Although there were so many great vendors at Quilt Con a few weeks ago, I found myself a bit overwhelmed and ended up not buying anything except a lovely little bundle of Oakshott Fat Eights!  I have loved these luxurious cotton colors for a while now and when I saw the booth (sorry, I didn’t save the card for the supplier) with the cottons so beautifully displayed, I just couldn’t resist!  It took me a while to even unwrap them as I knew I would have to “muss” them up in order to wash them; a step I can no longer skip.

Oakshott prior to washing

 In my earlier days of sewing, just a few short years ago, I didn’t really have a preference.  Then I heard many arguments on both the side of pre-washing and not pre-washing.  I eventually went to the pre-washing camp!  Anyway,  here is a sample of one in its pristine pre-washed folded state.  Lovely right?  Well, being the pre-washer that I am, I set my daughter to task, happily unfolding and tossing in the washer, all the rest of my lovely bundle.  I kind of had a bad feeling about this load, because they were so small, but I took my chances and washed away.

Oakshott after the wash cycle

  After the dryer finished with them, they came out a little…… ahhh, less pretty shall we say?  I know, what a sad sight.  Of course I knew they would turn out like this, I was keeping my fingers crossed though that a nice hot iron would bring them back to their former beauty.

Oakshott Cottons pressing

So I set to work this time with the very (for me) therapeutic task of pressing each one.  I sprayed some water on each one and pressed away.

array of Oakshott Cottons post washing

I was so pleasantly surprised at how beautifully these pressed out.  They are good as new and ready to be used. So in the end,  it all worked out but I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions on what to do with these littler pieces; fat quarters, fat eights, to keep them from getting so tangled up.

Some may be wondering,  why do I go through this step each time I buy new fabric?  Well I know for me, I like knowing that all the factory “gunk” is off of my fabric.  I’ll admit it’s likely a weird neurotic notion I have…… but I kind of feel like, “It’s mine now and I want it to be cleaned of any of it’s former “stuff”!  Also, I want to get any and all shrinking done prior to using it.   Is this a valid reason, well valid enough for me.  I have friends who swear by not pre washing and others who, like me, can’t imagine NOT pre washing. I know there is likely the good, bad and the ugly about both ways.  I surely don’t love wrestling with my fabrics and all the loose threads wrapped so crazily around each other after the dryer cycle, but it’s worth it to me to know that they are clean and ready to use.

stack of Oakshott fat eights Oakshott

 I suppose there isn’t really a right or wrong, but I sure am curious if any of you have strong opinions on the matter.  Happy fabric hunting, buying,  washing (or not) and using!!