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Why It’s Important to Prewash Fabric

Especially for Projects for Kids and For Quilts.

I use 100% cotton fabric for almost all my sewing. I just really like it. Occasionally I’ll use a blend or another kind of fabric if it’s something sentimental for personal use. Some fabric requires special care, or dry cleaning. I’m not talking about those fabrics in this post – I just don’t know enough about them. But cotton fabrics, quilting fabrics, cute novelty prints, etc all should be washed first, and here’s why:

There’s lots of tips out there for quilters about the importance of pre-washing fabrics. Different fabrics may shrink at different rates, even if they’re all 100% cotton. If you want your quilt that you’ve spent hours and weeks and months making to hold up over time, you don’t want different parts to shrink and other parts not to, thus pulling or distorting the quit, even tearing it in extreme cases.

While this is an excellent reason to pre-wash all your fabrics, it isn’t the most important reason, in my opinion.

When fabrics are made, all kinds of chemicals are used during production, and dying. The chemicals treat the fabrics, and help the colors stay true, and generally assist in production at many stages. However, those chemicals are still there when the finished bolt goes out to stores. The most famous of these is formaldehyde, but other chemicals are used too.

There is no way I want to snuggle under a quilt full of formaldehyde and other chemicals. And there is sure as heck no way I’m letting my child snuggle under that quilt or play with a toy that hasn’t had the chemicals washed out of it.

While it may sound too easy that all you have to do to get rid of these horrible chemicals is throw the fabric in the wash, that’s really all the experts say you need to do. In all my research, every authority and expert I’ve found says that as bad as these substances are, washing gets rid of them. It’s that simple.

So while it may be a bit time consuming, and, yes, it may require a little bit of pressing if the fabric wrinkles, it’s just too important a step to skip. If you are making something that a baby may possibly put in their mouth, (like everything I make) please, PLEASE, PLEASE pre-wash your fabrics.

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Free to Good Home – Mini Soft Fabric Colors Book

While making some new Mini Soft Fabric Books for my Etsy Shop I made an “oops”. While trimming a thread, I accidentally cut into the blue page of an almost done mini colors book. While it wouldn’t have been impossible to take the book apart and replace the blue page with a new one, it would have been a lot more work and headache than to just make a new book from scratch. I decided I didn’t want to remake the whole book.
The same page also got a snag on the fabric somewhere alone the way that left a tiny pin point hole when trimmed up.
I did sew the approximately 1/4 inch cut closed by hand, but didn’t do anything to the snag hole – the needle would leave more holes than the original snag, so it seemed silly to stitch it. This photo points out the flaws:

The little fabric colors book isn’t up to my standards enough to sell in my shop. The rest of the book is in great shape, and I hope someone out there will be interested in having it, even if it has a little ‘oops’ factor. I’m offering it to the first person to request it. I’ll pay shipping – even international. I don’t recommend anyone leaving personal information, like an address, in the comments section here, so I ask that you send your request to me privately by clicking “contact this seller” in my Karabu Patchwork Creations Etsy Shop.
Hopefully this little book can find a loving home.
My kids (who normally get my ‘oops’ projects) already have a mini fabric colors book. I haven’t done a giveaway for awhile now, so I think my mistake was really a reminder that it’s time to have one!
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Personalizing and Customizing

For many months in my Etsy shop, I had a note in my announcement section that I was happy to take custom orders. After one or two custom I spy blanket requests I realised that making custom orders involved a lot more work, and frequently involved buying additional supplies, like special fabric. The problem was that I felt uncomfortable asking for more money than my regular listings were priced at.

The solution I came up with was to create a special listing for a custom I-spy blanket that took into consideration the extra time and money I had to invest. Another problem, that I hadn’t thought about that creating this special listing created for me was that about the timing of payment.

Because I’m a wimp about asking for money, I’d usually spend all the time corresponding with my clients about their request, gathering sample fabrics, and even making the item before asking for payment. I’d create a listing for them when the item was done. Luckily, all my buyers are wonderful and honest people, but I’m sure there was the potential for me to be left with an item that was to personalized to resell.

Now, I’ll still work out the details of an order with someone, but once we’re ready to start actually cutting and sewing, I can ask for them to purchase the listing from my shop. Once payment clears, I start sewing. Even timid little me can handle asking that, and so far every single client has paid for their listing the same day I asked.

Soon after making the custom I spy blanket listing, I also made a listing for a custom Soft fabric book. I’ll be creating a custom soft jingle block listing soon too.

The very best things that creating special listing for my custom work has done for me is that I now get far more custom orders than I used to. I think people don’t always like to ask questions. Maybe they don’t want to take the time, maybe they are worried that the answer will be no, maybe they feel silly bothering someone else, I don’t know what all the reasons are. I just know that now that I have custom listings, I am almost always working on a custom order.

The listing makes it easy for buyers. It tells them they type of information I need to start. It lets them know what I’ll be doing for them and how long it will take me. It gives them all the information they need to decide to buy. It also gives them permission to ask for exactly what they want without feeling pushy or picky. Everyone wins!