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Thread: Need Suggestions for a Polyester Quilt

  1. #1
    Member quiltruth's Avatar
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    My mom sewed a lot for her kids and grandkids and then used the scraps to make quilts. This is a lap-size quilt that she made in 2" squares from the original polyester material scraps used in our clothing before she passed away. I would like to finish it, but since I'm very new at quilting, I'm asking for your help. 1) Do I put a border on it and if so, what kind of material since I don't have anymore polyester scraps? 2) What should I use for the binding and backing on it? 3) I'm just learning to use my long arm for quilting, but would that work on polyester, or should I SITD?
    I've been a faithful reader of this message board for some time now and know how good your suggestions are, but I've never seen anything about polyester quilts. Thanks for your suggestions.

    Mom's Quilt
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  2. #2
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    That is one quilt I would definitely use a basting spray on. I am sure you can find polyesther or similar fabric to add a border. A basting spray will help you control a little the strtching that is bound to happen. Good luck. I love the bright colors.

  3. #3
    Member quiltruth's Avatar
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    Thank you, Maride. I have never used basting spray, so I'll look into that. The quilt does have a lot of stretch in it.

  4. #4
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I made some poly quilts, I didn't use my longarm to quilt them. I tied them with regular yarn like you would use for an afgan. I used poly batting and flannel backing. These are very warm, indestructable and my grandchildrens' favorites for cold weather. I used a simple block pattern. I bought the poly fabric, very cheap, at thrift stores.

  5. #5
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I have only done one poly/cotton quilt because of the panels I used. I would think you would want to have a border that doesn't stretch like the rest of the quilt. That might make it easier to bind and to quilt. I would also think a poly/cotton might work too.

  6. #6
    Member quiltruth's Avatar
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    Thank you, Mary. We have a number of thrift stores around here so will look there. Thanks for this suggestion.

  7. #7
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    I would probably suggest a bit heavier than regular quilting cottons. Maybe a twill or chambray? Polyester knit is heavier and I like my fabrics to be balanced. My MIL always backs her poly knit quilts with flannel!! They are also some of the favorites in our family. :-D :-D

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    It's a beautiful quilt with wonderful memories.

  9. #9
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Ball point needles!!! They make sewing poly soooo much easier. They really are easier to tie than quilt in my experience anyway.

  10. #10
    Super Member mrspete's Avatar
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    Your quilt is so vivid and pretty. I love color. I kept an elderly lady who used a lot of poly and just didn't like using cotton. She wanted flannel for the backin on them and she was from the mountains. In her nearly a century on this earth she slept under them year around. They can be heavy, but insulating. She left several tops which I've seperated in half and made lap quilts. The elderly love the heaviness of them. By the time they cannot handle the weight of them they are bedridden and they cover their feet. I love doing lap quilts. Some great suggestions here in this board. Dontcha just love it ?!?

  11. #11
    skpkatydid's Avatar
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    My mother made a polyester top, with some of her old clothing. When she died, my 2 brothers and I each got a quilt top, one mom made and 2 from our grandmother. My one brother wanted the polyester one because of the memories. I backed it with fleece and tied it. My brother loves it and says it is very warm. I must say it did turn out nice.

  12. #12
    Member quiltruth's Avatar
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    You have all given me such wonderful suggestions, so I'm going to try and incorporate them and finish this quilt in the near future. I had never thought of flannel for a backing, but that's what I'm probably going to use and make it a purple or pink one since those were Mom's favorite colors. Thanks again to all of you for being so helpful. I really enjoy reading this quilter's message board.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Is this knit polyester fabric? The kind that is relatively heavy (compared to quilting cottons)? This would be the kind of fabric knit pantsuits were made of in the 70s.

    Or is it the kind of polyester fabric that is about the same weight as quilting cotton?

  14. #14
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    spray batting has never worked as well for me on polyester as it does on cotton. it holds things in place only long enough to baste [again] with big running stitches or pins. :hunf:

    then again, i don't have a longarm system so must alway prepare my sandwiches for a regular machine.

    sooooooo ...

  15. #15
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    You've received a lot of good answers here. Remember to wash the flannel first because it shrinks a lot. Enjoy.

  16. #16
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    HI Quil,
    Well since you live in AZ, you most likely do not need the warmth so much. Yes it is a must to sew with a ballpoint needle. In some thrift stores you can still find the old polyesters. I have apile I just washed... I have been gathering to make some more camping quilts. You can not distroy them.
    I would NOT even attempt to put it on the long arm to quilt.
    All the stretch, and since it is stretchie already, that is the kind of a binding I would also put on it. Tee shirt knits are wonderful for backing them. And I have always tied the ones I have made throuh the years. Good luck in finishing. and also I wouldn't even bother putting a batting in it, just the backing, for they are so heavy already. Just my thought's , hope we have all helped you. Yes I agree this is a wonderful place to ask and get the best ideas.... Many more miles of Happy Quilting,Connie

  17. #17
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    my grandmother made a quilt much like the one your mom made. heavy old polyester. Grannie's was the rail fence pattern though. I'm still repairing it. She just used an old blanket on the back of it. It is the warmest thing ever! She never finished it so I am going through and repairing seams and tyeing it. Grannie used whatever she had to make it and that meant thread from the cotton mill she worked in. Some of it was not the best quality.

  18. #18
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    When my Granny died I got one polyester quilt top and two cotton ones. Granny didn't make them but she bought them from a lady that lived near her so the woman could have money for food. That being said, I finished the polyester top for my Neil for his birthday with my hand in a cast to my elbow. I used a twill cotton for the backing. Then I used a heavy cotton quilting thread and did the hand quilting X in each corner of the quilt. (Not across the whole block because it's a stretch fabric.) But each junction corner. It's held up to laundering, it's warm, and he's still using it on his bed. I didn't use a binding, I did the envelope method of closing it in after I got all the quilting done. He loves the quilt because it came from me and his great granny. He won't even let his nephews and neices use it when they come to visit. :?

    Hugs

    ps: I would show you a picture but he's wrapped up tightly in it with our temperatures in the 20s. :lol: :lol:

  19. #19
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    are they made of that old, heavy double knit stuff from the 70's? or the lighter weight poly blends? if they're made out of the old stuff, i worked with that and good luck.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-22163-1.htm

    btw, i finished them in the years indicated, but they hung around all the years in between after my kids cut the 1/2 squares. at ten for 1 cent.

  20. #20
    Member quiltruth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Is this knit polyester fabric? The kind that is relatively heavy (compared to quilting cottons)? This would be the kind of fabric knit pantsuits were made of in the 70s.

    Or is it the kind of polyester fabric that is about the same weight as quilting cotton?
    It is the relatively heavy polyester that pantsuits and skirts were made from in the 70s.

  21. #21
    Member quiltruth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisalovesquilting
    You've received a lot of good answers here. Remember to wash the flannel first because it shrinks a lot. Enjoy.
    Never thought of that. But I guess I need to start prewashing all material after reading what so many have said on this board about prewashing. I've just enjoyed working with it before it became flimsy after washing the material. One backing that I washed got so ragged on the ends, that it was discouraging to use it, but I did.

  22. #22
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltruth
    Quote Originally Posted by lisalovesquilting
    You've received a lot of good answers here. Remember to wash the flannel first because it shrinks a lot. Enjoy.
    Never thought of that. But I guess I need to start prewashing all material after reading what so many have said on this board about prewashing. I've just enjoyed working with it before it became flimsy after washing the material. One backing that I washed got so ragged on the ends, that it was discouraging to use it, but I did.
    If I'm going to prewash my fabric I always run a zigzag stitch across both ends to keep it from fraying like that. It cuts off easily when you square up the end. i use a small tight zigzag.

  23. #23
    Member quiltruth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimisharon
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltruth
    Quote Originally Posted by lisalovesquilting
    You've received a lot of good answers here. Remember to wash the flannel first because it shrinks a lot. Enjoy.
    Never thought of that. But I guess I need to start prewashing all material after reading what so many have said on this board about prewashing. I've just enjoyed working with it before it became flimsy after washing the material. One backing that I washed got so ragged on the ends, that it was discouraging to use it, but I did.
    If I'm going to prewash my fabric I always run a zigzag stitch across both ends to keep it from fraying like that. It cuts off easily when you square up the end. i use a small tight zigzag.
    Thanks. I will try that too.

  24. #24
    Super Member Grandma Cindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryStoaks
    I made some poly quilts, I didn't use my longarm to quilt them. I tied them with regular yarn like you would use for an afgan. I used poly batting and flannel backing. These are very warm, indestructable and my grandchildrens' favorites for cold weather. I used a simple block pattern. I bought the poly fabric, very cheap, at thrift stores.
    That sounds like a perfect and easier solution...

  25. #25
    Member guehlein's Avatar
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    I've done several polyester quilts with poly batting and backed them in flannel or fleece. Only quilted one on the longarm and I didn't do very well since I was so used to quilting with cotton so after that I tied them with yarn or crochet thread and they are still looking just as good as new all these years later.

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