Wednesday, 27 February 2013

To prewash or not to prewash....

For many quilters this is a confusing issue, mainly because ask 10 quilters and you may get 10 different answers and opinions! So I'm here to give you my expert advise (opinion!!!)

In both our Tis the Season and Urban Country Quilts books, we discuss this exact topic. You will see the very same topic in our book Tis the Autumn Season that releases in June 2013 as well. And in each book we say basically the same thing, only in a different manner in each one! we prewash? Or don't we?

drumroll please.......and the answer is........


That's right we don't prewash our fabrics. (as i look over my shoulder looking to see if the quilt police are on their way......)
We all have a lot of laundry to do already so why add to the load? Pardon the pun! 

The fabric that is being manufactured in this day and age doesn't have the shrink rate it did even 20 years ago. The dye is much more stable, so unless you are using a hand dyed fabric, this shouldn't be an issue. (Having said that, let a quilt sit somewhere soaking wet and you will almost always have trouble!) 
The sizing that is in the fabric cut directly off the bolt makes for a crisp hand and are definitely easier to work with this way.


In todays fabric market, we have access to all varieties of precuts, 5" squares,  10" squares, 2-1/2" strips, and much more. These items are not meant to be pre-washed, to do so is asking for trouble! These items will simply fray too much to be manageable. And besides, who wants to iron those little bitty squares into submission?

The other thing you most certainly do not want to do is prewash a finished quilt top. That is a recipe for disaster. You will end up with frayed seams, threads hanging everywhere, and depending on the type of fabric, maybe some very frayed edges. And you most certainly will have to iron it before you could even think about basting and quilting it. 
We don't prewash our quilt batting, or our backing fabric. If you really feel the need to wash the quilt top, be sure to do it after the quilt is put together, quilted and bound. This way, all the fabrics will do whatever shrinking they might do (minimal!) and you will end up with a beautiful quilt with an overall scrunchiness that says....use me!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Sailing, sailing......

Oh my, what an adventure! For Jeanne and I this was the first time either of us has been on a cruise, and the ginormitty (probably not a real word!!) of these ships are unbelievable!!!
Our ship held close to 4000 passengers and just over 1000 crew! Thats a ton of people!!

 It was difficult to get a picture that really and truly shows the enormous size of these cruise ships!!
The quilting class was held on the first day at sea, which may not have been the best idea! I'm not sure about everyone else, but it took me awhile to get my 'sea legs'! I was surprised at how much you could feel the movement of being on a ship! I wasn't expecting that. I wasn't sick or nauseous, but kinda dizzy and out of sorts. As was Jeanne.
But we did alright, and so did the ladies who came to sew!
The ports we stopped at were St Thomas, which was fun to wander around in for the first few hours. We had a catamaran tour booked that took us out snorkelling. Everyone (even Jeanne) seemed to get the hang on the whole snorkelling thing, except for me!!! I certainly didn't expect to be as panicky and fearful as I was!! The water in my eyes, nose and down my throat didn't help though! But in the end i did manage to get the hang of it....somewhat, and enjoyed the few minutes I had left in the beautiful water!

If you look closely, the guy in the centre is Jock - Pauline's, husband (Hamels Fabrics)

Antigua was the next stop. I was surprised at how aggressive the people where in port, trying to sell stuff!!
We had a tour booked for that port as well, a Jeep Safari! That was avery fun! We drove in an open aired Jeep that seated 8 people. The driver (who drives on the right side by the way!!) Had a microphone and told us all sorts of interesting facts about the island. I learned it take a pineapple 16 months to grow to full size!! We then had a chance to swim at a beach, our first opportunity to swim in the ocean so far!!

Our next port was Tortola. Now if you are like me - you maybe hadn't even heard of this island before! It's a part of the British Virgin Islands, and it was beautiful! I wish we had more time in each port, but such is the way when you are cruising! At this port we had a tour booked that took us to on a beautiful book ride to see the scenery, dropped us off at an amazing beach for a few hours, complete with a burgers and drinks! This my friends is where I really and truly burned!

Our last port was Nassua, Bahamas. At this port we nothing planned, just a little poking around, maybe a little shopping!

It was a fabulous trip! We all had a ton of fun! There's so much more I could say, but I don't want to bore you with the details! I'll leave you with a few more pics!

If you want to see even more pics - check out our Facebook page!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Day of Hookey!

Hello Folks!
Well if anyone reads this blog you know Shelley is away right now on a cruise with Jeanne. So who is this? This is Jo!  Office manager of the Quilt Patch. I know fancy title for a job that really means " girl that does a little bit of everything from looking after the office, and orders, to cleaning the bathrooms". So you kind of get the picture. Well the girls and I decided today that we should have a day of Hookey! So that is what we are trying to do. It's not working out too bad  we are still helping customers if one happens to stop in, and yes there have been a few. We did think about putting up a "closed for the day" sign but thought that might be pushing our luck a bit much. So I am now going to try and post a picture of our sewing room aka office! Here I go!
Hmmm Not sure if that worked apparently I am not very tekky!  Ya hoo!!! omigosh I did it! Ok Well there is Yvonne on the right and Rebecca on the left and my sewing machine at the front. A little crowded but it works!
Ok gotta get back to Hookeying just wanted to let you in on what was happening while the girls are away! I hope Shelley doesn't see this hehehe! Gotta say hi to Elaine cause I'm pretty sure she will read this! Keep the lid on this I don't wanna get in trouble!!