Caroline Doyle is the lucky winner of a set of Peels Spool Huggers! Each colorful peel hugs your spool to keep the thread from unwinding. If you are Caroline but would still like to have Peels of your own, click here to find them at Piece O’ Cake.
Sue Gottlieb sent me this photo of her finished Simply Delicious quilt. Didn’t she make a great quilt!
She says that she puts it in on her kitchen table to show it off when people come and then removes it when they eat. I’ll bet it looks lovely on the table :-).
Carole Cameron is the winner of this pair of Karen Kay Buckley’s Small Perfect Scissors. They are a serrated scissor and are wonderful for small jobs. The grip is comfortable in hands of all sizes.
There appear to be a whole lot of you who really want a pair of these scissors! They are not terribly expensive and are a good value for the cost. Maybe you should treat yourself to a pair :-). Click here to find them on my site.
Gabriele Bradbury and her quilting buddy, Judy, decided they needed a challenge. So Judy picked colors and Gabriele got to pick the type of quilt.
Gabriele said: At the time I really disliked bright colors so of course my friend picked brights. I loved applique, my friend absolutely not. Here are our finished quilts, when we first saw them together last year:
Both quilts are amazing! And it’s a treat to see how the different borders affect the look of each quilt.
They both hand appliqued. Judy had hers professionally custom quilted, Gabriele hand quilted her quilt using my original Stars in the Garden quilt as a guide.
Congrats to you both!
I’ve written 5 posts since 2008 about why I always wash my fabric in the washer and dry it in the dryer. I still recommend pre-washing your fabric because…
1. Cotton fabric shrinks when washed in the washer and dried in the dryer. The photo below is a good example. The fabric was 2 1/2″ shorter (selvage to selvage) after washing. I was surprised — it didn’t feel like a fabric that would shrink very much.
I want all my fabric to be the same size when I use them in a quilt. That way, if/when the quilt is washed, I don’t have to worry about uneven shrinkage.
2. Cotton can bleed. I want the excess dye, sizing, and other chemicals out of my fabric before I work with it. It is my experience that water chemistry has a lot to do with the amount of bleeding.
Here’s how I wash fabric now:
I sort my fabrics by value and/or color.
I am not sure how to make my HE washer fill with enough hot water to soak the fabric and I can’t picture myself soaking fabric in my tub. So I add Retayne to the washer, wash with hot water, and hope for the best.
I haven’t noticed fabric fading, but it could happen with some fabrics.
In addition to Orvus, Retayne, and Synthrapol, I add a Shout Color Catcher to each load.
Shout doesn’t tell us what is in Color Catchers, but it sounds like Synthrapol.
Fabric can still bleed after washing, especially if you wash in water from a different source. Be sure to use Synthrapol, Color Catchers, and maybe Retayne, when you wash your quilts until you are sure they are not going to bleed. Watch them as they dry and if you see any bleeding, get them back in the wash.
3. Cotton feels, and behaves, differently after it has been washed and dried. Washing and drying raises the grain, or the nap, of the fabric.
When you put two pieces of washed fabric together, they stay put. The ‘nap’ in the fabrics grab each other. I have found this to be good in both piecing and appliqué.
Here you can see The Magical Unicorn in progress on my design wall. There may be a few pins, but not very many, because the fabric stays put.
So why haven’t you heard this before? My guess is that most quilters have never been told why they should wash their fabric, so they don’t. It takes time and isn’t fun. But I think this information is important to share and so I have. Now I can go sew :-).
Lynn Jarzombeck won the drawing this week. Judging from your comments, all of you want to make Welcome To The North Pole and you still can. The book is very affordable at $16.95 and you can find it here.
PS: Did you know that this book has been in print for 20 years? I am honored to know that so many quilters have loved this pattern, and made their own North Pole Christmas quilts!