None of the projects in our book are bed quilts or other items that require frequent
washing. The main reason for this is that washing softens the crispness of the folds,
something to keep in mind if you plan to design your own projects. To keep your creations
clean, we recommend occasional vacuuming with your brush attachment.
However, the answer to the question is a conditional “YES”. We’ve washed a 3-block
sampler in a pillow case, but it’s best to plan ahead.
First, make sure you pre-wash your fabrics before sewing.
Second, choose blocks with folds that secure all of the raw edges (10 of the 12 folds
do, so you have lots to choose from).
But if you still want to use one of the “forbidden” blocks in your project, you can
do what is described below and shown in image 3.
On the left, the first Dutch city block (blue/green/yellow) is unwashed.
Next is the same block from a 3-Block Sampler washing experiment (brick/gold/blue).
While most of the shapes can be quickly recovered with some steamy pressing, the
central rectangles of Dutch city have opened up.
If your favourite block includes a fold where all the raw edges haven’t been secured,
the best way to prepare it for washing is during construction: once they are pressed,
top stitch those 4 pieces on 3 sides before attaching them. This is shown in the
third block (blue/ brown).
Note: We’ve done our best to explain how we prepare for and protect our projects
from the washing machine. However, a washing machine puts strain on any quilt, and
our blocks are no different. Washing will change the appearance of your folded blocks,
and even pressing them will not bring back their original crispness.