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Thread: What to do with fabric that frays

  1. #1
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    What to do with fabric that frays

    I sure hope y'all have a fix for this one. In order to get a color I want in a quilt, I'll have to use a fabric that frays very easily. If I were making clothing, I might serge it or use fray check. But with making several small pieces for a quilt, I don't think that's practical. What do you do to limit/stop the fraying?
    jean

  2. #2
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Jean, what about the old fashioned solution: try cutting the edges with Pinking Shears? I'm not sure I'd be able to find mine, can't remember the last time I used them.
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

  3. #3
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    Can you show us the color you need, maybe we can help you with another piece of fabric.

  4. #4
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    Starch it and maybe a stay stitch 1/8" from the edge so it's covered by the seam?

  5. #5
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I would use pinking shears....it's the easiest fix other than buying new fabric

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePassion View Post
    Can you show us the color you need, maybe we can help you with another piece of fabric.
    I agree with this - try to find another fabric. The odds are good that someone would have something that would work.

    You could try fusing something to what you have to stabilize it. If you are using small pieces, I would be very concerned about the pieces pulling out of the seams.

  7. #7
    Super Member Angel Bear's Avatar
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    I'd use a different fabric.
    Being a great quilter is 5% talent and 95% pushing yourself away from the internet!

  8. #8
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    I have just such a fabric that, in theory, is perfect for the quilt I'm using it in. But it frays up to 1/4 of an inch while I'm sewing. Good bye, seam allowance.

    I took the cut pieces and smoothed (with thumb and pointer finger) some slightly diluted elmers liquid glue on the cut edges. I haven't had the heart to go back to working on the quilt since then, so i don't know how it will work. Please note that the slightly watered down liquid glue did make the edges wavy, but wavy is better than 1/4 inch gone!

    good luck!

  9. #9
    SSK
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    How about using rotary cutter with the linking blade (pink) ing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathyvv View Post
    I have just such a fabric that, in theory, is perfect for the quilt I'm using it in. But it frays up to 1/4 of an inch while I'm sewing. Good bye, seam allowance.

    I took the cut pieces and smoothed (with thumb and pointer finger) some slightly diluted elmers liquid glue on the cut edges. I haven't had the heart to go back to working on the quilt since then, so i don't know how it will work. Please note that the slightly watered down liquid glue did make the edges wavy, but wavy is better than 1/4 inch gone!

    good luck!
    So what happens when the glue is washed out?

  11. #11
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    I do have a pinking blade and that would have been the best thing to do had I know that the fabric would fray so much. I should have mentioned that I have already cut the blocks. For these already cut blocks, the starch sounds like a good idea as well as the stay stitching. I'll probably do both. Fortunately, it's a small quilt. It's the fence rail pattern with the snowballed corners (as seen on MSQC) and should not have been hard, but it has sure been a big learning experience for me. I have learned to check for block size as I go, not after all are sewn. I know gremlins made some of my blocks turn out too small, so then all the blocks had to be trimmed to be smaller. That was fun. I also learned how to ensure a consistent quarter inch seam. Had to do some unsewing there. Tried out 3 presser feet to find the one that really worked best. I could go on about the tiniest little changes that made cutting and piecing go so much better. Thank goodness for those of you who post tips and techniques that you've learned along the way and for the youtube videos. Thanks for your help again. Your suggestions all are workable. I know it's better to work with fabric that doesn't ravel, but sometimes that is just the prettiest choice.
    jean

  12. #12
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    What about paper piecing? Just use washable glue on the foundation paper and lay it on there. Just cut a small strip. The white tissue paper is fairly cheap, especially at the dollar stores. Most packages come with 30 sheets 20x20. The glue would hold the fabric.

  13. #13
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    Bearisgray, thanks for offering to help look for a better fabric. This is a crib size quilt and more for practice than for anyone special. Although, I do hope it will turn out good enough to give if need be. But anyway it's not worth the trouble this time. I have looked at Hancock's, Joann's, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart and the dark dusty rose must be an older color that no one carries in cottons. I've made this out of scraps that was given to me a long time ago.
    jean

  14. #14
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Put a lightweight fusible interfacing on the back of the blocks.
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  15. #15
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    If you really need to use it, iron on fusible interfacing. I made a block for a member on the board that they wanted me to use none cotton fabric that frayed. I used the fusible interfacing and then cut it. It enabled me to use this fabric.
    Anna Quilts

  16. #16
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    If you starch the pieces after cutting, there is a great possibility that your pieces will shrink.

  17. #17
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    I like the light weight fusible interfacing idea. Thanks to both of you for that suggestion. I knew y'all would have this figured out already.
    jean

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    I know 'they' use a lightweight iron on stabilizer on dupioni silk for this reason when putting it in a quilt...easy fix, no stitching little pieces....

  19. #19
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you could always add a fusible stabilizer to the back before cutting...a lightweight fusible stabilizer doesn't add much (bulk) and really helps with fraying edges.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  20. #20
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    Why not use iron on fusible then cut the pieces?
    Sheena

  21. #21
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you for responding. In the future, I will certainly use most of these suggestions. This time I think the fusible stabilizer will do the trick.
    jean

  22. #22
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    What a good idea! I just used some for under my applique and it really made a difference. prior I was using 506 spry to put on my applique but using the interfacing gave it the stability it needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    If you really need to use it, iron on fusible interfacing. I made a block for a member on the board that they wanted me to use none cotton fabric that frayed. I used the fusible interfacing and then cut it. It enabled me to use this fabric.

  23. #23
    Member quilterlaurie's Avatar
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    I recently had this problem and to avoid further frustration I ironed a very light weight stabilizer to the fabric before I cut my pieces--worked very well for me
    quilting in beautiful Ohio

  24. #24
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I always use Pinking Shears on fabrics that fray. I was very lucky to find a pair of Gingher pinking shears at a yard sale for $5.00. They were in great shape.

  25. #25
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    What about Fray check?

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