Saturday, 12 December 2009

So Much For The Crinkly Look...

I have this weird fear of washing my quilts once they're finished, because I'm convinced something horrible will happen, e.g. I'll get a mini quilt or it falls apart or whatever.

I've given away a few but either those people don't wash their quilts or nothing awful happened, because I've never had any bad feedback. But now that I'm selling quilts, I'm worried about disappointed customers!

So last night, I took the plunge and just added the navy floating coins baby quilt to my regular laundry (a mix of hot/warm water, liquid detergent, regular setting as I don't have a gentle cycle setting).

I took a photo before, just in case it came out mini ;) I also measured it: 26" x 37.5"

After the wash, it came out in one piece and feeling softer. So far so good. I measured it again: 26 " x 37.5" - great!

Then I thought, hmm, I'm in a country where people throw everything in the dryer... so in it went, again, no gentle cycle and I used the hot air instead of cold.


And again: well.

Now I've heard people RAVE about the crinkly look, which they get by not pre-washing and the quilt shrinking a bit. I got that. Very crinkly, not sure if it's my thing.

The shrinkage is definitely not my thing.

The quilt now measures 25" x 35". It lost 2.5" in length! Aaaaaah! I'm NOT happy about that! Is this shrinkage relative? Will a queen size quilt shrink 10" in length?

I'm going to wash one more quilt on hot then hang it to dry, and after that, there'll be some advice to my customers and other quilt recipients!

It looks so tiny now...

On the bright side the coins are nice and fluffy :)


karenfae said...

Shrinkage depends mainly on what kind of batting you use. 100% cotton batting can shrink up to 3% I believe. I love the crinkly look especially on white scrappy quilts as it gives it that "old fashion" look. If you use polyester batting I don't think you get much shrinkage at all.

Some people wash their batting before they use it - I have not done this and wonder how they do it so it doesn't fall apart on them. If you shrink the batting first then you must likely will have very little shrinkage after you wash and dry your quilt. I have washed and dried many quilts and have never notice much if any shrinkage after the first time.

Crispy said...

I agree with what Karen said. However, I've read that most machine quilters do not like to use poly bat because it's too slippery. Pre-shrinking your batting would be the best bet, though I'm not sure how to do it. I imagine getting it damp and putting it in the dryer (where most of the shrinking happens) will take care of it.


Pokey said...

I like your coins, and I like the fluff! I use the poly batt-bat? on a lot of my things, mostly because of the cost. But they also don't shrink, and they can be warmer, I'm told.
For me, it is a treat to use the cotton batting, I definitely choose it for the projects I want to have the country homemade look.

Helen said...


May I suggest you press your quilt from the back with steam (lots of it)in the iron. This will reduce the 'shrinkage' quite a bit and give you a flatter look. Once fabric in a quilt is washed there is no way to get it back to the look it has before you sew it with all the dressing (if the fabric is pre-washed) or the starch (if it is starched. Personally I always wash my finished quilts and then press them. I like them to smell nice. This is more important to me than any crinkly/lack of crinkly look.

PS I found your blog from a comment you made on 365 days of free motion quilting.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I'm not much into the crinkly look myself. I prefer to pre-wash my fabric to help with the shrinkage later one. And I don't put them in the dryer. I guess I just like the look of a smooth quilt :-)

quiltfool said...

I'm a pre-washer, both for bleeding and for shrinkage. Then, I dip starch and iron the heck out of them until they're as smooth and stiff as they were on the bolt. Don't know how you'd shrink the batt before you quilt it. I do wash all my quilts when I'm finished. Bed quilts go in the dryer. Wall quilts get blocked. By blocking, I take the quilt, wet from the washer, lay towels flat on the carpet and stretch the quilt, from the center to the binding, into the size and shape I want, using rulers to square the corners and straighten the edges. Then I pin it to the floor (one T pin about every 1.5 inches). It dries to the shape and size I forced it into, and with a cotton batting, is pretty stiff and great to hang on the wall. I bet you could get most of those 2 inches back with a good, stretch. After all, the fabric is still there, it's just being used up in all those crinkles. Lane

Nanci said...

I am currently using bamboo batting but haved used warm and natural/white in previous quilting.
I think that no more than 1% have shrunk in all quilts.
I don't prewash but to use steam when getting fabrics ready to be cut.
I am going to give poly another try. Maybe I will have better luck next time, because I spray baste, the first shot with poly didn't stick...a bit of a mess for me...