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Thread: Sewing a felted wool quilt from old sweaters

  1. #1
    Roseann's Avatar
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    I saw a felted wool quilt made from old wool sweaters in a magazine. I bought a bunch of wool sweaters at Goodwill and Salvation Army stores and felted all of them. Now I could use some assistance with how to join the blocks together and what should be used as a backing. I'd love to hear from those who have tried this. :D

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I can't provide advice on this, never having done it, but I sure would like to see your blocks or a photo of your quilt when it's finished.

    One thing I have read about wool quilts is that weight can become a problem, especially if it's a large quilt. You probably want to use no batting at all and just regular cotton fabric for the backing so the quilt doesn't become too heavy.

    As for connecting the blocks, my guess would be normal seaming but perhaps you would want to pound the seams open to keep them as flat as possible.

    I'm thinking another possibility would be to use a decorative machine stitch to sew blocks together, just butting the edges; however, I think that would work best if you had the backing on and sewed through the backing as well. The backing fabric would act as reinforcement for the seams so they wouldn't pull apart with use.

    Or, you could overlap blocks and use a decorative stitch through both layers. In that case, you could attach the backing separately.

    All guesses on my part......

  3. #3
    Super Member alaskasunshine's Avatar
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    Oh goodness I would have sewn it together first then felted it due to bulk!

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Alaskasunshine, if you sew them first, and then wash, won't some of the sweater material shrink differently, and more than the thread? I don't know much about felting, but you have me curious on this method...

    I think I would be tempted to join the fabrics with a more dense decorative stitch, too. I too, would think that the seams would be pretty bulky.

  5. #5
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    I have not tried this but when reading your message I thought 'how about making a rag edge style quilt', where the edges are exposed eliminating the need for backing and decreasing the weight. Because it is felted ravelling would be no problem. I would make a sofa or lap size. Hope it turns out great!!!!!

  6. #6
    Roseann's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Think I'll try out the various suggestions on scraps and see how they work out. I plan to get started this weekend. Sounds like weight is going to be an issue so I'll have to check it out as I add pieces.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    The patchwork pieces I have seen (in person) made from felted sweaters have mostly been blankets and throws, made with no batting, no backing, no binding and no quilting. They are beautiful, soft, and warm. The patches are butted up against each other, not overlapped, and zig-zagged together. The back and the front are identical. Sometime crewel wool is used to embroider the seams, much like a crazy quilt. If you Google felted sweater quilts you will find some photos and some ideas. Felted wool and felted sweaters are not the same, so keep that in mind when reading about any projects you find. :)

  8. #8
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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  9. #9

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    I have bought clothing at Goodwill and felted it....and pieces do come out differently. Some shrink to a very small size and others not so much shrinkage. Shrink it first, is what I did. I made a tote bag with these. I cut my pieces, butted them together....don't overlap....and on the tote, I used embroidery thread and did a blanket/buttonhole stitch around each patch of wool. On the tote, I placed all my patches on a backing of muslin, and did the embroidery. This might give you an idea of how you could adjust for making your blanket/quilt.

    Sewlady

  10. #10
    Senior Member gmcsewer's Avatar
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    sorry I found this so late. I do a lot of wool felting and have made coats and vests and wallhangings. To join the pieces together I use a zigzag three or 5 stitch used for darning or in sewing elastic together and I use clear filament thread. After they are joined, I use a strip of double knit polyester (which will not ravel) laying it over the joined seam and then zigzaging with matching thread at about a 2.5 or 3 width and 2 length. If you are going around a curve, sew the inside piece first and the outside will stretch to fit. I have found some velour knits that will work also. You could use double knit wool jersey also.

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