Colorful Fabrics for a New Project

Despite the fact that I’ve got a couple of WIPs that I really need to finish, I’ve recently gotten started on a new project.  I’m working on two different baby quilts now that are going to be a matching set.

On a recent trip to my LQS, I bought a variety of cotton solids in a rainbow of colors.  I mixed and matched between designers a bit so the set has Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons, and Andover’s Textured Cottons all included.

Textured Fabrics - 1

I tried to find fabrics that would pretty true to the “standard” colors of the rainbow.  I was basically envisioning opening an 8-count box of crayons and trying to match what the colorful crayons would look like.

Textured Fabrics - 2

Since I’m pairing these colorful solids with Kona white for the background, my LQS recommended that I pre-wash everything.  They said my colorful solids would shrink at a different rate than the background.  So I bought some pinking shears and embarked on my first pre-washing ever.  And I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of having to pre-wash.  Between trimming with the pinking shears and cutting off the frayed edges after washing, you lose a good bit of fabric.  And it takes a lot more work!

Textured Fabrics - 5

But I finally got everything pre-washed and re-ironed and could actually start cutting into it.  I cut out 120 squares (1/2 colored and 1/2 white) so that I can make 60 half square triangles and 60 hourglass blocks.

I know everyone seems to rave about shot cottons but so far I’m not a huge fan of working with these colorful fabrics.  I’ve had a lot more issues with fraying as I cut than I’ve ever had before with Kona solids.  I tried starching the fabrics and that didn’t seem to help either (if anything, it might have been worse after starching).  But I did successfully get everything cut!

Textured Fabrics - 3

And now I’ve been doing a ton of chain piecing and sewing everything together.  Luckily, both HST and hourglass blocks make for easy chain-piecing.  I love how all the colors look all stacked together!

Textured Fabrics - 4

I can’t wait to start getting everything laid out and see these quilts come together!


11 thoughts on “Colorful Fabrics for a New Project

  1. I love your bright and colorful solids! But. . .I don’t understand why you thought you had to pink the edges of your new fabrics before washing them. I’ve been quilting for 25+ years and wash all fabrics before they enter my stash. Never pinked a one! I think it’s a waste of time, effort, and fabric.

  2. I’ve never pre washed my fabrics either – it just seems like a lot of extra time and work when I’m dying to cut into my fabrics! I’ve had a few fabrics lately where the fraying drove me crazy, I’m not sure why some fabrics misbehave so badly. Good luck with the baby quilts. I love the colors you’re using and can’t wait to see the quilt tops!

  3. Blergh to prewashing! I think that might have been where your fraying issues came from. There is a sizing agent on the fabrics when they come from the store that I think helps cut down on fraying. I’ve used all of those, without prewashing, and I only had issues with the Peppered Cotton fraying. The Kaffe shots and the textured solids didn’t fray anymore than other fabrics, for me. At least it will be pretty when all the frustration is over!!! 😀

  4. I always pre-wash fabrics to be used in baby quilts but I don’t usually do so for non-baby quilts unless the colors are likely to bleed. I don’t pink, but I sometimes run a line of machine basting about 1/8″ away from the cut edge to control the fraying. With bright colors, I add Retayne to the pre-wash to prevent bleeding, especially if I’m combining brights with white.
    Can’t wait to see how your crayon-box baby quilts come out!

  5. I’m a horrible pre-washer. I’ve done it once or twice (more likely once) and it just didn’t seem to be worth all the fraying and whatnot. Looks like it will be beautiful .Love the clean, crisp look of the rainbow colors.

  6. I am not a fan of prewashing either… And can’t imagine doing so with smaller pieces. Good for you! Love the colours that you chose. Can’t wait to see what you do with those hst’s and hourglass blocks!

  7. I’ve never prewashed. Keeping up with clothes laundry is too much washing as it is, never mind throwing fabric in there too and having to wait to play with it! I have some Kaffe shot cottons, though I’ve not used them yet. I can see how they might fray easily though; they’re incredibly thin! I’ll try and remember that to be warned whenever I end up using mine 🙂

  8. Pretty!
    When prewashing, cutting a 1/4″ triangle helps reduce fraying on most quilting cottons. Also shot cottons can be tricky to work with. If you’re combining them with other fabrics, sewing them with the shot cotton on top and other fabric on bottom helps a lot.
    Good luck!

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