Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hearts and Flowers Progress

I have been steadily working on my Hearts and Flowers quilt and am just about to reach the finish.  I have enjoyed this quilt and have not been able to work on any others since I started it.
My next decision is weather to use the fabric shown in the book for the last border or to choose a darker one.

My next project is going to be Lollypop Trees and  I have a question for all the wonderful quilters on this blog.
Do you or don't you prewash your fabric?
I didn't on my Hearts quilt and I think maybe I should have.
There was no problem with the blocks you cut large and trim down but the ones that were cut to size  like the ones in border two seemed to shrink a little.  I had to do some creative pressing to get them to fit.


  1. Nancy if you loved to do this quilt so much my suggestion would be to bring that gorgeous applique border around your medallion back out as the is just fabulous...I just envy all you ladies working on Kim`s patterns and those Kaffee fabrics...I can only dream in your quilty fingers as you work on these gorgeous blocks

  2. Nancy, your quilt is looking really glorious! I love all the fabrics in it, great choices. May be if you audition the border fabrics later? I'm sure its going to look stunning.
    I used to prewash fabrics, I haven't done it lately though. I like the crisp feel to it, but if you're worried about the colour fastness or shrinkage, may be you should. I haven't tried washing my Kaffe quilts.
    I'm a bit worried about your border # 2 - it's the one with the diamonds and the appliqued circles, right? I'm a hand piecer, so I mark the pieces using the templates. If you are piecing this by machine it should also be right with an accurate 1/4" seams ( this is why I tend to hand piece because I'm really bad with the 1/4" seam on the machine) I hope you're appliqueing the circles after the piecing is done, because the applique process also tends to draw in patches.
    If others are worried about this border, may be you should cut the triangles bigger and then mark the sewing line? Another thought, you can have a larger square say 7", fold diagonally twice and press. Then draw in the circles, DON"T cut the square yet. Applique the 4 circles whilst the piece is still a square. Then using the triangle template with the hole in it ( see page 118 " Border 2 again", mark the triangles with the sewing line. I hope this might help others. It is always harder to applique when the patches are already cut into triangles, too many bias edges.
    Love to see the finished quilt soon! Cheers, Kim McL

  3. Nancy, I don't prewash. If there's a fabric you are worried about, put a 3 inch square in a small jar of hot water and see if it bleeds. Most fabrics today do not bleed. Wash your finished quilt(s) in cold water with Orvus Soap. It is a soap for horses and sheep, available at farm supply stores.
    Your quilt is beautiful!

  4. Oh Nancy...your quilt is spectacular! So many fun treats catch my eye as it moves around the quilt.

    I don't prewash, but I have gotten my blocks wet when removing the blue placement lines, and later when removing the quilt markings. No fabric bled on me..and since no heat was involved I didn't notice any shrinkage. My thought would be to double check the seam allowance. Sometimes we get a bit generous with it?

  5. Thanks for all the helpful comments..It was border two I had the trouble with. I made the blocks trimmed them and sewed the border together - then I appliqued the circles and then sewed the border to the quilt. They were about 1/2" short.
    OK, so now I decided to read the instructions and it says to sew the borders on before putting on the circles. I guess that is because like Kim said the applique process draws in the patches and makes them smaller. Who knew!
    Love this group. I am learning so much.

  6. Wow--what great colors! It's beautiful! And you're making wonderful progress too! As far as prewashing, I guess I'm the odd one. I soak all fabric as soon as it comes into the house until it doesn't bleed, then wash and dry. Usually the purple/black and darker pinks let loose the most extra dye. I've no idea if it would hurt on a quilt when it was washed, but don't want to take a chance. Even doing this with all my fabrics, I had a learning experience one day when I dumped a glass of water on a pile of blocks and had some of the really dark reds bleed onto the adjoining white fabric. I used a product named synthrapol? to remove the dye that had bled and it worked, but I pulled all my bright red fabrics by that manufacturer and treated them with Retayne. I use Retayne now on anything that doesn't stop bleeding right away, and if I'm in doubt I toss part of a color catcher in the laundry and if it comes out colored, I treat that batch with Retayne. Maybe I'm overly paranoid, but I had a red that bled on a machine applique quilt I made for my son years before and took it apart and remade blocks to fix it, so it's not an experience I want to repeat. I've heard that the new color catcher things prevent this, but...I guess I'm just a confirmed washer now.

  7. I am a "pre-washer". I recently threw 4 fqs in the wash, each from a different company---not Kaffe's. In folding them after they were dried, I was surprised as three of them were skewed by an inch, so the usable fabric was no longer 18" as the squaring up cut lost an inch on each end of the fabric. It made me wonder what would happen when a completed quilt was washed where the fabric was not pre-washed.

  8. Nancy, your quilt is beautiful. I just love the colours.

  9. I am completely with Donna on this one : I too do prewash all my fabrics. I organise myself so I can iron some new fabric while ironing the regular clothes. That gives my mind something to fantasize about while doing this chore.

  10. It's a gorgeous top so far, really great going on it. I was always a prewasher but I've got a bit lazy. I did find that when I washed dark and light Kaffe, Brandon and Phiilip fabrics together with a colour catcher sheet, the sheet came out without any dye runs. I have found that freezer paper doesn't stick as well to the sizing in the unwashed fabrics though.

  11. Absolutely love your work! The colours are just wonderful! I ALWAYS prewash. I was caught out years ago with a red Dresden Plate. It took me ages to hand sew a very complicated border, which included the red sashing material. I used a bit of it on another project, washed it and could have dyed the whole of the town I lived in at that time. I had to unpick the whole quilt! It is still a UFO!!

  12. I am in LOVE with your quilt.. it's the one I'm working on too!! It is stunning!

    on washing I'm like many here..NO prewash unless it is suspect fabric. prewashing takes too much time!

  13. Love your quilt - your color selection is great!
    I guess I'm just too lazy to pre-wash. Haven't encountered any problems yet, but love the color catcher idea. Its good "insurance"!

  14. I just love your work, especially the fussy cut hearts!!! I am doing RA and now want to do the hearts quilt or maybe I'll just sneak in a few hearts and see how it looks. Love the inspiration from this blog.

  15. I'm a pre-washer. That's one of the reasons I have a stash. When I'm ready to sew, it's RIGHT NOW!!! So, I grab laundered fabrics off my shelves and jump in. ; ) I launder EVERY quilt I make, the same way I laundered the fabrics. Even though I still believe there will only be a jumble of thread when I open the washing machine lid, I've not have problems with shrinkage or bleeding, no thread jumble either! ; )

    Your quilt is looking absolutely smashing, Nancy!!! Such inspired fabric choices, colors and fussy cuts. It's a joy to look at!!! : ) Thanks for sharing with us.