Thursday, April 10, 2014

OFQC: Prepping the Fabrics

I knew the minute I touched my fat quarters that I would be making dresses with them. One ~ some days it does feel like spring will eventually arrive and my pants get shelved during nicer weather. Two ~ I agreed to make wearable garments - that means dresses in my book.

After sketching out my ideas and pulling fabrics, I knew that I would have to add additional steps to prep my fabrics. I'm using linen as my base fabrics and I machine wash my linen dresses. So to pretreat linen I usually wash and dry it two or three times. That left me making a decision about the cotton fat quarter inserts. Now I know most quilters do not pretreat the quarters before making their quilts, but I would need to do so. I didn't want to deal with the possibility of the cotton shrinking and the linen barely doing so. Because of that everything ended up in the washing machine with two Shout color catchers.

Recently I'd bought a box of the color catchers after a reader recognized a ponte I'd bought from Fabric Mart and she left a comment saying that her piece had run in the washer. I still haven't pretreated that piece but I knew that the dye in the deep red linen would run and I didn't want it ruining the fat quarters I washed with it.

That was the first challenge.  The next was to stabilize the fat quarters.  After taking them out of the dryer, I stabilized the back of each one with some lightweight fusible interfacing. I wanted the two fabrics (the linen and the cotton fat quarters) to be about the same weight. Now to be completely honest here, all of this pretreatment shrunk my fat quarters. This won't affect the way that I use them, but I don't know if it affects the rules. I don't think it should but you nevah know with those margarita challenges! *LOL*

Finally, here is a picture of the quick sketch I made to use for the basis of the red dress.

Originally I was going to make a skirt for the second piece but I've decided upon another sketch for this one. I'm walking around with the idea burned into my creative mind. Next up will be the pattern alterations for the Red OFCG dress. always more later!


  1. WOW. I follow the blog of a celebrity! I went to B&N today and bought the Vogue pattern book and who did I see in it? I am SO proud of you. Congratulations. You truly deserve the recognition. BTW, the above fabrics look very nice together and I am sure you will turn them into something wonderful. The "wrong" side works when you need to tone down a color. Nancy

  2. PS: Depending on the size of the fabric and the look I want to accompish at the end, sometimes I do prewash AND pre-dry my cotton quilting fabrics, especially if the quilt is for a baby or child and will be mahine washed. Aren't those Shout Color Catchers wonderful? Another wonderful product for any fabric that may run is Synthropol.

  3. Quilter here . . . I machine wash and dry EVERY piece of quilting cotton, as soon as it comes into my house!

    1. Really??!!! I'd read and heard from other quilters that they don't, so this is interesting to learn! Thanks for letting me know it's not a hard and fast rule!

  4. I love your sketch, Carolyn. Can't wait to see it!

  5. I, too, wash all quilting cottons unless they are bali batiks. They do shrink. I also starch them to give them back their crispness when working with them. I do make shirts out of quilting cottons also.
    Love the sketch of your dress. It will be truly amazing.

  6. I need to learn to sketch sewing ideas... instead of letting them run rampant in my brain and take up much needed space! Thanks for that idea. Good luck with the dress!

  7. i think your sketch will be perfect, because it is still so YOU and doesn't feel forced. cannot wait to see the finished piece!

  8. I think you are going in the right direction. I can't wait to see the result.

  9. Based on your sketch, this looks like it's going to be a beautiful spring dress! Can't wait to see the finished product! I'm lurking my favorite blogs for great spring inspirations

  10. I am dying to see what you do with the fat quarters, I know it will be marvelous. You may inspire a whole lot of us to work more with quilting cottons. Can't wait.

  11. Oh, that is looking so promising and fabulous! Can't wait to watch this project evolve.


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