Learning Never Stops

Joel Dewberry Notting Hill Pristine Poppy (midnight)
Joel Dewberry Notting Hill Pristine Poppy (midnight)

I hate to shatter your illusions, but on many things I am no expert 😉 and can always learn something. Recently I bought some home dec fabric to make a bag (or a couple of bags, really). I got it and realized I didn’t know how to deal with it.

I always pre-wash. I even pre-wash Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes. The smell of the chemicals from the fabric when I iron unwashed fabric makes me break out in a rash. I am not ranting or proselytizing; I am not telling you what I do. There are no quilt police on this blog. I encourage you to do whatever you want that allows you to make many, many quilts.

I have made accessories and small items with home dec fabric before, but it wasn’t yardage. Mostly I used scraps from various sources, such as FabMo. I almost never buy home dec yardage so the question of pre-washing has never come up. Most of the home dec fabric I have used doesn’t smell (off gassing) by the time I get it, is in relatively small quantities and is made from specialty fibers so I don’t think of pre-washing.

However, with the bags I want to make, I am going to be pressing a lot and don’t really want to wear a mask while I make the bag, thus the question of pre-washing came up. I contacted Lindsay and Charlie over at Hawthorne Threads and they pointed me to a post on Make It Love It.com. It talks generally about pre-washing, but not specifically about home dec fabric.

I am using home dec fabric for the bag, because I want the added body and strength beyond quilt weight fabric. Will the finishes wash off and leave me with a limp mess? Can I replace the body/finishes with Mary Ellen’s Best Press?

Do you have any ideas, thoughts, wisdom to share? By the time you read this I might have already washed it.

Receiving Blankets

I made about three quilts as baby gifts for friends and then stopped. I like to give baby gifts that people are going to use rather than put in the closet for ‘good’. Receiving blankets are good for lots of things, not the least of which are superhero(ine) capes and playmats. I wrote about a full list of the possibilities which I could think up the last time I did a big post on receiving blankets.

Receiving Blankets
Receiving Blankets

I don’t always make receiving blankets for people. Sometimes I just go to Target and get the something off their list. I just felt like sewing some receiving blankets this time.

I think I said  this before, but for new readers:

  • I use 1.25 yards of flannel.
  • I wash all the flannel in a baby friendly laundry soap,
  • then I hem the edges with a decorative stitch. I don’t hem the selvedge edges. It works for me, they are relatively quick to make and I get great feedback on them.

The red piece in the upper right hand corner is more of a wrap. Sometimes something a little smaller is nice, especially if the mom is layering.

Great gift! Try some!