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Thread: Crazy Quilt fabric stabilizing question

  1. #1
    2wheelwoman's Avatar
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    I've been collecting an assortment of fabrics to make my first crazy quilt. From what I've been told, I need to iron stabilizer onto the backs of the flimsy/slick/etc fabrics....then sew them onto my muslin base. I ironed a few onto what was supposed to be light stabilizer that I bought on the web, just for a trail. The piece of fabric sort of turned into a piece of cardboard, and by the time I folded (or attempted to fold) the raw edge under or layered on another piece of fabric, I hated the result.

    I'm beginning to think I got some bad advice (even though it matches what I've read on Crazy Quilting sites and books). Or, perhaps I bought totally wrong stabilizer. Or, I'm flat out doing it wrong. Is there a better way to work with satins and such, or do they require this kind of stabilization? Would using basting spray or something like that work? Any hints would be welcome - because this is driving me CRAZY!


  2. #2
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I would avoid sheer material but I used gold lame' in mine without stabilizer. Sewing it onto the muslin was enough for mine.

  3. #3
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    I have not done a crazy quilt, so I am just guessing here. But I think you could probably use a light weight iron on interfacing. It doesnt get cardboard stiff like some stabilizers do.

  4. #4
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    The iron on stabilizers I've seen, have to be ironed on with a hot iron, which is most likely too hot for the fabric. Maybe do a double layer of the same fabric instead of the stabilizer. That's my opinion. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    The way I do it is a medium weight stabilizer with no muslin. If I'm using decorative machine stitchng after assembly, I use a tearaway behind that. Also, some stabilizers do soften up once washed.

  6. #6
    2wheelwoman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses! I have a couple follow-up questions. The reason given for using stabilizer was that "slickery" fabrics need to be anchored in order to work with them. Is this really not the case? (I'm new to sewing anything but cotton.)

    Mary, did the lame present any problems with shifting while sewing?

    Moonpi, I'm having trouble visualizing this. Did you sew onto any kind of overall "backing" fabric, or just sew or iron individual pieces to stabilizer and the stabilizer acted as the backing?

    Pocoellie, yep - been there, did that, luckily on a small piece that darn near looked like seersucker when I lifted the iron. Wouldn't a double layer of slick fabric be twice as slippery?

    Sorry to be so obtuse on this, I just don't know how to get started on this project. Anyone have some "idiot proof" instructions, or is this just one of those "go for it" projects? I guess I'm scared to waste some of my nice scraps by starting off wrong.

  7. #7

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    The stuff you really need is called interfacing. Stabilizer mainly is used in embroidery machines. Interfacing like stabilizer comes in various weights. You should look for a "mid to light weight" interfacing. Not the kind for cuffs-collars - it will be much to stiff. You can sort of tell if it's the right stuff because it will glide over your hands and doesn't have much body to it. More of a drape.

    Now... If you want to "deal" and get through the stuff you bought you can go ahead and use it, sew it in like you were planning to and then once the quilt top is done you can "tear-away" the stabilizer that way the fabrics in your quilt wont be "stiff" forever. I made the exact mistake you're talking about in the baby clothes quilt in my avatar, but I'd already spent so much money in stabilizers and interfacings that I just dealt with the blocks that made with the wrong stuff.

  8. #8

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    Oh and if you were using a double layer of the fabrics you could spray them together using a spray adhesive also known as basting spray. This will give them body and keep them together. It will also provide better "wear" because of the added thickness.

  9. #9
    Power Poster
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    Is this a project to just "look at" and/or be decorative, or is it a project that will be used as a quilt - as in get washed every so often?

    I think that will also help you decide how to deal with the fabrics.

  10. #10
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    Whenever I'm working with slippery, slinky, stretchy etc., fabric I hand baste every seam. I don't think working with 2 pieces of the fabric would be twice as slippery though, at least it hasn't been when I've done it.

  11. #11
    2wheelwoman's Avatar
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    This is intended to be a wall hanging, and probably never washed (just vacuumed), since it hopefully will have lots of embellishment and charms and such on it.

  12. #12
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    Here are some pictures that will hopefully help. Because it is sewn onto the muslin and the stitching around the edge holds everything in place as you embellish it. Then with all of the embellishing it won't go anywhere.
    Attached Images Attached Images



  13. #13
    2wheelwoman's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mary. I hadn't realized the step of sewing around the edges of the block. That would definitely help. I'm going to go ahead and just hold my breath and START and see how it goes. I hope my blocks look as nice as yours!

  14. #14
    Junior Member salisaquilter's Avatar
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    I have made many crazy quilts. and to agree, the embellishment holds the lighter wgt fabs in place.
    Do use a base like muslin and sew and flip.... do in the beginning smaller blocks. 6"- 9"....
    When you embroider the pcs you will see how well they will hold down.
    Good luck and keep trying. All of a sudden you will get the hang of it.
    sal


    silks, velvets and lace
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    ribbons, buttons, embroidery
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    Used 8" blocks and muslin base
    Name:  Attachment-21269.jpe
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Size:  82.5 KB

  15. #15
    2wheelwoman's Avatar
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    Wow, your quilts are gorgeous! Hey, I know, instead of me laboring to get the hang of this - you can just send me one of your lovely quilts. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Thanks so much for the advice. I'm definitely going to ask the Wizard of Oz for some Courage and just try a block or two.


  16. #16
    Junior Member salisaquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelwoman
    Wow, your quilts are gorgeous! Hey, I know, instead of me laboring to get the hang of this - you can just send me one of your lovely quilts. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Thanks so much for the advice. I'm definitely going to ask the Wizard of Oz for some Courage and just try a block or two.
    I am so glad you liked it. I have several. Make them with cotton, silks, brocades, laces. I just love sitting and embellishing them. I have even use some old UGly fabs for the base.
    Do enjoy and thank you
    sal

  17. #17
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    There is available an interlock interfacing that works very well to stabelize fabric but yet is very soft and pliable. It is applied using a damp press cloth.

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