No matter what I make, I am always wondering whether the fabric combinations will work after the quilt has been washed in the machine. Whether it’s a combination of fusible and pre-washed or pristine fabric fresh off the bolt or fabric and batting–polyester or cotton or cutaway or tearaway stabilizer, I never know how things will turn out. So, for the alphabet quilt, I did a little experiment.
I use Armo-Weft as a leave-in stabilizer for machine embroidery in quilts. I learned this from the Anita Goodesign project that I did last Spring. But I have been trying to decide whether to use a cutaway or tearaway stabilizer beneath the Armo-Weft. And, there is always the question as to whether to pre-wash all my fabrics or not. So this is the experiment.
I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting and 100% cotton backing.
The results: There is no appreciable difference between prewashing and using fresh off the bolt. And there is no appreciable difference in tearaway and cutaway stabilizer. The fabrics fresh off the bolt seem to shrink in accordance with the batting, so maybe it’s better not to prewash. All of the applique fabric had been pre-washed and it did not shrink or pucker on any of the blocks.
The underlining of ArmoWeft makes a nice weight quilt and is not heavy at all. I will continue to use the ArmoWeft,and I will not worry about washing the background fabric at all.