wash because of pets, but the main reason is seam popping.

HobbyMommy said...

Wahing is the true quilt finish for me!

AmyMay said...

I always wash my quilts as soon as the binding is finished. I love the wrinkly look and softness it gives them. Shrinking isn't an issue here because I always prewash my fabrics before assembling a quilt.

jenpoo1966 said...

Oh goodness! of course i do pre wash ..i have cats they love to lay on whatever it is i am making ...also as you said it just seems more finished .It's also nice to git rid of say quilt basting sprays.

RETRO-fabulous said...

Quilts for the little people, always. Other projects, not so much.

If I haven't prewashed the finished quilt, I send a color catcher sheet with it just in case something bleeds and directions on how I'd wash it.

Happy Quilting!!
Heather

Deborah said...

I pre-wash my quilts before gifting them so that their new owners will use them and realize that they can be washed without a problem. I want the quilts that I make to be used and not just carefully folded at the foot of a bed!

Cristin said...

I usually pre-wash too. I love how it looks... I need to make sure all the binding & seams hold... and so the new owner knows it can be USED and WASHED and not just tucked away in a drawer and forgotten about :-)

Gari said...

I, too, prewash. I just finished quilting a gift quilt and as soon as the binding is on (tomorrow) it will hit the washer and dryer. I love how a washed quilt feels.

Deb said...

No, I guess I have always been afraid of what might happen.

WalkingMissMolly said...

Bed quilt...always pre-wash to get the spray basting/glue out and also any chalk or markings from the quilting design. I agree with others....a quilt isn't a quilt until it's washed and crinkled properly.

9patchnurse said...

I will join the yes group. I love the prewashed look. I also want my quilts to be used. I tell people to use them and feel free to wash them. I also make sure to say that all baby quilts are made to handle all kinds of bodily fluids.

roundnround said...

Prewash to get off loose threads, cat hair, dog hair, dust or dirt my hands might have left behind, and the god awful chemicals that are on the fabric, if the smell of the chemicals is too much, I have to prewash the fabric just so I can work with it.

quiltingbonnie said...

AJ, count me in as a YES, I always prewash my quilts, before I give them as gifts or keep them. I' always interested in how much shrinkage is going on, and want that soft look and feel. Bonnie from Northeast FL

Tiffany said...

Thanks so much for the explanation! I just gifted my first 2 quilts and was a little worried about popped seams so I guess I should have washed, them, hrmmm. O well, I finished sewing one in the car to go visit my friend so that was not possible. Appreciate the advice/info tho for next time!

Suzanne said...

I always wash before I give -- for the same reasons all of you have mentioned!

Cathy said...

Yup!! I always pre-wash. It does give it a softer feel and because it makes it smell so good. I also put a bounce fabric sheet inside when I fold it up.

cathy

Thimbleanna said...

Ha! You said the "b" word. May I defer you to that "10-ft. pole" discussion to address the "b" word??? ;-)

I do wash before gifting. Just for the crinklies -- since the fabrics have already been 10-ft. poled, there's really no reason for them to be done again!

Ozjane said...

I like to wash and throw in dryer and hand it to the person and tell them what I have done and assure them it does not have to be hung on a wall but can be used by a child especially.
And I like the look.

Terriaw said...

Definitely yes to prewashing and drying a finished quilt. I think that process really finishes off the quilting, making it crinkly and cuddly. I always hope people curl up in the quilt instead of just having it out for display. Great question!

mamadevlin said...

I think it depends. If I am making a wall quilt for my house I don't wash it after it is done. Personally I like the nice flat pre-washed look for my wall hangings. However when I make a quilt for someone else I do wash the quilt before I give it to them. I think it would be unfair to give someone a quilt and then have them wash it and see what happens to it after it is washed. I like for my recipient to know what they are getting.

ELP said...

Sometimes I do pre-wash and sometimes I do not. Seems more to do with my mood. However I agree with all your reasons to prewash and will start to especially with childrens quilts.

Jennifer said...

I always do... for the same reasons you listed. I need peace of mind that the quilt is going to hold up!

Jennifer :)

Kim said...

What I have done in the past is only wash baby quilts and keep wedding quilts in pristine condition for the presentation, same with Quilts of Valor.
However,this gives me pause for thought and I will take a critical look at each gift and decide which way I want to go.

To me there is something special about a brand new quilt and this comes from days of making Baltimore Album quilts. Being able to study the old quilts from the days when they were never washed and all the details of applique could easily be seen.

That being said there is nothing like cuddling under a nice clean quilt!

Happy Sewing

Heidee Lindsey said...

I always wash my quilts before i gift them. I use Sharon Schaumber's method to machine sew the binding that uses washable school glue, so washing is needed. I also do NOT prewash my fabrics or cotton batting, because I just love that wrinkly, crinkly goodness of the quilt when it all shrinks!
The only exception is for quilts that would not usually be washed, like wall or art quilts.

Jessica Christensen said...

Yes! For all the reasons you said -- but mostly for the bleeding (how horrible for the recipient to have THAT happen on their first wash) and the crinkly softness. I love your orange and green quilt. Can't wait to see it all.

Bouncypoodle said...

Wow look at all the comments...very popular subject to say the least!

I learned something new today...My next quilt will be washed before it's officially done!

Regina said...

Wall hangings no, but quilts most definitely!

Clair said...

Funny,
but it seems like lately you have recommended that I DON'T prewash quilts, so the last three I gave away I didn't wash before giving them.

Renee said...

Yes,
unless it's a wall hanging.

Teresa said...

This topic strikes me at a pristine moment. I never prewashed my quilts until, wait for it - yesterday!
I had finished a queen size quilt for my mom. It's also the first time I traced a stencil for the majority of the quilting, so rather than try to erase it all, I washed the quilt. It turned out fantastic! I'm definitely a convert to prewashing before gifting.

Chris said...

I always prewash my quilts before gifting so that I can tell the recipient "just chuck it in the washer and dryer and don't be afraid! I already did so there's no worry."

This way they will not treat it with kid gloves. They always act like one of my quilts is an ancient artifact. No, it's a quilt. Let the cat on it, crush it beneath a heavy book, puke on it if you need to. Then wash it and start again. It's that easy. Meant to be loved and USED.

Robin said...

Always prewash. The wonderful bubbly texture that emerges from all the quilting is so worth it. I just can't explain how happy I am when I pull my quilts out of the dryer the first time. It's like Christmas! They go in to the wash beautiful, but come out transformed into something just begging to cuddle up in!

I should be sleeping said...

Well, I plan to :)
Am making my first quilt at the moment.

Peggy said...

Yes, I prewash my quilts too -- I didn't use to, but as I sell them, I thought it was better to show buyers what the quilt would look like after washing. And I also wash them for all the reasons others have mentioned!

danette said...

It's not a quilt without the quilting crinkliness. I wouldn't even dream of not washing before giving b/c of the hands all over it factor. it's just more hygenic, particularly if it's going to a baby. And, of course, if I use pens to make a label, i want to wash out as much of the ink as possible since edges tend to end up in baby mouths.

heather said...

ABSOLUTELY!!! a tip i learned from you and love it. broken in is definately the way to put!! great post!!:)

Katherine said...

Yes and no. I always prewash my fabrics before using them so I don't get concerned about how they'll react in my quilts. But... I do like to see the "softening" that occurs after a quilt is washed for the first time, so for baby quilts, I do launder them before giving them.

Rebecca Gillespie said...

I never prewash fabrics, but always prewash the quilt with a color catcher sheet before giving it.

I also always mention this to the recipient, so they know they do not have to baby the quilt, and that the colors won't run! :)

Michelle said...

Almost always. I've actually got one quilt here that's been pre-washed three or four times and still not given. I wash it, don't get to the post office, a nasty bug goes through the house, and I feel like I should wash it again. Gotta get that thing in a box and to the post office!

Nanato4 said...

I always prewash my quilts. Partly because it does soften them up, making them look "broken in" as you said. But also since I handquilt using a lap hoop, my quilts spend considerable amounts of time on the floor. Even with the floors being carpeted, the quilts pick up dust and lint. And of course, there's the dog hairs .... 'nuff said. ha!