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Thread: Using dress fabrics for quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member neeng's Avatar
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    Hi, Just getting back into this. I have seen quilts of course in cottons, denim, flannel, and did a couple tiny flannel ones for my kids years and years ago, and since then have sewn a lot but not quilted. What I'm wondering...I have boxes and boxes of light and medium-weight "dressy" fabrics that I just love, in a multitude of colours. Any tips/cautions on using these in a quilt?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I would use them in crazy quilts, but I am sure there are a lot of other ways to use them.

  3. #3
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Some of the "frilly" fabrics don't wear well in quilts. If they're thin or stretchy make sure you use the appropriate wieght and type of stabilizer. Oh, and ALWAYS remember that you're only limited by your imagination. Try it and see what you can come up with. Not all patterns translate well into other fabrics---if it's a big quilt stick to simple, if it's a wall hanging there're no limits or rules do what you want.

  4. #4
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    You can use any fabric, however, here are some things to watch out for:
    - excess fraying - (a lot of the dressy fabrics do) use a larger seam allowance or use a serger to seam and overcast the edges. also consider quilting it by stitching down the seam allowances to prevent further fraying.
    - deal with washability issues ahead of time by prewashing all fabrics. this way you get the shrinking done and you can see how the fabric reacts to water and drying (some dressy fabrics look horrible after water hits them!)

    Otherwise...go for it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member neeng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    Some of the "frilly" fabrics don't wear well in quilts. If they're thin or stretchy make sure you use the appropriate wieght and type of stabilizer. Oh, and ALWAYS remember that you're only limited by your imagination. Try it and see what you can come up with. Not all patterns translate well into other fabrics---if it's a big quilt stick to simple, if it's a wall hanging there're no limits or rules do what you want.
    Most of them aren't stretchy, but some are fairly thin...what do you use as a stabilizer? A fusible web/interfacing?

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    welcome to the board and good luck on your "dressy" quilt !!!! LOL

  7. #7
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neeng
    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    Some of the "frilly" fabrics don't wear well in quilts. If they're thin or stretchy make sure you use the appropriate wieght and type of stabilizer. Oh, and ALWAYS remember that you're only limited by your imagination. Try it and see what you can come up with. Not all patterns translate well into other fabrics---if it's a big quilt stick to simple, if it's a wall hanging there're no limits or rules do what you want.
    Most of them aren't stretchy, but some are fairly thin...what do you use as a stabilizer? A fusible web/interfacing?


    :lol: :lol: I have no idea, I hate using stabilizer so I avoid things that need it. However, I do know that you would need some type of it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member neeng's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll go play now.....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by neeng
    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    Some of the "frilly" fabrics don't wear well in quilts. If they're thin or stretchy make sure you use the appropriate wieght and type of stabilizer. Oh, and ALWAYS remember that you're only limited by your imagination. Try it and see what you can come up with. Not all patterns translate well into other fabrics---if it's a big quilt stick to simple, if it's a wall hanging there're no limits or rules do what you want.
    Most of them aren't stretchy, but some are fairly thin...what do you use as a stabilizer? A fusible web/interfacing?
    i use one that is iron on, and is woven,looks like white muslin sort of..i used it on t-shirt quilts and on the back of minkee..worked ok for me..

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    Hi from Ohio!

  11. #11
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I use to use fray check to stablelize the fabric but the cost of the bottle has gotten quite expensive. What I do now is I use light weight fusable facing and cut it into 1/4 inch strips and iron it along the edges to stablelize the fabric. Then you can sew along the 1/4 inch seam. You can also zig sag or serge the 1/4 raw edges.

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    "If you can dream it, you can do it..."

  13. #13
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    Just respect the nature of the fabric and you will be ok. Respect means the texture, weight, fibre etc., as indicated above.

  14. #14
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    I think it depends - to a certain extent - on what you plan to make with it.

    Is it going to be in a "ladies guest room" and mostly just to "look pretty"?

    Or

    Is it going to be used by 10 year old boys that think quilts are to be used for tents and capes?

    Or

    In a glass covered wall hanging?

    Washability? Durability? Does it matter?

    You said that you've done a lot of sewing of garments - just transfer that knowledge of fabric behavior to quilted items.

    (Think facing, interfacing, and fashion fabric) - except the interfacing is now batting and usually somewhat squishy and bulky)

  15. #15
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    I love the idea of using your dress fabrics in a quilt. No limits..
    As for the interfacing, my favorite to use for this type of application is a fusible tricot interfacing. It stablizes the stretch factor, gives it a little more body, without making it stiff like other interfacing.

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    I agree with the idea to prewash all the fabrics to see how they react (shrink, run, wrinkle excessively, etc.) then don't use any that are questionable if you are making a quilt meant to be used and probably laundered once in a while. Any thin fabrics could be used if backed by a light weight fusible interfacing or the fusible tricot as mentioned above.

  17. #17
    Senior Member neeng's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Now I can't wait to get started...but it's such a beautiful day outside, and I have garden cleanup to finish first, so I guess it will have to wait until after dark tonight.

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