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Thread: Charity Quilt Fabric

  1. #1
    Senior Member roxie623's Avatar
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    Tell me when you make charity quilts what fabric do you use? Is it fabric that you yourself would like in a quilt, is it a lower quality fabric that you got just for charity quilts, or is it fabric that you had and just didn't care for it after you purchased it? Also what type of pattern do you use? Something that works up quickly or one that may take a few days to work on? Thanks and I look forward to hearing everyones thoughts on this.

  2. #2
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    I try to use something in my stash...some is better quality than others, but it is all quality that I would use for a personal quilt too.

  3. #3
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxie623
    Tell me when you make charity quilts what fabric do you use? Is it fabric that you yourself would like in a quilt, is it a lower quality fabric that you got just for charity quilts, or is it fabric that you had and just didn't care for it after you purchased it? Also what type of pattern do you use? Something that works up quickly or one that may take a few days to work on? Thanks and I look forward to hearing everyones thoughts on this.
    Hiya Roxie I am the North Wales, UK, Coordinator for Project Linus, and personally I just love using quilting cottons but I also recommend quality Poly-cotton, easily obtainable from Charity/Thrift shops as it is designed to be laundered and all charity quilts get more laundering that our normal quilts. All I would say is to remember that, they will be laundered more therefore one of the things I ask, or do if it hasn't been done, is to machine stitch the bindings as they get so much wear.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    People who need charity like and deserve nice things!

  5. #5
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Our guild made over 100 large size community quilts plus three dozen crib quilts and two dozen incubator quilts this past year. They were all from our guild's stash (all donated) which includes a wild assortment of fabric from the last fifty years. Most of our quilts are scrap quilts because most of our fabric is smaller pieces. We try to sort our fabric so that the poly/cottons are all together to be used in quilts that will be washed frequently. Much of the fabric is leftovers from member quilts or fabric that they are no longer in love with. I have seen some incredibly beautiful quilts come from these bins of fabric. At the worst, they are interesting or charming. Having the "best" fabric does not necessarily mean stitching the best quilt.

  6. #6
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    I only use the quality of fabrics that I would use for myself or for my family. If I don't like a fabric, I will not use it in a quilt to be given away to a stranger or an organization. To me, it's simply a question of respect for others and for our craft.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    For charity quilts, I would only use fabrics that I would be happy with for a quilt of my own...it's just part of the "do unto others" thing as far as I'm concerned.

  8. #8
    Super Member TacoMama's Avatar
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    I would not use a fabric for someone that I would not use for myself. In fact, I often use better as it is going for someone in need and they are often downhearted and feel bad enough as it is. Try and lift their spirits.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I try to use from my stash too, which is things I would use for family and friends. I do try to always buy on-sale fabric and my goal is to keep it around $2.00-2.50 a yard on sales. I also buy batting by the roll from an outlet here in town (it is about $1.25 a yard if you buy a whole roll of 80 yds.)It is good batting and washes well. I try to sew a tight sew, and put enough quilting into it that it will take being drug around by a little kid, tossed in the washing machine, and still stay together.

  10. #10
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I snap up sale fabric usually at Joanns. It is usually 100% cotton and age appropiate for my Linus quilts. I also like to use cotton flannel on the backs. I usually make my Linus quilts out of one pieces of a children's print on the front and a plain flannel back. I make them pillowcase style by sewing the three layers together and then turning them. I use decorative stitches and usually some kind of varigated thread to quilt them simply about 4 inches apart crossways and then about 1/2 around the outside edges to make a self binding. This method allows me to produce about 20 a month. Our county chapter of Linus averages about 600 donations of quilts a month.

  11. #11
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    Is it not a bit odd that one would presume that just because you don't like a fabric now (you did once, or you wouldn't have it, would you) that you don't make it into a quilt to give away. There are so many different ideas of what is attractive, and we all change our perspective over the years. Don't worry about using your less liked fabrics for others... you can't know what they'll like.

    Also, be aware, many people who are in need of warm blankets are thrilled by the time and love put into a quilt... they can't see beyond the gift of it to the "artistic/sewing quality" of it.

    And what do you do with fabric you don't expect to use if you won't give it away.... ???

  12. #12
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    I use fabric from my stash and buy fabric to match as necessary. Yes, the recipients enjoy a beautiful product and quality workmanship too!

  13. #13
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i make charity quilts with the same fabrics i make family member quilts, my own quilts, and show quilts- i would never think of using a lesser quality because i was giving it away- i want it to hold up and be beautiful regardless of who the recipient is.

  14. #14
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    Now to answer the question..... errr sorry if I sounded too strong before...

    For children I like to use fleece as a back/batting (just one piece) with a fun fabric quilted onto the front. I don't put batting into it because I've been told, more than once, that fleece is enough warmth. And the feel of it is totally soft and "loving".

    For adults I use leftovers, usually done in a simple pattern of squares or rectangles, but with a lot of "trial" placements to give a good design, and put together in a traditional sandwich.

    For street people, that's where ugly (but warm) can be best.

  15. #15
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I make quilts for Riley Children's Hospital and need to make them so they will stand up to the rigors of hot water (to sanitize) and harsh hospital detergents. I rarely buy fabrics just to make a charity quilt as my budget won't allow for that, but will "shop" from my stash. Those fabrics may come from Walmart, JoAnn's or LQS and most of them will be leftovers from a previous project. I always try to get the most bang for my buck when buying fabric and you can get great buys everywhere.

  16. #16
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    I use the same quality fabrics that I would use to make a quilt for anyone else.

  17. #17
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    Was at our LQS day of charity quilt production and there were two beautiful batik quilts and a dozen cotton quilts of varying sizes and patterns. All were good quality fabric even though some of it was obviously from an older stash. The colors are sometimes the giveaway but they are always nicely coordinated.

  18. #18
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    I think that we all use the fabric we can afford, and that's all anyone can ask of us.

    I do have one fabric that I loved when I saw it online, so bought several yards. When it arrived, I took one look at it and said to my husband, "These are supposed to be Christmas sky stars - they look like bulletholes in car windshield glass at night!" He agreed!

    Whatever will I do with that? Should have sent it back, but didn't. Luckily, it was on sale. One of these days, I will find something to do with it.

  19. #19
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    I use the same quality I do for all my quilts. I recently purchased some panels for quick charity quilts. I can't believe how many requests come in! I wish I had time to make more....

  20. #20
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    I would use anything that is avalible to me, that being said I use the same for myself and family. I am currently crocheting plastic sacks together for goodness sakes, so that shows you how un-picky I am lol.(In case you wonder they make wonderful mud rugs,mats to sit on outside , reusable grocery totes etc, they last a long,long time.)

    I have steared away from many,many charities because they require certian " quality materials" Some do not have the luxury of an abundance of high quality fabric, and some of the posts I have seen before on this subject makes some feel inadequate to give from the heart....Remember it is what is in the heart that counts ....

  21. #21
    Senior Member roxie623's Avatar
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    I want to thank each of you for your responses. I believe that any of us that make charity quilts do it from the heart with whatever we can afford or choose to use. My reason for asking my question was for the same reasons that some of you stated. There are some organizations that have returned quilts due to them not being "good enough". I have also had members of a chapter that I belonged too say why should we use good fabric their just for charity. I guess I will just continue to make my chairty quilts and know that whoever receives them will appreciate them no matter what the fabric I use. :)

  22. #22
    Senior Member roxie623's Avatar
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    raedar 63, I have made plenty of plastic bag rugs. I also press them together and cut and sew them just like fabric.

  23. #23
    Senior Member roxie623's Avatar
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    Sierra, I love to use fleece for my quilts for the little ones.

  24. #24
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I haven't made a charity quilt myself, but would like to. I'm thinking kids with cancer and doing my original quilt design, the "Shuriken". Shuriken kind of has a backstory---the first block I made for it was donated to be put in a quilt for someone that had a rare form of bone cancer. Right now I'm making the first full sized quilt that was originally intended for a friend of the family who had throat cancer, but he lost his battle in February so now its going to be a Christmas present for his family. So I think eventually I'll make a few charity quilts with that design.

    With that being said, if I'm going to put that much thought into planning out a design for a charity quilt and give it some meaning then I'm going to put in a little thought into what kind of fabric I'm going to use. Not saying I'm going to go buy the most expensive fabric I can find, but I'm certainly not going to go get the cheapest piece of **** fabric I can find either. Its one thing to buy what you can afford and its another to purposely buy an inferior product. If your own mother was in the hospital would you send flowers that were wilted and brown? Heck no. Why should it be any different with making a charity quilt? You're not giving a quilt to an organization. You're giving a quilt to a wounded soldier who served two tours in Iraq, a little girl who lost all her hair to chemo, or the homeless man who recieves his only meals from a soup kitchen. They're already down on their luck. I don't want to kick them when they're down by making a quilt that says "Yeah, I created this quilt for charity, but didn't really give a crap how it turned out. So therefore I don't really give a crap about what you're going through". I want to create something that says "Hey, I don't know you, but I know you're going through a rough time. Here's something from the heart for comfort". So I would use the best fabric I could afford. I may or may not use a pattern that can be whipped up in a few hours, but I'd lean towards something that might take a little bit to do if it meant creating a quilt that was extra special.

    Sorry for rambling and maybe sounding a bit preachy. Seems to happen on a night like this where its real late and I can't sleep.

  25. #25
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    I know that this is steering us a little off-topic, but just curious:
    Have you ever tried using old cassette or VHS tapes for crocheting mats? .... I have so many that I don't use any more but don't know how to dispose of them - I hesitate to add more to our landfill..... Do you think the tape has any chemicals that would break down and be hazardous if used for play mats for kids to use outside on damp grass? .... PM me if you prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by raedar63
    I would use anything that is avalible to me, that being said I use the same for myself and family. I am currently crocheting plastic sacks together for goodness sakes, so that shows you how un-picky I am lol.(In case you wonder they make wonderful mud rugs,mats to sit on outside , reusable grocery totes etc, they last a long,long time.)

    I have steared away from many,many charities because they require certian " quality materials" Some do not have the luxury of an abundance of high quality fabric, and some of the posts I have seen before on this subject makes some feel inadequate to give from the heart....Remember it is what is in the heart that counts ....

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