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Thread: Mixing fabrics - newbie question

  1. #1

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    Aug 2008
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    I am going to be starting an I Spy quilt soon, and I just ordered some squares from ebay. I am supplimenting them with some other cute novelty fabric I've found. At the same time, I am cutting up some of my daughters' baby clothes to make quilts for them. I want to use some of the baby clothes squares (because I'll have tons by the time I am done) in the I Spy quilt.

    My question is, would it be a bad idea to use the baby clothes fabrics? Some PJ's in particular must be some kind of cotton/spandex blend because they are stretchy (tag is gone so I don't know for sure), but the squares I got from ebay are just regular cotton fabric. Will I run into trouble? Anything I can do to make it work, or should I just not use any that are a much different fabric?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    You could try a light weight iron-on interfacing to the PJ's fabric that is stretchy. It would be so special to include that as a memory for both of you. We don't have the quilt police and in general, if you like it, then consider it fine! The stretchy knit may stretch too much without the interfacing to give it body.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the quick reply. I am actually not as concerned with how it will look as it falling apart or being really difficult to work with because the fabrics aren't the same.

    That brings me to another question though. Someone had suggested earlier that I use interfacing on the back of the quilts for my girls and I've never used it. Is that something that I'd put on each peice and then sew it together, or would I use it across the entire back when I am done?

    Thanks again for helping me out! It seems like the more questions I have answered, the more I come up with!


  4. #4
    luvmy2bts's Avatar
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    You would only need to use the iron on interfacing on the backs of the squares that are stretchy. I would cut your squares then iron on the interfacing. I would cut the interfacing slightly smaller than the squares by say 1/8th of an inch since you don't want to end up with iron on interfacing on your ironing surface. The cotton fabrics won't need it. Then just piece it together the way you would any quilt. Hope this helps.

    Debbie

  5. #5
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Another way would be to iron on interfacing to a larger piece and cut your squares out of that. Kind of a lazy way, but it works!
    i like your lazy way - that's how I do it with steam a seam - I put everything on there at once and then cut them out from there!

  6. #6

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    Thanks you for the replies! That helps a lot!

  7. #7
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    I don't have any advice, but I wanted to say I'm glad you asked this question. I'm making a quilt for my daughter, and the whole reason I started was because I wanted to be able to use some of her baby clothes to make it. I'd wondered the same thing about mixing the stretchy cotton knits from her clothes with the plainer woven fabrics that I see in the shops.

    Please let me know how the interfacing thing works out. I'll know in about three weeks exactly how much baby clothing I can use (that's when I find out whether I'll be having another girl to use hand-me-downs), so until then I'm piecing with fabric I've bought.

  8. #8
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    I think the idea of stabilizing the knit/stretchy fabrics BEFORE cutting them is the better idea.

    Then when you cut the pieces they will stay the same size while you work with them.

    You might want to stay with approximately the same fabric weights, though. For example, I don't think I would use a heavy denim with a lightweight nylon sheer.

    If this is to be a quilt to be "loved" and used, then why not use familiar fabrics?

  9. #9
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    I made a quilt a few years ago for my son and beloved DIL. She asked me to put some of their 2sons' outgrown Tshirts on the back. I cut the backs off the shirts and fused them to cotton. Then I proceeded as you would with any quilt. When they received the quilt they were blown away -couldn't decide which was the 'right' side. Yeah, I know you want pictures. I have them ---somewhere....

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