Thursday, 14 August 2014

Washing your quilts and guarding against the COLOUR RUN!

I have had a few requests for information on how to best wash the quilts so I thought maybe a blog post would be a good idea.  

Now before I go any further this is for the FELLOWS out there who may be washing their quilts themselves.  
READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST!  

REAL MEN DO READ INSTRUCTIONS BY THE WAY.  

I STRESS THIS AS I AM MARRIED TO AN ENGINEER AND 
THEY ARE THE WORST FOR READING INSTRUCTIONS!

There is all sorts of advice out there for this subject, but how careful you should be depends on how your quilt is made.   For most of the quilts we make these instructions will suffice. 

If you have a quilt with a lot of hand work on it, 

first you should feel very special as very few of those are made for Aussie Heroes

and secondly, it is probably best if you contact your quilter if you are in touch, or me, and we will walk you through a few extra care steps to make sure your quilt lasts as long as possible.  

Now for most quilts as, I said, these instructions should suffice.

Now just in case you FELLOWS don't read all the instructions I am putting this at the beginning.  
If your quilt has a lot of dark colours in it - specifically red which is the worst for dye running, or if your quilt has a dark colours and a fair bit of pale fabric, particularly white, 
you need to know this.  

Colours can run!  

Umm no, not that sort of run...

Not all quilters pre-wash their fabrics.  You don't want the red dye to run onto your white fabrics SO what do you do.  Simple, the first few times  you wash your quilt you add in a few Colour Catcher sheers.  These should absorb any excess dye. 

If you still get some colour onto the paler colours then wash with some Dylon ColourRun Remover.  

Both of these products should be available in your local supermarket. Those of you who have received some of the awesome Sydney Swans quilts we have made need to take note of this hint in particular.


The basic rule is to wash it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and use a gentle soap - maybe a woolwash.   Once it has spun you can hang it over the line.  

Do not hang it from the side like this as that puts too much weight on a few small areas of the quilt and could stretch it out of shape.


Best to hang it over a couple of lines - like this


Peg securely at the corners 


like this 


NEVER hang a soaking wet quilt on the line either as it is too heavy and could stretch it.  If you decide to hand wash your quilt and don't want to spin it in the machine then best you find a piece of clean grass and lay it on that.  To be on the safe side you might want to put an old sheet down first and maybe another old sheet over the top, just in case there are any birds flying around.  At least lie it flat till most of the water has drained or evaporated and the quilt is not so heavy.

I like to put my nearly dry quilts in the dryer (actually I often just put them straight in the dryer) to fluff them up and make sure they are really 100% dry.  Please note that the quilt will probably be a little crinkly or wrinkly after you wash it.  (aren't we all??)  This is normal as the cotton batting usually shrinks a little in the wash.  That is one reason why I like to finish it off in the dryer because it reduces the wrinkles.  Still the quilt will settle in to its wrinkles and the longer you have it, and the more you use, it the softer and more comforting it will be. 

Any questions please do not hesitate to email or call. 

Now put your quilt in your laundry bag and hop to it fellows!  :-)

Just before I go - we have another bumper crop of quilts and laundry bags heading off this week.   If you have sent something off and I have not listed your name below please let me know. 

Anna
Bennie
Bev
Carol W
Carol
Carolyn
Chelly
Debbie
Grace
Hilary
Irene, Joy and Robyn
Jacqui 
Joan
Julie Ann
Kate
Libby 
Lindsay
Liz J
Mary
Maxine 
Pam Y
Pennie
Ross
Su
Sue N
Sue P

Till next time.....................keep spreading the word and happy stitching!  JMxx





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