She said it couldn’t be done…

so of course the little voice in the back of my head, that’s always getting me into trouble, piped up and whispered ” challenge accepted !” Now really, I wish this was about something more important like curing the common cold but no. I was at the fabric store looking at the denim that was on sale and asking if she thought I could mix it up with some quilting cotton and make some placemats ? She said no, you can’t do that because the shrinkage rates are different and the weave  and the stretch… blah, blah – I didn’t hear much of that because of the previously mentioned voice was drowning her out.

Instead of sewing up half a dozen placemats I decided put together a little hot pad experiment to see if it would work:



The denim sewed together with the quilting cotton just fine. There is a little more stretch to the denim but nothing to worry about. I did use my walking foot to help the fabric feed evenly. That ruler is straight, btw, I guess the lens of the camera just bows it out a bit. I put one layer of insulbright and one layer of batting in between the front and back.

Did you notice my little labels, they’re new and I love them :-)))

The real test was how the two different fabrics were going to get along in the laundry room.


After washing, Ta – daaa, it worked ! I couldn’t be more pleased with my little experiment ! I just love the texture of the denim and I think the contrast with the quilting cotton adds interest. The whole look was exactly what I had in mind – country casual kind of look.

I was worried about the dye coming out of the denim because I hadn’t pre-washed anything. I used a new-to me laundry detergent called “Purex No Sort with Anti-Colour Technology”. I can notice that the white in the binding isn’t quite as brilliant but it is still ok by me. I usually use Synthrapol if I am washing a fabric I suspect might bleed. This is a special detergent that keeps the dye molecules suspended and I believe that Synthrapol is better than other detergents at keeping dye from coming off a dark section of fabric and landing onto a light section of fabric.

I am trying to decide if I should go ahead and pre-wash the denim or just start making my placemats ? I do like the exaggerated crinkle effect I got by not pre-washing. What do you think ?

In other news, I finished the fox placemat for my Mom.

(click on the images to make them bigger)




I’m happy with the way it turned out. I showed it to my husband and he was completely at a loss. He could not see the fox face. He thought it was an upside down tent. My son looked at it and it took him a minute but he did guess correctly

Weird, plain as day to me but I’ve been working with it for a few days !

Have a great weekend !

Please leave a comment, it’s up at the top by the date.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. allisonreidnem
    Mar 06, 2015 @ 14:37:43

    That is a very good experiment! Thanks for sharing it. I wonder if across a quilt the shrinkage might become an issue? I do tend to pre-wash fabrics although recently I’ve been using a jelly roll so I’ve used all unwashed fabrics with it. The detergents sound useful. In the UK colour catchers are more available than special detergents but I’m going to take a proper look along the supermarket shelves next time I find my way there!
    As for spotting the fox – maybe it is a man thing. Perhaps they see angles belonging to something constructed rather than something natural? I expect your Mum will see it straight away!



    • Colleen
      Mar 07, 2015 @ 12:55:20

      I don’t usually pre-wash. I think that if that was a prerequisite I’d probably never get around to sewing ! I have not been able to find colour catchers locally – they just aren’t sold at the supermarket here. I saw that they had them at my fav CDN online fabric shop and I think I might include them in my next order so I can give them a try.
      Synthrapol is a specialty detergent usually sold where you would buy professional fabric dyes. I have seen it sold in small bottles at quilt fabric stores though.
      I think it is a man thing 😉



      • allisonreidnem
        Mar 07, 2015 @ 15:33:28

        Oh! Right! My husband is a chemistry graduate perhaps I’d better send him on a search for the specialty detergents – would be right up his street!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa in Port Hope
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 00:56:28

    I do prewash most fabrics, particularly dark colours. I found a brand of colour catchers called “Dr. Beckmans” at Metro, although I have also seen recipes for making them.



    • Colleen
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 03:00:54

      I haven’t been able to find color catchers here in Saskatchewan but I would like to try them. There is an online store that I buy fabric from that sometimes stocks them but I don’t think they are the brand you mentioned.



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