Preparing Fabric for Red and White Winding Ways

Normally, I do not pre-wash fabric before making a quilt. However, when the quilt will have 20 different red fabrics, it is a different story. Red has a tendency to “run” when washed. I did not want a red and pink quilt after all, so I pulled 20 fat quarters of red fabrics and washed them twice with two Color Catcher sheets in hot water and Synthrapol and dried them in the dryer. Synthrapol is a special detergent used by dyers to remove excess dye and Color Catchers are little sheets of non-woven fabric that absorb “fugitive” dye during washing. I felt like I had done a reasonable job of preparing the “reds,” but you cannot wash half the fabrics and not wash the other half (the neutral background fabrics), so they were washed in hot water and dried as well:
Twenty fat quarters of “reds”:
Twenty fat quarters of “neutrals” :

Of course, now that they were laundered the fabrics lost a lot of their “body.” So I prepared some home-made spray starch and sprayed and ironed dry all 40 fat quarters. It took two quarts of spray starch for this step.:
Two stacks of nicely prepared fabrics. Preparing the fabrics required a couple of days work between other activities.:

Next, I (with the help of a friend) ran all 40 fat quarters through the Accuquilt GO! using the “Winding Ways” die set. All this cutting resulted in enough pieces for 81 eight-inch blocks. This step took less than two hours. Finally, ready to sew!:

IMG_2918 copy
I’m thinking I love my Accuquilt GO!

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5 Responses to Preparing Fabric for Red and White Winding Ways

  1. JoJo says:

    Nice! I can’t wait to see a few blocks sewn up.

  2. Margaret in VA says:

    I saw your note on the AccucutQuilters list and had to pop over to see your progress. Your quilt is going to be wonderful! I also got the die after seeing the article in American Patchwork & Quilting. I am going to make mine in brights, so it will be many colors, not a two color quilt. I love your piles of perfect parts, all ready to go!

    • fortquilt says:

      I have good intentions of continuing updates about this quilt on my blog. Come back to check for new posts or even better, subscribe to my blog. I will look for pictures of your progress at the Yahoo Group.

  3. Dorothy says:

    This quilt is on my New Year’s to-do list.

    Can you please share more with us about the die-cutting process: Did you cut the FQs into pieces before running them through the GO? How many layers of fabric did you use at a time? Did you put the red and neutral fabs through together, or separately? Thanks!

    • fortquilt says:

      I cut each fat quarter into four pieces, approximately 10″ x 9″. These were perfect for running through the Accuquilt GO! I tried using six layers as Accuquilt claims is possible. However, the cranking was awfully difficult with that many layers. Perhaps the starch contributed to this problem. In any event, I found four layers worked just fine. I cut all the reds and then all the neutrals. I like to hand pick my fabric combinations for each block… at least I do so far!

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