Sunday, 22 April 2012

public service announcement

As you are fully aware by now I am a little bit obsessed with modern extra wide quilt backing fabrics and my mission is to get a greater variety of choice and design from the manufacturers.

I spoke about the dotties from Moda a little while ago, and since then I have used them in a couple of quilts (pics of those to come in a future post!)

I was a little bit concerned about how the deep colours would hold up in a wash, and whether there would be any bleeding. This isn't any real concern to us that have the fabrics at home for quilting, it's easy enough to pre-wash fabrics before basting and quilting - but what about long arm quilters, or stores that provide a long arm quilting service? When I visit long arm Chris, she has a whole variety of backings for her customers to choose from, she cuts them and loads them from the bolt to the quilting frame and quilts away. 

dottie

Firstly I tested the grey by cutting a piece for the size of the quilt I was making (I used a 2 yard cut) and washed it on a warm, but not hot, wash without colour catchers, regular detergent and just a bit of white cotton batting. I'm happy to say there was no colour transfer from the grey to the batting. Not a tiny bit. Success! I am pretty positive that you would totally fine using the grey without pre-washing, so this is perfect for long arm quilters to stock for their customers. (NB - Brenda is out of stock of the grey right now, but is getting more in, shoot her a message if you want some and she'll hold it for you)

(did I take a picture? No - I didn't. Oops!)

Second up is the red. I am a stickler for pre-washing red fabric, it's such a tricky dye and so prone to bleeding.

Again, same length of fabric - 2 yards and washed on a warm, but not hot wash (40 degrees C, so 104 F) and I added a piece of white cotton batting to the load. 
This time there was some dye shed, onto the batting. You can't tell so much in the photo, because it is quite slight, but the white batting is now a very pale pink. As a precaution I would recommend you pre-wash this before using it, so it might not be ideal for long arm quilters to use on customer quilts, unless they're able to wash it first. 

bleed

I've still got the blue, green and the black to test - I'll do those this week and report back!

Now, before you are turned off by my findings let me just tell you some other points;

The fabrics wash amazingly well. The photo up there of the washed red backing is un-ironed, straight out the dryer. It hardly creases, and you know how you usually get those long tangled bits of thread that you need to cut off before you do anything? - none of that either, it hardly frays. In fact, I just taped it straight from the dryer to the floor and basted my quilt without ironing and trimming off the tangled threads, because there were no tangled threads to cut off! I got not one pucker in the back of my quilt, and I quilted it super densely. This is a quick snap I took as I was going along (the horizontal lines are spaced a half inch apart).

Quilting in progress

If you are a home quilter, or a quilter with a long arm machine in your home then don't be put off by the red dye, you can easily wash it first and then the excess dye comes out and there's no extra bleeding (I tested that too - my quilt is now finished, I washed it last night, no more bleeding, if the weather stays fine-ish I'll get some photos today). The quality of the fabric is really fantastic, and it's well worth using, it certainly hasn't put me off, I have another quilt to baste this week and I'll be using more of the red dottie.

I paired the red dottie with some Summersville (pre-cuts are available now from Lola Pink Fabrics!!!) and it's such a perfect match. 

I have spoken to Moda about this, in case it's something they can rectify for future print production, I guess what we have to remember is this is pretty new ground for them as well, and there's going to be a little bit of trial and error along the way.


20 comments:

Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

Thank you Katy for this useful consumer testing. I am in Derbyshire and would be very interested in you hand delivering me some of the black dotty backing to test either as a backing for my hexy MF imitation of your hexy MF or even as some of the background. Thank you very much for your kind attention. My friends and I like the way you do a lot of things but not everything. Mrs Goldsworthy or Manor House, Derbyshire.

Nicky said...

Haha! Lynne you are a hoot!

Thanks for the info but I still love piecing my backs getting two quilts for one!

Though if I get better at machine quilting I may just be tempted to try a wholecloth approach on the back - sorry warbling on!

Terri said...

Thanks Katy for testing these out. I was wondering too about the dye transfer on the backing. I don't usually wash any fabrics first. Do you think that if you had used a color catcher there would still be color transfer? I rely on those more then I probly should.

Flying Blind... said...

When can we put in nominations for the Queen's New Year Honours? Services to the Quilters of the world x

Di said...

Thanks for testing out the backings for us. I am quite happy for you to trailblaze and me to follow in your wake! Di xo

ann said...

It never ceases to amaze me what people will do for others. Thanks so much this will save me and so many others from the dreaded "&*^%$#$@^&* I didn't think I needed to prewash that" syndrome.

Katy Cameron said...

Thanks for doing all that research missus!

Sarah said...

woohoo I got the grey :-) Thanks for testing it for me!

diane said...

Thank you for testing the fabrics. I am so bad, I never pre-wash, and someday it will bite me in the butt. But for now, laziness rules my life. I detest those wrinkles and messy strings so that is why I stopped pre-washing, after my first go at it. This post gives me courage to pre-wash again.

Esch House Quilts said...

Katy, thanks so much for testing and passing on your results. I'm a pretty fanatical pre-washer, but it is nice to know I could use the grey without it if I need to :)

Josie McRazie said...

Are these people at Moda scratching their heads and saying what in the world did we get into with this ginger monkey?? LOL I think you are representing quilters in such a great way! If you are going to do it do it right!! ;) Thanks for all your leg work!!

Tiara said...

You rock, can't wait to try these out!

Poppyprint said...

Yeah, I prewash everything except pre-cuts. Especially red, black and navy. Reds from almost every company probably bleed more than people realize, so I'm not at all surprised the backing released a bit of colour (and it does really seem like a tiny bit considering it was 2 yards of, what, 80" fabric?! That's a lot of cloth!). I thought Moda would use the same dyes on the extra-wide backs as on their regular sized bolts of fabric...but do you think not?

Katy said...

In reply to poppyprint - I pre-wash pretty much nothing except dark colours and especially red, black and navy. You're right that this is a small dye shed compared to amount of fabric - 2 yards of 108" wide fabric. I'm also quite sure this is the same kind of dye as moda use in their regular fabrics, and they are VERY colorfast compared to some other companies.
My concern would be that someone would choose this red as it's such a great match for something like Aneela's fabrics or Bonnie and Camille and NOT pre-wash, and end up with a pale pink background on their whites. It's always better to be safe - pre-wash those bold solids!!!!
I've just tested the black and that sheds a lot less than I thought it would - I washed 3.5 yards of 108" fabric and the white batting has a faint hint of grey but not a lot, certainly not as much as you may expect.
Seriously though - these are such great fabrics, so soft, really nice handle and they wash beautifully.

Molly said...

Thanks for testing the color bleed for us. What about shrinkage? I would worry that the first wash would leave me with a very twisted quilt.

Live a Colorful Life said...

I'm glad you are doing all the hard work of testing and sharing your findings. I used to be a stickler for prewashing everything, and kind of got out of that habit. Maybe not such a good idea...

Archie the wonder dog said...

Fancy a job with Which? Or Good Housekeeping?!! Thanks for testing them - I pre wash most things and have even been known to pre wash charm packs but it's good to know how they wash, thank you!

dolores said...

Great info Katy....I can't wait for these to arrive at our shop and now I can be armed with really good info!:)

**nicke... said...

i am with you. i prewash nothing... well, except flannel... ;) thanks for helping me mend my ways.

Kristen said...

How much did they shrink? Before... after... Thanks!

Post a Comment

I try to reply to comments as often as I can. Sometimes my life gets a bit too busy but please know I really appreciate each and every one!

Blog Archive