Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Allow for Shrinkage

Over the weekend I started these two baby quilts and I was so happy with the progress I had made on them in such a short time.
Then I washed and dried the finished quilts and was astounded at how much they shrank. They shrank so much I could not use them for baby quilts without repairing them.
So for the last several evenings after work, I have spent my sewing time cutting off bindings, adding quilted panels to each side to widen the quilts and rebinding them. I even had to make an extra trip to the fabric store to get more fabric for binding.

Then I had to redo my Etsy listings to reflect the changes in the finished quilts.  I also adjusted the prices, because they are not as perfect as I want them to be.
Here is what I learned: 
     I am not going to start pre-washing fabrics and battings. I like the look that comes when the quilt goes through the machine washing and drying and comes out crinkly and soft.  However, I am going to take into account that significant shrinkage can occur and be more generous in my dimensions to start with.
I also learned that sewing through several layers of double folded binding and batting will bend a needle. More than one needle.   Schmetz needles, too.   Ouch.
So they are finally done and relisted in the store. Lessons learned and I am ready to move on to the next successful quilting project.


  1. I wash my quilted top and block it before I sew on the binding.
    I always prewash my fabric but never my batting. I usually use Warm N Natural.


  2. Hi Gale!
    Thanks for visiting Robin Hill!!! I love the color and design of your two baby quilts~ Lessons learned is right!! Oh my~what a lot of work! We never stop learning and I usually learn the hard way~lol!
    I finished an intricate embroidered piece last year with some hand~dyed thread (beautiful thread) and when I finished I used a damp sponge to carefully take out the blue pen marks and the red thread bled all over!!
    One good thing is that you never make the same mistake twice....:)

  3. Thanks, Eileen for the words of encouragement! It is true that so much of my improvement in quilting in the last year has been due to trial and error.

    P- that is an interesting idea to wash and block the quilt before sewing on the binding. I may have to try that and see how it works for me. There are definitely lots more to learn about successful quilting!

    Thanks, ladies for commenting!


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