I love blogging and reading others. I often get great information and because I don't "get out much", my bloggers have become my community....never mind I haven't really "met" any one of you (other than Diane or Trish), you are important to me and I am always happy when I get comments. At any rate, I purposely keep my blog entry's kinda neutral--not even posting my picture. Even though I sometimes share personal things, I don't often, one reason is I don't want to get into in-depth conversations---I want to keep it light.
I believe that as long as your thoughts and behaviors don't hurt others, it is okay with me. Once I find out you are unkind, a bigot, insensitive or disrespectful, that is all "she's wrote" for me....so sometimes, I'd rather not know your personal viewpoints.
Now that is what brings me to my "soap box". As you know, quilters are often some of the kindest people I know. They are often so giving and willing to share their expertise or knowledge with you if it helps you make better quilts. There is the occasional "exception to the rule"---you know the type person, but generally quilters are great people.
Having said that, we are also very "opinionated"----just ask the "to pre-wash or not" question. Now me, I try to do the very best I can and I am always open to new ideas. Once I hear them, I dissect them for their relevance in "my" quilting adventure. If it makes sense to me and is relevant to my type of quilting, I will often at least try it once, but if it doesn't work, I move on. Now if you want to keep doing it (whatever it is), that is really okay with me---again, if it doesn't negatively impact me, it really is not my business.
There is a "thread" on one of the on-line groups I belong to concerning using serger thread or thread specifically for longarms. Me, I use serger thread! I have done my own little "unscientific" test, and really I don't see the difference. In fact the thread that came with my Premier looks the most inferior as compared to "serger" specific thread. Although it was love at first site with my Premier, I gotta tell you, the honeymoon period was over rather quickly. I had (have) a lot of problem with tension, but since I started using serger thread, those problems have been less frequent. I still have some LA quilting thread, and I will use it, but since there isn't a LA supply source here, it is more convenient to use what I have ready access to.
One reason a person gave for not using serger thread is it is so inexpensive compared to the traditional LA thread, therefore it is inferior. It has been my experience that cheaper sometimes does mean inferior, but not always. Sometimes companies will add a hefty price to a speciality item, not because it is of better quality, or even because it is different, but just because it has a speciality tag. Often the serger thread is made by the same company and when you look closely, looks the same. LA quilting thread can be as expensive as almost $20, while I can buy a spool of serger thread for about $4-$6. To me, since it works well for me, there really isn't a choice here. But if you choose to buy the more expensive thread I am not going to look at you any differently. What I think is interesting is there is lots of good things said about "Bottom Line" thread---this was originally thread that was to be used in the bobbin! LA quilters are also using embroidery and silk thread now. What if someone had said (as I was told) that the only kind of thread you should use is 100% cotton? These beautifully quilted quilts wouldn't have been around for us to admire.
Now, I think if your machine doesn't like serger thread, or if you are doing a really special quilt or even quilting professionally, it makes sense for you to use the speciality threads, but just because I choose to not do so on quilts I will use, or even gift, doesn't make me a less than quality quilter. I believe in making your decision, you should get as much information as possible to make an informed decision and then go with what is best for you. At this point, the only thread I will not use in my LA is the thread used specifically for hand quilting. It has a type of wax on it to keep it from tangling that could cause problems in the tension guides.
No I don't pre-wash fabric before I make my quilts. I don't because I am first lazy---and I don't really like ironing. I will really wash my hand dyes and if I am using a red or purple batik, I will "sometimes" wash them before I use them. What I usually do is throw a couple of color grabber sheets in the wash when I wash the quilt and so far, I haven't had an "accident". I also don't prewash since I like to use really crisp fabric. It doesn't make sense to me to wash out all the sizing and then spend a fortune on starch or sizing and ruin my iron, putting it back.
I buy my fabric where ever I can find fabric that I think is of good quality and is a affordable costs. I have made beautiful quilts from fabric I bought at a chain fabric store AND even wal-mart. I have gotten some horrible quality fabric from LQS that when I washed the quilt, looked horrible and the Wal-mart fabric held up great! I also see how much people pay for "FEEDSACK" fabric and beautiful quilts made from "vintage" linens (often with poly) and old clothes (quilting green). Why then is there is "snobbery" with using Walmart or Joanne or Hobby Lobby or Hancock fabric.
I also press my seams open; use steam; and only do machine applique :-)
I don't know, I just felt compelled to get up on this box. I have now stepped down! Hope I haven't offended anyone---I feel so fortunate that so many of you choose to come and "see" me regularly, whether you leave comments or not. Just know that if you should see a quilt I have made, and you are so inclined to remark on how lovely it is, it may have been quilted with serger thread :-)