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Quilt Makers, can you talk to me about fabric please?

(34 Posts)
LRDTheFeministNutcase Sat 25-Jun-11 21:09:21


I'm very new to this but I've just started making a quilt for my baby niece and I'm really enjoying it. The fabric I've used is plain cotton - a little from a fabric shop near me and some from online (it's Dan Bennett, if you're familiar - really pretty patterns imo). Problem is, even when I have washed the starch out, it doesn't have a very soft texture. If I'm looking online (seems best, shops round here are rubbish!), how do I find nice soft fabric I can quilt with?


moondog Sat 25-Jun-11 21:10:42

You can't reallu, unless it is old material.
I have made a lot of quilts and the nicest are made with scraps of old materials from teatowels, pillowcases, blouses and even boxer shorts.
Means the quilt tells a story too.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sat 25-Jun-11 21:18:18

Teatowels? confused

I'm not sure we're on the same page here. Teatowels are really rough and scratchy - do you mean the things you dry dishes with or is this somethign else?

I was meaning is there anything other than cotton that'd be softer - I've heard of people turning their wedding dresses into quilts back in the day, I guess that would have been silk but would that need you to be very skilled to sew?

I do love the idea of the quilt telling a story though.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sat 25-Jun-11 21:19:10

Teatowels are those things about 3 mm thick, no?

moondog Sat 25-Jun-11 21:20:38

Towels to dry dishes.
I found some very old soft ones in a charity shop once. Cream with thick green and pink stripes throguh them.
My 10 year old is under the quilt I madeo ut of them when I was pregant with her, as i TYPE.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sat 25-Jun-11 21:22:49

Oh, I see ... sounds like a beautiful colour combination. smile

I was thinking of my rather less elegant ones, which I think originally came from Sainsburys!

I did have a scout round the Charity shops here (I was thinking old men's shirts might be nice), but no joy.

moondog Sat 25-Jun-11 21:28:54

I keep everything which has a pattern I like.Might not come in usefu lfor years but it gets stored and bides its time.

Have fun.
Quilting and patchworking os so soothing and productive.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sat 25-Jun-11 21:37:13

It is fun, isn't it! smile

I think I'm going to order some heavy silk in a small quantity and see what I make of it - and as you say, I can always keep it for something else.

moominthecorner Sat 25-Jun-11 22:39:00

People use flannel to make quilts with if you want instant softness. I prefer washing the finished quilt a few times to give it that battered feel.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sat 25-Jun-11 23:02:09

Ah ... if the repeated washing works, I will try that! Thanks moomin. smile

InvaderZim Sun 26-Jun-11 13:02:05

The softness of the quilting fabric varies a lot depending on base material: some is very stiff and some is silky smooth soft. If you don't mind cost you could always buy Liberty cotton, it's fab. smile

Groveregg Sun 26-Jun-11 13:12:25

I do patchwork and quilting with cotton fabric and I often find myself thinking it's not very soft while I'm doing the patchwork - but once you add the wadding and start quilting, it is transformed into the loveliest (and most addictive) touchy-feely end product. Stick with it, honestly.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sun 26-Jun-11 13:29:01

Invader, I had thought about Liberty, but a while ago I bough some scraps on Ebay and they were pretty stiff - do you think it was fake? (The thought did occur).

Grover - thanks for encouraging me! I'm really enjoying it so I am glad to know it should work out.

InvaderZim Sun 26-Jun-11 14:43:16

Liberty makes different weights of fabric, maybe you ended up with decorator fabric? What you want is Tana Lawn.

I have extensive bookmarks of various online quilting shops which I will post sometime when I'm not on my phone and DD lets me!

PrinceHumperdink Sun 26-Jun-11 14:51:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sun 26-Jun-11 14:52:48

It was meant to be Tana Lawn - to be honest I don't think the seller knew what they were talking about, but I'm not all that expert about fabric either.

I h ave been browsing online and there's some nice stuff, but also some fabric that is, frankly, hideous - muddy pinky/purple flowers and crap. So any tips are good! grin

PrinceHumperdink Sun 26-Jun-11 14:54:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PrinceHumperdink Sun 26-Jun-11 14:55:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

openerofjars Sun 26-Jun-11 14:57:36

Sorry to hijack but I'm thinking of using DH's old cotton shirts for a quilt. Do you think this would work?

PrinceHumperdink Sun 26-Jun-11 14:58:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sun 26-Jun-11 15:00:32

PH - I will check out, but I think I am probably going to carry on with washing it a lot and hoping (I fell in love with the fabric I bought first off, it's looking really good cut up), but will look for brushed cotton. DH has this endearing belief that I will soon finish the baby's quilt and should make one for us. hmm grin

open - I bet it'd look lovely - someone I know has done a pattern including a star made of stripes and it looks amazing! My DH is unfortunately attached too his shirts ... including the crappy ones.

openerofjars Sun 26-Jun-11 20:55:12

Well, DH gets through shirts quite fast and has also put on a bit if weight in the last few years, and has never thrown an item of clothing away, as far as I can remember, so king size it is!

I am sure that by the time toddler DS has babies of his own I will have started finished it.

PrinceHumperdink Sun 26-Jun-11 20:56:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lemonandhoney Sun 26-Jun-11 21:12:36

Lots of really easy and quick quilt patterns out there. The first one I made was for dd. I used a line of fabric from Moda (so quilting cotton) and used a polyester batting - it's beautifully soft now after a few washes.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Sun 26-Jun-11 21:37:09

Good - it sounds as if I didn't need to worry about the softness.

I'm making it with 6-point stars, it's fun.

While I'm asking questions, I should come clean and admit I'm not a mum so am ignorant: what size do you reckon I should make it? My neice will be nearly nine months old by Christmas and that's teh first time I'll get to see her (sad, I know). Is there such a thing as a standard cot-size? Or if I made just a biggish rectangle, would that be ok?

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