Midnight at the Oasis QAL, Patchwork, Sponsors

Midnight at the Oasis Progress, and: to wash or not to wash?

finally finished the checker border on my MATO quilt! although the green and blue don’t contrast a whole bunch, I really love the scraps in this. I started the courthouse steps blocks, too, and I am so excited to be so close to a finished top! Our next link up, hopefully with finished tops, is January third. If you are sewing along with me, go to this post to link up your progress.
Today I want to give a big “thank you” to the kind fabric shops who have agreed to sponsor prizes to the Quilt Along participants…
So make sure you keep following along. You could win some fabulous fabric for your next project!


I had a question in the comments last week about the Bikini Quilt kit. The writer wondered if I wash my fabric before I use it. I am answering here because I could not respond to the comment directly.
Before I get to washing fabric, I want readers to know that if you don’t get a response from me when you leave a comment, especially if you ask a question, then you are “no reply” and I cannot send you e-mail. I love every comment, it makes me feel so happy that someone stopped by to visit, and I do my best to respond. Make sure you have an active e-mail on your Blogger profile.

Now: to wash or not? I do not wash my fabric before I sew with it. The only exception to that is flannel. I would love to hear what others have to say about this, I know it is kind of a debate among quilters. I think it is all personal preference.

If you are using high quality fabric, you are probably safe from dye bleeding. If you are not sure about hand-dyes or batiks, go ahead and wash.

how about finished quilts? do you wash them before using? I have noticed a lot of quilters do wash them right when they finish to get that cozy, wrinkly look. While I do love that look too, I do not typically wash my quilts just to wash them. That’s just me.

If anyone has any experience with this topic, good, bad, or advice, be sure and leave a comment to let others know.


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12 thoughts on “Midnight at the Oasis Progress, and: to wash or not to wash?

  1. I’m loving watching your progress on this quilt, its keeps getting even better with every border :).
    I had a bleed from a Kate Spain terrain layer cake which was really annoying who the heck washes a layer cake!
    I also don’t like the wrinkly crinkle look on my finished quilts so im stuck having to wash my batting even the minimal shrinkage ones 🙁

  2. Hi Sharon! I don’t usually comment – I just drool :*) But I sure do wish I had started this quilt-along with the rest of you… what an amazing quilt!!! I love your colors and fabrics – WOW!!!

    I also had to chime in on the wash/no wash issue. My problem with not washing doesn’t stem from colors running in the wash, but rather from the many chemicals in the fabrics. I love the feel and work-ability of unwashed fabrics, so up until recently I never washed my fabrics. However, I began to experience some very ugly health issues, and my natural practitioner determined that I was being exposed to an exorbitant amount of chemicals from “somewhere” and my body was overwhelmed and unable to flush them all out on its own. Basically, I was being poisoned. We’re pretty sure it’s the fabric, since I had none of these symptoms before I started quilting and nothing else in my life had changed that much. Reading on the internet told me all I needed to know about chemicals in the fabrics! I know they don’t bother a lot of people – and that’s wonderful. But for people who seem to be sensitive to them, like me, they can be deadly. Needless to say, I have been washing my fabrics ever since and am in the process of systematically washing the fabrics already in my stash. It’s a big job! But I am feeling better and getting my life back. Again, I know most quilters will never have this problem, but I think we should all be aware that it can happen.

  3. Sheryl says:

    Such a beautiful quilt. Your fabric choices here have really been awesome and each layer just adds that little bit of extra goodness.
    I’m not much of a pre-washer. The wrinkles drive me bonkers and ironing is not a favourite activity of mine, so I skip that step.
    As far as washing the quilt, if it’s a quilt to use, rather than a quilt to display, I want to wash it early. I find quilts feel flat to me until they’ve had that wash. I also never feel completely “done” until I know that my baby has safely survived a washing. Especially for a gift, I want any bleeds or stitching issues to happen while I’m handling the quilt, rather than upset the person I’m gifting.

  4. Jacque says:

    I’m with you….I wash my quilt when it gets dirty, and not until then! LOL I have to tell you, I’m just drooling over your MATO quilt….it’s fabulous!

  5. Cindy says:

    Lovely quilt! I do wash my fabrics – every piece before it goes into the stash. I’m with Teresa. I do it to remove all the chemicals on the fabric from production and avoid any potential health issues. I can always smell the chemical on an unwashed piece of fabric. I also like the softness that comes from washing {I like ironing it too! Fabric not laundry! It’s a good time to look at the colors and patterns and I find surprising combinations!}

  6. P. says:

    Your quilt just keeps getting better and better. I do wash all fabric before it gets added to the stash (except stuff like jelly rolls, of course). I don’t to wash a quilt right after it’s done. I’d rather wait until it needs it.

  7. I like this image its so useful carpet so fabulous.
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  8. It’s a joy to see your quilts grow, your ideas and fabric combinatios are so beautiful! I always pre-wash the fabrics before using them and I usually was the quilts when I used basting spray – somehow I don’t like the idea of breathing that while sleeping under it. Have a wonderful Christmas time!

  9. Paula says:

    Wow, it’s looking fab. I don’t pre-wash fabrics, unless like you I am using flannel as it can shrink so much more than cottons. I also don’t wash my quilts as soon as they are done but wait until they need it. When it comes to no reply bloggers I don’t think a lot of people realise they are. I wasn’t for a long time and then google+ changed their settings (again) and I suddenly was. not only do you need an active email but you also need to unlink your google+ account from your blogger one too.

  10. Looks awesome! Absolutely love your fabric choices!

  11. Jenny says:

    Gorgeous quilt!

  12. jan says:

    I love your MATO quilt! Gorgeous. love that Gracie Girl border. Merry Christmas! xo jan

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