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Quilt top disaster

gogojojo | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

Hi all,

I have an unquilted top, and before I could get around to quilting it, my cat (this is so gross) coughed up a hairball on it. My question is, if I wash it before I quilt it, is it going to unravel too much? It is machine pieced. Thanks!


  1. Tatsy | | #1

    A friend was telling last week about forgetting to close the door to sewing room before she left to run errands. The dogs had gotten into a mud puddle in the backyard and created a lot of havoc between the doggie door and the sewing room, but they raced across the unquilted pieces she had laid out on the floor waiting to be put together. She washed each piece by hand, then starched and ironed them. The project took seven hours, but she was happy with the results. If it were me, I'd try washing it in the bathtub, then letting it line dry. You might want to wash and dry the quilt backing too, to avoid any possibility of it shrinking after quilting. Good luck.

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    If you used good quality cotton and 1/4" seams, you should be fine machine washing it on a gentle cycle, especially if you prewashed the fabric before piecing it.  Line drying would be safer than tumbling, where a lot of the abrasion and fraying happen.

    My sister's cat got stuck in the house when they went off on vacation and decided that the brand-new pieced quilt on the master bed would be her new litter box.  Everything came out fine, but it was a nasty welcome home for the family!  From the three stories so far, it seems that pets love quilts as much as their owners do....

    1. gogojojo | | #3

      Well there's another topic altogether: I used Kona cotton. Is that considered good quality?

      1. meg | | #4

        Kona cotton is very nice fabric; you should have no trouble.

        1. gogojojo | | #5

          Thank you!

          1. mainestitcher | | #6

            On another forum, the owners of a house being sold allowed a prospective buyer to tour the house...And they stopped to change their baby's diaper on the hand-made quilt in the bedroom.That hairball's not looking so bad now, I bet!We had a cat who produced them on a fairly regular basis, so we got over the ick factor. RIP, old Nort.

  3. ohiostar | | #7

    Why not sponge/wash just the area that the mess is at? I have cats,cats,cats that have no reverence or regard for fabric, quilt tops finished or not. I would not wash a pieced but unquilted top just to clean a smaller than the quilt top mess. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!

    1. gogojojo | | #9

      This is exactly what I ended up doing; I am about 3/4 finished now, and cant wait to get it finished and in the washing machine! I will post pics soon.


  4. immunurse | | #8

    If it's not too late (if you've already washed it, I hope it turned out find) I've heard that if you've got a quilt top that is going to sit around a while before it's quilted, it's a good idea to stay stitch the outside edge to keep it from fraying. I think that might be a good safety measure before you wash this quilt top.

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