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Thread: Inherited polyester quilt top what to do?

  1. #1
    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    Inherited polyester quilt top what to do?

    My grandmother had a fondness for polyester. Ok more than a fondness, she loved it. She was an accomplished seamstress and made all of her clothes out of polyester. Out of the leftovers she made these beautiful quilts. I would love to finish the quilt top I inherited but what do you use for backing? I do not want to use polyester, unlike her I do not have a fondness for it. LOL. But I do love the quilt and would love to finish it in her memory. Thanks Beth

  2. #2
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    Use what you want on the back. Since it's polyester, maybe no batt and non-pill fleece might be an option. Since it will be warm perhaps flannel on the back would be like a Granny hug in the winter?

  3. #3
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    I have a polyester quilt my grandmother made for me back in the late 70s/early 80s. She used a muslin backing. It's kind of puffy so I think she used a poly batting. And she tied rather than quilted it. Oh, and it's a polyester double knit applique! The squares behind the polyester appliques are cotton, the sashing and borders are double knit. Everything about it would send the quilt police into riot mode. But she made it just for me and I love it. Used it for years and it was really warm.

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    With the church group who are making charity lap quilts, polyester knit fabrics have been donated, We place either the same kind or cotton on the back and tie or machine quilt them. The colors are unique,

  5. #5
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I have 2 double knit polyester quilts both have low loft batting and are tied, Grandma used good quality cotton sheets for the backing, these quilts have been very well used, taken on pick nicks, camping, on beds, used to make tents, you name it they have ben involved, one was even hauled out to the barn when my daughter's horse had the colic, she said it made him feel loved LOL, all bright colors, now my grand's are asking for some like them for there homes. LOL

  6. #6
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    My MIL made a polyester baby quilt for my daughter when she was born in 1976. She backed hers with polyester material and tied it. When I repaired it recently, I couldn't tell if she had used any batting. My DD loves the polyester quilt her grandmother made for her.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam S View Post
    I have a polyester quilt my grandmother made for me back in the late 70s/early 80s...Everything about it would send the quilt police into riot mode. But she made it just for me and I love it...
    I am still chuckling at the image of the Quilt Police in their riot gear: neatly pieced and appliqued Kevlar aprons with matching quilted oven mitts and potholders; perhaps an intricately embroidered snood as a helmet. And an equipment belt bursting with betweens and spools of cotton quilting thread!

    *snort*

    Alison

  8. #8
    Junior Member BDawn's Avatar
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    Oh my!!! did all of our Grandmothers make us a polyester double knit in the 70's??? I have one that my Grandmother made me it is
    applique daisy's the work in it is beautiful but I can not figure out how to display it without sing staying alive.

  9. #9
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    This is the only time that I would suggest using a queen or king-sized flat bed sheet that is a poly blend.

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    AlisonQuilts, You guys are a hoot. I can't stay off this machine, because I love to read what you say. We use a double knit quilt all winter. 6 inch squares, batting flannel backing and tied or machine quilted that my 91 yr. old sister made. It is warm and washes like a dream. I have several that she made. Also lap quilts.
    Last edited by barny; 05-22-2013 at 01:25 PM.

  11. #11
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    Honestly, I do believe there was so much polyester back in the '70's that everyone used it. You really had to hunt for something other than calico cotton. I remember when I first started quilting in 1978 I would go to Woolworth's and TG&Y for cotton fabric. House of Fabrics had a lot of fabric but it was expensive. Sears had some fabric and yarn back then but it was mostly polyester and most quilt instructions told you to use cotton. I did buy the polyester batting because it seemed to hold up better. Also, it was known the polyester fabrics held their color better than cotton.

    Personally I preferred to sew with cotton or wool. It didn't slide as much.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    I also have a poly quilt. My Aunt made it for me using a lot of my Grandmothers clothing. She backed it with a sheet and tied it. No batting. Not really sure if you need batting, it's really warm without it.

  13. #13
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    I'm reasonably certain the popcorn quilt my husband's grandmother made is made out of polyester crepe. Since the popcorn quilt is made from triangles made of folded squares that are sewn, stuffed, so then the polyester is on both sides of the quilt.

    You can finish your polyester top with any type of backing you want. I'd probably use poly batting in it.

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    I believe that all of us must have someone in our family who loved double knits! I have several quilts made by my MIL, all are tied and she used mostly sheets for backing. They all are full size, remember in the 70's we did not see many queen or king beds. I love them, use them all the time and could not even begin to guess how many times they have been washed. Still look as good as they did when I got them.

  15. #15
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    I too have polyester quilts my Mother made. The beauty of these quilts and they are sturdy and will last FOREVER! She backed one with a very light weight polyester and the other with a sheet. No need to add batting, as they are very warm too.

    **Forgot to add: they are both hand-tied.

  16. #16
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    I told a very dear friend of DHs that I would quilt a quilt top his Mother had made years ago. Never thinking to ask any questions, and then it appeared double knit. So I put it on my mid-arm frame and off we go right? WRONG!.... Nightmare city for me. Maybe others have fancier machines or theirs likes double knit, my machine hated it. It pulled, puckered, stretched and I about wore out a new seam ripper or 2. Finally just finished it, but was not happy with the results!... Dear friend was so sweet about it and said he liked it, but I still feel I done it no justice. I pray you have better luck than I did. My lesson is I will NEVER try to machine quilt double knit again!....
    Country 1

  17. #17
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    Yes, I think they did! I have a poly one and a cotton one from each respective Gramma and I love that they made them for me
    A bed without a quilt is like the night sky without stars.

    http://californiaquilting.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
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    My aunt gave me bags and bags of blue slack weight polyester already but for a bow tie quilt many years ago. It was my first quilt. the only thing I remember about the quilt was how heavy it was. Keep that in mind as you are adding the backing and batting.

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    Isn't it funny how the pendulum swings and times change? Growing up in the fifties, my mom made my clothes from cotton. Lots of ironing. And quilts were made from the scraps. When polyester came in the 60s, much easier to care for and no ironing! hallelujah !!! And quilts were made from the scraps. Later natural fibers came back, sometimes with something else--poly, linen or rayon. But many of us go to the quilt shop now for 100/ cotton! I don't think I want to quilt with cotton and spandex! I think if I had a double knit quilt, I would back it with flannel , no batting and tie it. JMHO.

  20. #20
    Junior Member lucylockett's Avatar
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    Qltr Sue, I feel the same way. That's what I plan to do with the double knit quilt top passed to me. The batting is not needed in the Deep South where I live and would only add to the weight.

  21. #21
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    I made a polyester knit quilt top in 1973 and embroidered the year in the corner. My Grandmother tied it for me and used a flannel sheet on the back. It's on my spare bed and guests remark about it. I was given a lot of poly scraps and I'm going to start another quilt for our RV since the quilt I have in there is skimpy.

  22. #22
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    As I remember the 70's and sewing, there just wasn't much fabric that didn't have polyester in it! My g-ma embroidered some lovely squares of lilacs to be used in a quilt in the early 1950's but died before she got it done. So in the 70's her sisters offered to my Mom to finish the quilt (including hand quilting). the result? I have a beautiful quilt with a woven (not knit) lavender sashed embroidery quilt--with poly bat! doesn't matter--my g-ma and great aunts made it!(and the sashings and borders will never fade!)

  23. #23
    Super Member ljptexas's Avatar
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    Man, this makes me think of all scraps I had left over from sewing for myself & my DD. Could just kick myself 'cause I gave them away. Would have made a warm, heavy quilt...
    ~ I'm a Blessed Nanna to 2 Grandsons & 5 Granddaughters & 1 grandson in law ~
    ~ I'm a Blessed Mom to DS & DDIL, DD & DSIL ~
    ~ Mom to 1 black beauty now ~ Daisy ~
    ~ God Bless the USA ~ God Bless Our Troops ~

  24. #24
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    I sewed a lot in the 70s. It was hard to find anything but polyester. I remember seeking out and loving wool just to get away from polyester. but polyester was new and cheap and in style. Cotton was so old fashioned, it reminded everyone of shirt-waist dresses, and nobody was going to be caught dead in that. Obviously, I am not talking about quilting, just dress making.

  25. #25
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    A double knit quilt top is not as bad as you might think. I am part of The Pleasant Quilters & today we were hand quilting a double knit top with cotton backing. It is the Lone Star pattern. We had been dreading this quilt but we were all surprised how easy it quilted. People bring us the pieced top & we finish for them.

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