How to Press Properly & Prepare Your Fabric to Sew

One you’ve chosen what fabrics you’ll be using for your How To Quilt sampler, we need to get them ready to sew!

When I make garments, like when I sew with the League of Dressmakers, I ALWAYS pre-wash my fabrics to prepare them for sewing. When I quilt? I NEVER do. In the video below, I explain my logic behind that, and then we tackle good pressing skills!

You’ll see me use a SPRAY STABILIZER to make my fabric more crisp before I cut and sew. I like Best Press, and also use Flatter from Soak, both available at most local quilt shops and through online sellers (you can use the links to grab some for yourself!)

The one major push-back I get about NOT pre-washing is the fear that fabrics will BLEED when the finished quilt is laundered. Bleeding is an action of the dyes used in the fabrics leaching into the wash water, and then re-absorbing into another fabric, causing staining. Kona Cottons, which I use in my samples, have never given me this issue (but beware: I hear from other quilters that some solids are called Kona when sold but are lower-quality replacements, and those CAN bleed, especially reds). Should you be very worried about bleeding, you can use a Shout Color Catcher Sheet in the wash: these little gadgets look & feel like dryer sheets, but soak up any dyes in the wash water before they can re-deposit. I use them in EVERY load of laundry, and they keep my quilts beautiful!

In the next episode of How To Quilt, we practice working with a rotary cutter for safety and accuracy!