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Thread: Favorite fabric brand for applique backgrounds?

  1. #1
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Question Favorite fabric brand for applique backgrounds?

    I want to make a show quality applique quilt (invisible machine applique with freezer paper), and I'm nervous about the background fabric. Are there some brands of fabric that are better than others for applique backgrounds? I'm noticing that a lot of the solid colors in good brands (Kaufman Kona, Michael Miller) all seem to be broadcloth. I definitely do not want to use a broadcloth!

  2. #2
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    any quilting cottons work well for backgrounds- some people have made fabulous-beautiful appliqued quilts with muslin back grounds. cotton sateen is nice-
    why the disdane for broadcloth? i've used some very nice cotton broadclothes and do not know any reason to not use it....although it is heavier than some of the other cotton fabrics used for quilting on a regular basis...i know the poly blend broadclothes may not be as nice---but cotton broadcloth is a very nice fabric.
    there are beautiful appliqued quilts with backgrounds that are prints, marbles, batiks...you can use anything you want- it's the applique that will make the quilt.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
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    I like to use a white on white or ecru with a pattern. If the colors are bright, the white on white looks very nice. Am anxious to see your quilt.
    Sue

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Why are you focusing on only solids for backgrounds? You're limiting yourself by doing so. I've seen many appliqued quilts done with a print or marbled background fabric.

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    My concern about broadcloth is that invisible machine applique may not be sufficiently invisible on it because of its weave. I will be using a fine needle, and I just think broadcloth is going to be too coarse for this project.

    Mottled fabrics are not out of the question. Most of the applique fabrics will be batiks, so I want to keep the background very subdued in order to highlight the applique fabrics. That's why I do not want to rule out solids. It's just that, with the exception of muslin, all of the solid color fabrics I am finding are broadcloth.

    I might end up looking for a very subdued light-colored batik, but it is almost impossible to find a good selection of these in quilt stores, and buying online without a swatch first is risky -- especially since I will need something like 7 yards.

  6. #6
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    Moda has a line called "Moda Marbles" and that might work for the background. Most quilt stores carry them and they come in many different colors from lights to almost black.

    mltquilt

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I am thinking a fabric with a very subdued marbling/texture would show off your batiks nicely and also they tend to hide the tiny applique stitches better than a solid fabric would.
    It is difficult to find these in a very light color, I am on the look out for them all of the time too. I know I am not the only one who finds that they sell out very quickly
    “The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” Sam Levenson

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    kona cotton solids are nice fabrics- and you can get them in different weights- from (calico's) on up to broadcloth & canvas.
    check out on line shops that have swatch offerings---fabric.com will send you swatches of fabrics before you commit to yardage- they have a good selection of solids.
    why do you not want to use a muslin? there are some very good quality-beautiful muslins that many fabulous- award winning quilts have been made from.
    a white on white- cream on white fabric may be a good choice with batik's- they would add some movement-texture without distracting from the appliques.
    there are so many choices-
    it never hurts to ask (even on line shops) about swatches- some shops will happily send you a swatch- but they may not advertise that---never hurts to ask....but i know fabric.com does---
    i hope you find just the perfect background...and show us what you are doing soon
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
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    Kona also has cotton. It is good quality and has lots of colors.
    Judy

  10. #10
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    Slightly marbled backgrounds have an advantage over plain backgrounds in my opinion. If your fabrics ever bleed a little they are much less noticeable on a marbled background. I know, I know properly prepared batiks shouldn't bleed but it happens. Can't wait to see your applique, I love batiks and the tight weave resists fraying well.

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