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Topic: mixing fabric types??  (Read 1063 times)
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« on: May 07, 2008 10:50:13 PM »

im making a quilt for someone, and ive had donations of some polycotton blends and some very thick cotton - like cutain fabric - to include.  Its a quilt for a friend thats dying of cancer.  Cry Everyone wants to contribute something.

Question is, can this be done?  Can I put this poly blend and thicker cotton next to quilters cotton,  or is it a ghastly mistake?

The quilt we be used extensively by her little boy - she is scared that he will forget her, so this is a quilt that will be a "snuggle up with mum" quilt - its going to take some  wear over the years.

Anyone have any advice (other than scrap the polycottons...)


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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008 12:32:15 AM »

It will all wear differently. For a child to have the different textures can be good tactile experience. I would avoid mixing heavy fabrics with regular calicos. I've made a rag quilt and am currently making another that has denim on one side and calicos on the other without batting. I think of it as picnic or bedspread weight. Heavy fabs can be a bit much for a blankie. Perhaps the all cotton lightweight could be used for a blankie and the heavier ones for a bedspread.
I hope she thinks about making pics w/ him and videos w/ him and writes him letters. I've seen some ppl that write a letter for each birthday in the future.
Sorry to hear about the difficulty. Wish you all the best.

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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008 08:33:46 PM »

Perhaps it would be best to foundation piece the whole thing as crazy quilts are done. They generally include wildly varying weights of fabric and many have survived well.
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008 06:54:18 PM »

Could you use the heavy fabrics for appliques? Make the quilt out of the regular weight cotton and poly and applique shapes cut from the heavy stuff.

And, I'm sorry. It's great when people pitch in for each other like that.
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2008 08:09:47 AM »

I would definitely use every single piece of fabric people donate.  This is the kind of situation where the rules should be chucked out the window.  It's the sentiment behind your quilt that matters.  It's a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

And if you need reassurance that it will work -- take a look at the Gee's Bend quilts that mix denim and lighter cottons.  Many of those quilts were heavily used, and it worked fine!

Here's how I would handle the varying weights.  First, sort your fabric by weight.  I'd recommend just three piles -- standard quilting cotton, then heavier and lighter.

The solution for the lighter fabrics is easy.  Use a backing fabric with them so that they are more similar to the standard weights.  Cut a piece of muslin or other scrap 100% cotton fabric the same size.  You can stitch baste them together if you want, or just hold them together as you sew them.  If the lighter fabric seems like it might fray, I definitely recommend basting (but with a short stitch, unlike normal basting, and leave the stitches in place rather than cutting or trimming them out).

The solution for the heavier fabrics is a bit more tricky.  I would try to make them a design element.  Do you have enough that you can make a border out of just the heavier fabrics?  Or perhaps a central motif?  Although I would include them all, I'd try to use just small pieces of the heavier fabrics -- a postage stamp border or pieced binding would be perfect.  I would also try to avoid joining the heavier fabrics to the lightweight fabrics.  If possible, I'd design the quilt so that they are only attached to the standard weight fabrics.

How are you going to quilt the blanket?  If you quilt it closely, it will help reinforce the lighter weight fabrics and will attach them better to their backing fabrics and smooth over the joins between the various weights.
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