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Thread: Can I use a poly/cotton ( Joann's Symphony) blend in a quilt?

  1. #1
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    Can I use a poly/cotton ( Joann's Symphony) blend in a quilt?

    I went to Joanns today and got a lot of fabric. But the green fabric I got was their symphony broadcloth fabric, Poly/Cotton 65%/35% blend. The darn stuff was in with all the Kona fabrics. I threw it into the cart and now I have 4 yards of it. I've prewashed and shrunk it. It goes well with the batik I purchased for his quilt. It's not as nice as the cotton but is there any reason I shouldn't use it? I'll put a nice cotton on the back so the throw quilt feels good to the skin.

    What are the disadvantages to using this blend?
    Have you used this symphony fabric before?
    Thanks MJ
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-26-2017 at 12:25 PM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    The disadvantage to mixing poly blends with cotton is their different fading properties. Poly will not fade, whereas cottons do. This is not noticeable at first but, over the years, with exposure to light and washings, the disparity can become very noticeable. All cotton fabrics fade. Vintage quilts have that soft look to them because all of the fabrics faded together.

    The fading issue is not a problem when you use all cotton fabrics in a quilt, or all polyester fabrics in a quilt. The problem is only when you mix the two, and even then the issue only arises over time.

  3. #3
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    I mix the 2 and don't have no problem with it.

  4. #4
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    the "uneven fading issue" can also happen when using all cotton fabrics.

    i have a quilt made with tans and dark blues - one if the blues is now a dirty tan.

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    ITA with Prism99



    Another consideration .... poly/cottons may pill whereas cottons will not.


    Yet another thought re the use of your poly/cotton ... you might consider it for your backing.

    When I made my 1st QIAD, we were directed to poly/cotton for the backing fabric.
    The reason being that it would "slide" better when using it as a bedspread or topper,
    whereas the cotton would "stick" more and be harder to shift around.

    And just as Prism99 mentioned ... the backing stayed true to colour, and top faded dreadfully.
    I don't think I would have noticed the fade near as much,
    if the direct comparison were not there staring at me in the face!

    But it did slide nicely, and made for easy bed-making!
    Last edited by QuiltE; 12-26-2017 at 12:54 PM.
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  6. #6
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Just make sure you don't use the hot cotton setting on your iron or you may "melt" the poly/cotton.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    The fading differential doesn't matter as much if it is a quick quilt intended for use and abuse, and/or a quilt that is not meant to become an heirloom.

    Do you have a sunny window? What you can do is place a square of each fabric in the window and leave them there for a week or two. There are fading requirements on cotton fabrics, but the requirements are shockingly low. It's been years since I researched this, but it seems to me that cotton fabrics typically will show fading within 70 hours of exposure to sunlight. If you can leave your fabric samples in the sunny window, you can periodically check their fading by placing them on your unexposed yardage periodically. That will give them an idea of the fading differential between your green and the other fabrics, and help you decide if it is worth using the green fabric or not.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I would use either all cotton or all poly/cotton. Poly cotton wears like iron, cotton not so much.
    Another Phyllis
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    A poly cotton blend will not hold a nice press either. It also has more "stretch" than an all cotton so be careful if you are sewing pieces on the bias, like HST's.
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    Senior Member AVFD215's Avatar
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    If the colors work, why not.
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  11. #11
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    I personally do not like to mix fibers in a quilt. The poly-cotton just doesn't act like cotton and it doesn't wear the same. I think it is obvious.

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    I made a Trip Around the World quilt many years ago that had one poly blend in it. It hasn't faded and only I know which one it is. When I was piecing it, I noticed that it didn't cling to the other cottons. It slipped a lot. I would definitely pin when pie.

  13. #13
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting I used a cotton/poly blend solid because the color was perfect. I didn't enjoy working with it due to the blend not holding a good crease when pressing and in the process of trying to do so I did end up kind of scorching the blend, only it didn't scorch but got a "glaze" in that it turned very shiny on the seam line and that never went away. I suspect I had just barely started melting the poly. The glaze wasn't really that noticeable once the piece was completed but I decided the frustration and lack of cooperation from the fabric was not worth it so I will not use blends again.
    I want my quilting to be an enjoyable experience so I won't waste my time working with fabrics that don't behave the way I want them to, thereby making the experience less pleasurable. JMHO.

  14. #14
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I don't know Joann's policy on returns but I would try to return it if it was in the wrong spot. I don't like to mix fabrics either.

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    I have a 50 year old postcard quilt from my grandmother and you can easily tell the blends she used from the cottons. It's the blend that's shredding and disappearing. Believe it or not! But if you don't care what will happen to it in 50 years, why not?
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    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Don't try to spray baster a poly-cotton mix. At least for me, it was a disaster.

    Watson

  17. #17
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    Symphony is the thinnest of the Joann's solids. But, you can use whatever fabric you want in any quilt! The only time it is important is if you are entering the quilt in a show. Think back to all the wonderful quilts of yesterday - crazy quilts made up of whatever was available at the time. And, they are gorgeous!. The only concerns I might have would be the various degrees of shrinking with cottons vs. cotton/poly. But, if you prewash everything, that should not be a problem.

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    You can return any fabric to Joanns if you have not 'altered' it by cutting, washing, etc. If you don't have your receipt, it is more difficult and you will only get 50% or 60% of the regular cost because they run so many ads & coupons. With the receipt there is no problem. Take it to the cut counter FIRST to have it remeasured and your receipt marked and then go to the cashier. You can still return fabric if you have altered it if you discover a flaw and other damage, but, they will probably only exchange it for the same fabric. We spend half our days trying to put fabric back in the correct places, but when a customer finds something they prefer, they will often stick the old one in it's place. Please, ALWAYS look at the end of the bolt to assure you have the right one.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterpurpledog View Post
    I personally do not like to mix fibers in a quilt. The poly-cotton just doesn't act like cotton and it doesn't wear the same. I think it is obvious.
    I agree about mixing fibers in a quilt. The cotton and poly or poly blend have different properties and they do not mix well. I learned the hard way when I quilted a top on my frame for a friend. The cotton laid down very nicely while the poly would not lay flat. I ended up quilting the heck out of the poly fabric so it would lay flat.

  20. #20
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    Ok I'm going to try to return this fabric. Thanks klswift for the information

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    Oh, my gosh, I probably shouldn't be responding to this because I have a serious hate-on for Symphony broadcloth, which I, too, bought from Joann's. I bought it for backing of a small quilt. Oh, it was AWFUL! It was so stiff, did not want to glide through my machine or across my sewing machine table. I finally put it away, the quillting barely begun.A few months later, I took it out, removed the backing-threw THAT away- and started over with a nice cotton backing. My advice? Donate it or make dog beds out of it.

  22. #22
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    Thank you mountainwoman, this is the kind of feedback I need. I don't like to run into massive frustration when I quilt. I have to rip seams out enough as it is.

  23. #23
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    I mix fibers in quilts all the time. I have used poly/cotton w/ cottong w/o any issues, but I do not make "heirloom" or "show" quilts. I have also rejected poly cotton blends, try pressing it w/ the iron setting you plan use, even though you "pre shrunk" it, it still could shrink when the iron touches it. I only use poly cotton that can "take" an iron.
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    I've gotten some in the same way (didn't realize it was a blend) and used it anyway. It handled fine. The only challenge is that it can't handle the heat from the iron as hot as cotton.

  25. #25
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    Several of the quilts I made for my babies 35+ contained Symphony. Even after all that time they look fine. They were used alot and some are now being used on the GKs.

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