Q&A: Washing Pre-Cuts, and Kona at Joann’s

Wee Play Jelly Roll pre-cut pack from Moda — a jelly roll is made up of 2.5″x44″ cuts.

Q: I recently ordered a set of smallish, pre-cut quilting squares from Etsy and did not know whether I should pre-wash or not. I didn’t pre-wash, made a small quilt and still haven’t washed it. I’m curious with so many of the fabric manufacturers promoting their “sweets” packs (jelly rolls, layer cakes, etc.) are they recommending pre-washing or not? — Perlin from Sew What, commenting on Do You Pre-Wash Your Fabric?

A: I posed this question to Lissa Alexander, Marketing Director for Moda (a company that offers a range pre-cut packages). She replied:

The precuts are not prewashed. I personally do not wash any of the cuts from Moda. This would completely eliminate the ease of using the cuts. If you are mixing the Moda precuts with other fabrics I would possibly reconsider this. In the 16 years I have sewn with Moda and I have never had a bleeding problem. So much of this also is determined by how the project is washed. In some areas the water is harder and the use of strong detergent also varies. There are many good sources out there about prewashing such as Harriet Hargrave’s site. Always, if unsure you can always test a swatch or corner of the fabric before beginning.

Thanks, Lissa!

My addition: Many commenters said they pre-washed fabric because they were sensitive to the finishing chemicals (sizing, especially). If this is the case for you, go ahead and pre-wash. A spin in a washing machine seems to violent for those little pieces though — I would just swish them around in a sink with a little laundry soap or gentle detergent, squeeze them out on a towel, air dry for a bit, then press while still damp. That’s what I do with my vintage scraps and it works out well.

Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids - Sample Card

Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton color card

Q: Do you happen to know if the Kona solids sold at [U.S. craft store chain] Jo-Ann‘s are the same Kona solids sold more expensively at fancier shops? The skeptic in me is cautious of anything I can use my 40% off coupon on at JoAnn’s, but after exhaustive google searches, I don’t see anything that would indicate that they’re any different. I’m about to start designing a solids-only quilt and don’t want to regret my fabric purchase. – Karen Jarsky

That’s a question I’ve had myself, so I asked Kyle Sanchez, director of marketing for Robert Kaufman. She answered yes, “it is the same Kona at Joann’s as it is in the independents.” Hooray! Thanks Kyle!


  1. Mandy says:

    This is going to be a rather weird question (or maybe not!), but I can’t seem to find a color card for the Kona solids anywhere. Would you be able to tell me the names of the two grays immediately under the Robert Kaufman logo, and then the name of the two grays immediately to the left of what appears to be the black square? I’m making a stacked coin quilt with gray prints, and am looking for something to use as a border, but noone seems to have fabric I can see firsthand. Thanks so much, simply for reading this.

  2. smilingwoman says:

    I have been trying to match a yellow fabric used in a child’s dress worn by my mother circa 1929. The original dress is aged and stained, and has been worn for photographs of my mother, myself and my niece. I want to recreate it for my granddaughter to wear in a portrait in September on the occasion of her second birthday. Kona seems to have the best selection of yellows. I have been trying to get the right color… have bought 3 separate yards of yellow and not matched it yet! Looked for the Kona sample card to purchase, but not finding it. Would love to win this sample card! And am enjoying your website!