Friday, March 2, 2012

The wonderful, the not-so-wonderful, and the mistake

The Wonderful

Yesterday was a great day thanks to Lily's Quilts Small Blog Meetup.  Not only did I find lots of lovely new blogs to follow but I now have readers!!!  Yay!  And comments!!!  Again YAY!   However, I didn't know (and don't know) the differences between becoming a follower and adding a blog to my Google Reader.  I added several blogs from yesterday to my Reader but on my profile, it says that I'm not following any blogs.  I need to check into that. 

The Mistake

I don't usually buy charm packs (I plan to write a post about my fabric buying soon).  I can actually say I have bought charm packs 3 times.  The first time was Nicey Jane (love!) which I used to make a doll quilt for my middle daughter.  The second was a few months ago to make a baby quilt for the baby.  The charm pack I used for the baby quilt included strong reds, blues, greys, and whites.  I didn't prewash the fabric (I usually prewash yardage) and when I washed the quilt, the colors bled.  I still love the quilt and use it daily in the baby stroller but  . . .

Last week, I again ordered charm packs from two different online shops.  Both orders came on the same day and for some reason, I decided to divide the packs by color and prewash.  I knew this would involve lots of ironing since I probably had almost 200 charms but I decided to do it anyway (I don't know - maybe the sleep deprivation from having a baby is getting to me?)  I started with the blues, purples, and similar and put the charms and yardage in the washing machine.  I should have known there would be some unraveling but it was more than I expected so when I put in the reds and pinks, I put the charms in a mesh lingerie bag.  I also put the wet charms in a lingerie bag for the dryer.  And, here is what I ended up with. 

Lots of unraveled ends, clumps of loose threads, and several hours of ironing and sorting. 

Oh, well. 

The Not-So-Wonderful

When I opened the packages, Middle Daughter asked if I could use one of packs to make something for her (I've been making lots of baby quilts lately.)   Since I had only planned on making baby, doll, and mini quilts, I only bought one set of each design but I had about 1 1/2 yards of off-white fabric so since the Little Apples came out basically unscathed from the above experience, I chose that and this is what I made.  (I used this tutorial to make the top "blocks.") 

But don't look too close - it was just one issue after another, I messed up the seams - sewing one side up and one down. 

AND the two strips were not supposed to be wonky.  

AND the overall size was just off and since I didn't have any fabrics in my stash that I thought coordinated well, I cut it into a "doll" quilt and pillow, maybe?

I probably should have just stopped and put it away for another day but No - I chose a backing that doesn't exactly coordinate but I know Middle Daughter would choose it and then I don't know why but decided to quilt on a diagonal.

I thought with the small size, I could just get straight enough lines without marking - WRONG! 


I cut the binding but we'll see what disasters that brings tomorrow.  BUT despite all this, I know Middle Daughter will absolutely LOVE it!  And in the end, that's all that matters, right?

The Hexies

Yes, I love hand-quilting but wow, these are taking a long time.

Hmm, are my posts too long?!?

And, now that I possibly have readers (if you made it to the end of this post) - do you prewash your precuts?  I've also read about washing the final project with vinegar - does that work?  My hubby is worried it will ruin the washing machine.


  1. No I don't per-wash my precuts. I was afraid they would unravel like yours. I would use one of those color catcher in the wash when I finally do wash it though. As for vinegar - no it won't ruin your machine (well, won't ruin a standard machine - I don't know about the new water saver ones) my mother in law has used a 1/4 cup vinegar to rinse her clothes in for 30 - 40 years. She says it makes them softer. I've never tried it as I don't like the smell. Although she says you can't smell the vinegar when you are done.

    I think your little quilt is adorable!! As are your hexies.

    1. Thanks for the advice and compliments Linda! I do have a water saver machine so I'll have to do some further checking - I know though from using vinegar as a household cleaner that fortunately the smell goes away when it dries.

  2. I don't buy pre-cuts, not becuase I wouldn't consider it but simply because they don't sell them here and I'm not under no circumstance paying 20 or 30 dollars for over sea shipping. I stick to yardage, and that I prewash in a "net" (they are meant for bras and other ehh sensitive things that you might think abotu twice before putting them in the machine) I discovered that I get less lose/loose (those two words always break my neck attemtping to write in proper English) threads.
    Well the vinegar shouldn't do the machine any harm, it's just a more biological water softener (I use vinegar in the water for the bathroom, and citric acid to get rid of lime scale in the water boiler - though I wouldn't use the citric acid in the washing mashine because that is quite concentrated and aggressive)
    Aye hexies take ages, but oyu are doing all right making other projects in between - one just needs a finish now and then.
    And as to your lentgthy post, you will just have to read all the way through our lengthy replies!

    1. Thanks. I should try to see if I can get a larger mesh bag for washing yardage. I've read on other blogs about using pinking shears or zig zag sewing the edges before washing but I just don't see myself doing that.

  3. Hi Beth. Great Blog! I have used a couple of charm packs and layer cakes. You don't wash them first (as you have found out - sorry that THAT happened). Wash at 30c with a couple of colour catchers in the wash. I then dry my quilts naturally over a Shelia's maid, but others use the dryer.

    Just remember that when things go wrong they are not mistakes rather they are 'design opportunities'. This is a quote from my quilting class and is a great comfort to me! Di xo

    1. Thanks Di and what a great quote! And I'll have to look up what a Sheila's maid is - never heard of it.

  4. I think we all have these kind of days when we're starting out, and I have been quilting on & off for about 5 years and I still have them. I did a 'strip swap' one time & tried washing them before I used them in a block swap because those were the instructions & holy cow was that a nightmare. Lots of threads coming off both sides of the 2.5 inch strips and that reduced most of them to 2 inches by the time I got them trimmed all even. Ugh. I love buying charm packs, but I'm not a fan of sewing with pinked edges.

    I'm sure your daughter will love her little quilt and never notice the 'design opportunities' mentioned above!

  5. I don't prewash precuts - like one of your other commenters I use a colour catcher and so far that has always done the trick.
    One tip I picked up on another blog was to use a lint roller on the pinked edges of pre cuts which definitely helps cut down on the amount they shed all over you.

    1. I'll definitely try that lint roller tip. Thanks Sarah.

  6. Dito to comments above. I am fickle about even pre-washing my bundles and yardages now too. I used to always do it when I first started quilting over 13 years ago. Then stopped as I was too impatient. Now I just judge it by the type of fabric ~ quality, colour. The colour catchers are good. Love Di's quote ~ fully agree. We have all had 'design opportunities' we learn from.
    I am with you on 'follower' and google reader confusion. We will wait and learn I hope. Fellow SBM blogger. x

  7. I don't buy many precuts but I'm in the no-wash camp as well. Too much tangling and you lose a good amount of the size because of fraying. I follow everyone in Google Reader which means I probably don't get "counted" when people look at their numbers of followers.


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