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Thread: Can I mix fabrics?

  1. #1
    Junior Member dsch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Question Can I mix fabrics?

    Is it ok to mix fabrics (flannel & regular cotton, batiks & cotton, wool & cotton,flannel & t-shirt fabric) or does the thicknesses of the fabrics interfere with overall looks or ability to quilt?
    I don't want to mix fabrics if I will have trouble quilting the finished top or if it detracts from the overall looks of the quilt.
    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Lake Stevens, WA
    First rule, pre-wash everything the way the quilt may be washed, so there are no wrinkled seams from uneven shrinkage. Yes, different thicknesses will interfere with the quilting, and also with the ability of the quilt to withstand the wear of being used. Wool, for example, is usually less washable and more prone to fraying than cotton. Cotton blends and synthetic fabrics are also more likely to fray. T-shirt fabric works better with a very light-weight iron-on interfacing to stabilize it; then it should work okay with flannel or cotton. Batiks ARE cotton, and I've seen quilts with both quilter's prints and batiks mixed.
    My suggestion is Keep It Simple to Start -- use good quality cottons only first. Then try a small project ( like a pillow top?) mixing two fabric types, quilting it, washing it, using it, and see if you are happy with you results.
    Retired math teacher --

  3. #3
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Houston, TX
    I agree with quilting cat. You can mix a lot of things but it is usually better if you have a bit of experience with fabrics before you stray too far out of the quilting cottons only. And, yes, batiks are cottons. I use batik with regular print quilting cottons all the time. Batiks usually have a somewhat different hand the print or solid quilting cottons but will mix with them easily.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Great suggestions. Yes, I have mixed fabrics, and all the suggestions above are good. I don't like mixing poly-cotton into a quilt, though, because the quilting appears different on it.

    Having said that, I have used poly cotton sheets for backing and had no problems whatsoever.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  5. #5
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    I've never tested mixing up fabric types in my quilt tops. I have used different backing fabrics than the quilt top and all went well. Quilt top, though, no....Makes me nervous. Other quilters who have guided me in my journey have advised against it unless pre-washed.
    Quilting therapy for the therapist...
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  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Outside St. Louis
    I never mix fabrics. Some fabrics don't fade as evenly as others.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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