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Thread: Quilting question...it's complicated...lol

  1. #1
    Junior Member Corry's Avatar
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    Okay, I said it is complicating. I bought some fabric to make a quilt. I took the fabric to our local sewing group to get started with the Wack N Stack quilts we are learning to make. We cut the fabric for my quilt blocks. My plan is to have a sashing with cornerstone blocks around my blocks. Well I was not paying attention when I purchased the material for the sashing and it is a polyester cotton blend. The other two fabrics are 100% cotton. I went back to the store and was going to try and buy another piece of 100% cotton to replace the sashing fabric I originally bought but the only other black fabric was of poor quality. Sooooooo...my question is this. Can I wash all this fabric and go ahead and make my quilt using the polyester blend? Now we already cut out my 5'' w&s blocks and I have sewn them together and now have my 10 inch blocks. I started my washer and put all the fabric in and took the 10'' blocks and one by one swished them around in the water a bit and then when the washer was on the rinse cycle I rinsed them and layed them out flat to dry. The other fabrics I hung on the clothes line to dry. Do you think I can go ahead and use all these fabrics and not have a shrinkage problem with the blocks being 100% cotton and the sashing a 65%poly 35% cotton? The cornor stone fabric is 100% cotton too. I have washed it too. Hope this makes sense...lol :shock:

  2. #2
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I use the blend when I can't find a fabric I like better. It's not my favorite and I don't on purpose buy the blends any more, but it is fabric.

  3. #3
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Since 100% cotton can sometimes continue to shrink over time, I am not sure you can trust it to keep it's shape. I would find another source for the 100% cotton black. My opinion...

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I have a quilt that is made with blocks cut from a sheet, a twill weave and another fabric that I don't know what it is. It's been 10 years since I finished it and the unknown fabric has faded really bad. The sheet and the twill are fine. Use what you have if you want to. Call it a utility practice quilt and throw it in the car to use for picnics and emergencies.

  5. #5
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i made a wall hanging with poly inner border. but it's only 1 inch. it was the perfect green!

  6. #6
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    Hi Corry, you are from my stomping grounds I now live in Lakeland,Ga. since Hurricane Jeanne. This is getting off the subject but couldn't help my self. :-D I am from pahokee,canalpoint. All my life until 2006. I have a Daughter and 3 Grndsons still in Okeechobee the Cauley family. Wouldn't it be a small world if you know them :lol: :lol: Daughter Ronnie teaches at Christian school. Son-in-law Calvin works for USSugar.
    If you have already washed and dried I would measure the all cotton blocks to make sure they are the same size. If not the poly blend could maybe be squared off to match the cotton. Good luck. you have joined a wonderful group.
    BillsBonBon

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would go ahead and use the poly blend.

    The biggest problem with poly fabrics is that they tend to fray more easily along the cut edges. This isn't a huge problem in a pieced quilt; it's more likely to cause problems with applique.

    Another potential problem is that poly cotton is highly unlikely to fade. Over time, cotton fabrics will fade together while the poly remains its original color. Keeping the quilt out of sunlight will slow down the fading.

    As for shrinkage, there is so little shrinkage in reasonable quality quilting cottons today (less than 1%, I think), it is unlikely to be a problem. It wouldn't factor into my consideration about using the poly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member newestnana's Avatar
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    What about pilling? Would the poly blend be likely to pill?

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newestnana
    What about pilling? Would the poly blend be likely to pill?
    That's a good question. I think it's only the cheaper quality poly/cotton blends that pill badly -- things like 50/50 sweatshirt material and less expensive cotton/poly sheets. I know that there have been developments in the threads used in poly cottons to make them resistant to pilling. I would think those would be the kinds of threads sold in fabric on bolts, but then maybe I'm being too optimistic?

  10. #10
    Junior Member Corry's Avatar
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    Well it is a small world on this internet ya know...lol I don't think I know any Cauley's. I can't blame you for leaving after the hurricanes. I sure wanted to as it really scared me alot. We went thru the eye of Francis, Jeanne and Wilma! That kind of does something to ya emotionally. We have not had another bad one since as you know but a few times when there was something threatening it made me real nervous. As for this quilt...I will measure those blocks and see if they shrank any. I have them laying flat on my sewing table drying. I have not cut out any thing else yet. I think I will use the poly blend though. This was a quilt for myself and a project to practice machine embroidery. I want a longarm so bad but don't most of us. I really love this wack and stack that one of our ladies is teaching us. I just had to try it. Thanks for the advice on this. It has helped alot.

  11. #11
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Most fabrics shrink in the dryer, not from being washed. You could sew a block together, sew around the outside perimeter and measure it. Put it in a lingerie bag and dry it. Look and see if it shrinks all over or if the cottons are distorting it.

  12. #12
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    I would say use it only if you can't find any other cotton you like.

  13. #13
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    The only thing I know is that the poly is much thinner than the cotton. Also it may ravel a bit.

  14. #14
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    A while ago ... well, several years ago when I started quilting, I ran short of white cotton to finish a wall hanging and finished it up with a white poly/cotton I had on hand. Over the years, the p/c has turned a nasty shade of tan and it is right next to the 100% cotton. Every time I see it, I say to my self ... see, that's why we use 100% cotton! I don't know how black p/c will age but the choice is up to you. If your quilt will not be exposed to a lot of sun light, the chances of fading won't be as great. LOL

  15. #15
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Most fabrics shrink in the dryer, not from being washed. You could sew a block together, sew around the outside perimeter and measure it. Put it in a lingerie bag and dry it. Look and see if it shrinks all over or if the cottons are distorting it.


    :hunf: i agree. along with hottest water, the drier is the culprit!!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dani's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, with all the work and time involved in making a quilt I would buy the best fabric you can afford. You will not be sorry and you might be if you use something that is "iffy." I always use 100% cotton only in my quilts.

  17. #17
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    Before you attempt to finish the quilt with questionalble fabric, go to Keepsake Quiliting. They have high quality black fabric that is 100% cotton. I've used it in several quilts & have never been disappointed. Good luck!

  18. #18
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    there are reasons i prefer to work with 100% cotton. quality is NOT one of those reasons. polyester is not inferior to cotton. it is merely different.

    you have two potential issues to consider: (1) fraying; (2) shrinking

    any fabric of any content can fray. that is your only real worry. use your rotary cutter to trim a straight edge at one end of the poly/cotton blend. sew a 1/4" seam along that edge and then toss it into the washer. check to see whether or how much that end frayed in the wash. turn the seam right-side out and tug on it a bit to see if it comes apart. if the seam holds then worry 1 is worry none.

    as to the shrink issue ... do you plan to always hang the quilt to dry? if you do, then use the fabrics you have.

    if you were planning to chuck it into the dryer, just change that plan.

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