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Thread: Need Help with Polyester....

  1. #1
    Junior Member MsMel's Avatar
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    I found a 3 inch stack of hawaiian print polyester quilting squares at the goodwill this morning for $4.00. I have never sewn with polyester before, so is there anything I need to know about it? I am wanting to make picnic blankets out of them for my daughters, but am not sure if they should be quilted, tied, or what type of backing to use.....Help!!!!!

    My find :)
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  2. #2
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    ohhhh nice grab! i think maybe the ends would curl, like t-shirts do? so you may have to either pin it like crazy or use a light weight fusable stablizer.
    you could always do a trial run on some other polyester you got from he second hand shop..just 1 piece cut up and re-sewed.

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    you can certainly piece them for picnic quilts- the quilting part is dependant on your batting choice- has nothing to do with your pieced top-choose a poly batt (like dream poly) that lets you quilt up to 10" apart.
    you can use anything you want for the back- more polyester- or cotton- either is fine- the difference is---cotton shrinks a little bit- polyester does not-
    poly holds up like steel- washes and drys well- is good for utility quilts (ones that are abused--dragged around)
    some people do not like using poly because it does not soften up like cotton does- it pretty much stays like it is---good for kids quilts- quilts that will take a beating-
    the edges may fray a bit more than cotton (some times does- other times does not) if you have ones you find do fray- just use a little larger seam allowance.
    have fun with them.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Cute fabric!!!

    There's not a whole lot of difference between cotton and polyester. There's no point in pre-washing polyester (not that you'd want to, with the squares already cut) as it doesn't fade or shrink.

    It is more slippery to work with than cotton, so can be a little harder to match seams. I would probably spray starch before sewing, in hopes of adding more stability to the fabric.

    Polyester frays more easily than cotton, so you might want to consider using a 3/8" seam or a full 1/4" seam rather than the more common scant 1/4" seam. If you are just going to piece the squares together, that won't create a problem.

    You can use any kind of backing you want; it doesn't have to be polyester. You would probably want to pre-wash the backing if it is cotton, though, to make sure it won't shrink more than the top. Just be aware that cotton fades over time; polyester does not.

    You can quilt or tie; your choice.

  5. #5
    Junior Member MsMel's Avatar
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    Thank you :)....I am really excited about this my girls have been wanting picnic quilts forever, then I got home and went "Uh-oh, I have no idea how to go about this whole polyester thing"...but I knew I could count on answers from my quilting board friends :)...Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Those will make a pretty picnic quilt. I agree with Prism about the fraying. If you have a serger, you might want to consider sewing them together with that. Or if you're just sewing the squares together, quilting it with a zig zag or fancy stitch down the seamlines would probably help keep the fraying in check. The polyester quilt top I made frayed like crazy.

  7. #7
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    I would probably use a poly backing and a poly batting to keep it all in the same fibre group. It will be easier to wash, probably less staining and hold up to hard use.
    You will need to sew carefuly and do lots of pinning as it is slippery fabric. You should be able to straight line quilt it either in the ditch or 1/4" outside the seams. Just go slow and carefully and you should have no difficulty..........and keep the hot iron away from it.
    A poly/cotton blend might be good for the backing.
    If it is a large quilt I might consider looking in the drapery section of the store for the backing.

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Fabric content doesn't matter nearly as much as fabric type. Is it woven or some kind of knit? Polyester can be used in any type of fabric from fake satin to t-shirt knits to a woven fabric like quilt cotton.

  9. #9
    Junior Member MsMel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Fabric content doesn't matter nearly as much as fabric type. Is it woven or some kind of knit? Polyester can be used in any type of fabric from fake satin to t-shirt knits to a woven fabric like quilt cotton.
    It is woven....I opened a corner of the package to feel it and it feels like a hawaiian silky shirt....I am concerned with fraying it appears that it is going to fray easily, by the way the fabric edges look....Thanks for your input :)

  10. #10
    Junior Member MsMel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun
    Those will make a pretty picnic quilt. I agree with Prism about the fraying. If you have a serger, you might want to consider sewing them together with that. Or if you're just sewing the squares together, quilting it with a zig zag or fancy stitch down the seamlines would probably help keep the fraying in check. The polyester quilt top I made frayed like crazy.
    I don't have a serger, but will definately find a good sturdy stitch to use to put them together....Thank you :)

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