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Thread: Use Cotton Fabric only question

  1. #1
    Super Member mommafank's Avatar
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    Before I retired I knew I was going to quilt. I bought a lot of fabric to have in a stash, but had not done research and bought many beautiful pieces that are blends. Now I hate to just throw these out or not use them but everything I read says only cotton will do. So with all the wonderful quilters on here.....thought I might get an opinion on using the blends.

  2. #2
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Our grandparents use anything they had. You can use any fabric you want. It's just that some fabrics may a bit harder to work with as they may stretch, etc..

  3. #3
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    You could use the blends for projects other than quilts: aprons, small gifty items, etc. Just a thought...

  4. #4
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    The only problem I have had is they don't shrink and the cottons do a little.

  5. #5
    Super Member dungeonquilter's Avatar
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    As long as you prewash everything, it will be OK. Cottons will tend to fade more than polyesters.

  6. #6
    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    Or you could use all the blends in one quilt and not use any cottons. That way they would all behave the same. Just thinking out loud ;)

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Prewash and use them together, or separately :D:D:D

  8. #8
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Never toss nice fabric! Either use it in a quilt and thumb your nose at the quilt police or find another project you like. Even practice blocks that can become pillows or placemats is better than tossing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    I would use them :)

  10. #10
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    Use them. However, respect the nature of each of the fabric. Blends will react differently than cottons. Blends often shrink when hot iron used. Just be careful in putting them together.

  11. #11
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    I would definitely use them, they are obviously fabrics that you liked when you bought them. As Donna Jean said our grandparents used anything they had, mostly clothing that had been outgrown. But I would definitely wash all fabrics before cutting.

  12. #12
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Cotton blends don't feel as nice and they don't iron as nicely, IMHO. So, I don't use them for quilting. That being said, find other uses for them as stated above!

  13. #13
    Super Member paintmejudy's Avatar
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    I too, as many of you do, use an occcasional blend (as long as everything is washed to make shrinkage the same in all fabrics) - however - beware the 100% poly - they will distort and shrink with a hot iron!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    Never toss nice fabric! Either use it in a quilt and thumb your nose at the quilt police or find another project you like. Even practice blocks that can become pillows or placemats is better than tossing.
    My sentiments exactly.

  15. #15
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    I have found stains come out of 100% and blends well sometimes they don't. I have been gifted with blends onlt a few weeks ago. It was 3 colors totaling about 7 yd. since I don't want them to go to waste I decided after the New Year I will make charity quilts with the blends for the unwed mothers shelter. I am sure some new mom will be thrilled to have a baby wrapped in a cozy new quilt even if it is a blend.


    As for grandparents using anything to make a quilt this is so true but remember our grandparents didn't have poly back then it was still all natural fibers. Cotton,wool, linen,silk. Natural fiber breath, poly's don't. You are hotter on hot days and colder on cold days with poly blends. That is why I will also only use cotton batting.

  16. #16
    deema's Avatar
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    My opinion: As long as it sews together and you love it, USE IT!

  17. #17
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    I would use them (and I do at times in scrap quilts) with these precautions. I wash everything before I use it so there's not a problem with fabrics shrinking differently. I also test with an iron and if it shrinks up with a hot iron, I won't use it. And I also make sure it's the same weight, for instance, not a heavy poly or blend with lightweight cotton. Also, if its a more open weave, I will toss it. And be careful with swaps as most people want only 100% cotton for their swaps. My grandmother used anything and everything, including poly blends which have been around quite a while, and her quilts have all been used, loved, washed, etc. for years and had no problems with them. And she hand quilted almost all of her quilts. She even made quilts with double-knit polyester but those were just utility quilts and were tied and given to kids usually.

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    Senior Member Momof3Es's Avatar
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    I'm new so don't get mad for me asking. What's the difference between a 'utility' quilt and a normal one??

  19. #19
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    There's no law stating you can't use them. So if you like the fabrics, go ahead and use them. They will shrink less than 100% cotton, so you may see a small bit of puckering after washing. And you may need to be more careful not to stretch the fabrics, when pressing.

  20. #20
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    Normally, I just refer to a quilt as a utility quilt if it's not a beautiful quilt, not quilted, especially not hand quilted, a quilt that is meant to be used and abused and you wouldn't be upset if your kids drug it around on the floor or your dog laid on it. My grandma would make these up quick with unattractive fabrics, usually just squares or maybe 9 patches - something she wouldn't waste a lot of time on cutting pieces, sewing, or quilting. She would just use up any fabric she had or that someone gave her. She would never have dreamed of throwing away something that could be used.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Mary M's Avatar
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    If I were going to use poly fabrics I would also use poly for the batting. You shouldn't have to worry about shrinking that way.

  22. #22
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    My first quilt was a stack and whack with one cotton and one poly/cotton blend. The one thing I noticed is that the poly stretches a lot more than the cotton. You can do it just be careful. I had a woman bring me fabric for a trip around the world, and you wouldn't believe the fabric. There were 100% cottons, 100% flannels, a poly/cotton blend, and there was some kind of a poly or rayon that frayed like you wouldn't believe. I ended up serging it and it took forever. I couldn't believe with such an odd combination of colors and fabrics, it turned out quite well.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariposa
    You could use the blends for projects other than quilts: aprons, small gifty items, etc. Just a thought...
    Welcome to one of most opinionated hobbies in existence! Ask 15 quilters ... you'll get 15 different answers none of which are 'wrong'.

    To add to Mariposa's idea, you could also make some dinomite pillowcases!

    For what it's worth, I was taught that you don't mix poly fibers with cotton for all the reasons listed above but also because poly is stronger than cotton. The theory presented to me in this class was that the stronger fabric would 'wear out' the natural fiber. I was taught use cotton thread and not to use poly thread on cotton for the same reason.

    Bottom line, use caution, and don't make an 'heirloom' using mixed fibers.

    You're in for a wild ride ... quilting is a 'calling'!

    Peggy in Frigid Florida

  24. #24
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommafank
    Before I retired I knew I was going to quilt. I bought a lot of fabric to have in a stash, but had not done research and bought many beautiful pieces that are blends. Now I hate to just throw these out or not use them but everything I read says only cotton will do. So with all the wonderful quilters on here.....thought I might get an opinion on using the blends.
    its'll be fine just try to keep the blend with the blends due to shrinking and fading.. .. Ive made all blends quilts, and they turn out fine..

  25. #25
    Cyn
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    Use them. Wash them first.

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