Top 10 Posters

Pretty quilt tops, unfortunate fabrics: HELP!

rated by 0 users
Not Answered This post has 0 verified answers | 10 Replies | 2 Followers

Not Ranked
2 Posts
Points 85
jnelevenfive posted on Sat, Aug 13 2011 9:33 PM

Hi, all,  I'm new here, but I need your advice!  I acquired through a lady at my church a bunch of quilt tops pieced by her mother.  The fabrics are pretty enough, but they are, sadly, a mixture of cottons and polyesters.  I'm not quite sure if I can use an all cotton backing or if I should aim for something else?  I'm mostly concerned about the stretchy nature of the polyester and the firmness of the cotton.  Should I use a flannel on the backing instead?  Tie instead of quilting?  Let me know what you all think!

All Replies

Top 75 Contributor
Female
1,475 Posts
Points 24,120

I would probably use a cotton backing, it would stabilizer the poly.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Female
27,739 Posts
Points 436,610
Nana replied on Sat, Aug 13 2011 10:13 PM

 I would use a cotton backing.  Just make sure to pin the areas with polyester well so they don't stretch when you sandwich the quilt.  Most polyesters don't stretch any worse than fleece or minkee and I don't have any problems quilting those.  Good luck.

Vinton, Virginia

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Female
1,059 Posts
Points 13,715
Carey replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 12:13 AM

You want to know a funny thing they have polyester batting to and I had no problems with that if anything the batting would cause issues not quilt top or backing.  Pin well like everyone else says and just take time quilting it and sandwiching it.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Female
27,739 Posts
Points 436,610
Nana replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 12:19 AM

Guys....

Our grandmothers and all the women before used whatever fabric they had available and it definitely wasn't all 100% cotton.  Their quilts turned out beautifully.  Not sure why we all get so hung up on cotton fabrics....   Guess it is a sign of the times....LOL>

Vinton, Virginia

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Female
426 Posts
Points 9,220
Pamela replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 7:47 AM

My mother-in-law makes beautiful charm scrap quits out of old clothing and gives them away. Instead of throwing out her parents old clothing when they passed away, she made them into quilts. She also makes them from leftover fabrics given to her by others. She made a beautiful quilt for a great-niece made out of all her old ballet outfits - every imaginable type of fabric. She and my father-in-law are retired school teachers and she makes a quilt for every teacher they worked with upon their retirement. Both of my children received one of these quilts as a child. She often made them double-sided instead of putting a backing on them. They were always tied. Because I was into making quilts from 100% cottons, I used to view them as "not so special", but have grown to appreciate them. They are a gift from her heart. And, they are meant to be used.

Quilters put too many restrictions on what is a quilt. I met a lady once that felt that unless a quilt was hand-pieced and hand-quilted, it wasn't really a quilt. A quilt is three pieces sandwiched and held together with thread. Even medivel knights wore quilted garments under their armor for protection. Many of the quilts made in the 60's and 70's are cotton/poly blends and knits, because that was the fabric available to our mothers and grandmothers. Until the quilting revival of the bi-centenniel, cotton fabrics for quilting did not come back into fashion. We may look down on them now, but we need to treasure these types of quilts for what they are: pieces of history that will someday be in museums.

When I tie a quilt, I use a crochet cotton. Some surgical nurses taught me a triple knot that is used by surgeons and is very secure. I agree that it doesn't matter whether you use cotton or not. Flannel would make a lovely backing. Have you decided what you plan to do with the quilts when you finish them? This may decide your backing choice. If they will be heavily used, go for the flannel - not to mention it could be less expensive. I wouldn't recommend hand quilting and definitely wouldn't hand quilt a flannel back. Machine quilting would also work. Good luck with whatever you decide. 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Female
2,770 Posts
Points 66,013

Nana:

Guys....

Our grandmothers and all the women before used whatever fabric they had available and it definitely wasn't all 100% cotton.  Their quilts turned out beautifully.  Not sure why we all get so hung up on cotton fabrics....   Guess it is a sign of the times....LOL>

Thanks, Nana!  I agree!  Use what you have, especially where there is a connection to someone else.  I love memory quilts.  What's the worst that can happen?  When they start to come apart, patch them back up!  I look at the quilt from my great grandmother and love it so much...not because it was a high quality quilt but because it represents a time 70-80 years ago where she spent the time piecing it together and tying it.  We are a generation of quilting snobs because we have so much available to us.  And that's ok, too, when it makes sense.  We do have a lot of wonderful fabric available to us.

 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Female
3,115 Posts
Points 67,290
Robin replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 9:07 AM

I have several quilts made my Great Grandmother who used the scraps from whatever was made for us to wear.   I grew up in the 70's so they are loaded with double knits, cottons, flannels you name it i got it.  Including one that the fabric is so sheer you can see the cotton clearly.   Most of them are backed with more double knit and some have cotton.  They all have held up well and been used.  Some of them were used daily when I was child.   So I think the backing is up to you.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
2 Posts
Points 85

Thanks for all your feedback!  I've never made a quilt with mixed media, so to speak, so I didn't want to create a mess that I couldn't find my way out of!  I'm planning on finishing the quilts (at least some of them), and raffling them off at church.  Proceeds will be benefitting a camp that we're hoping to run for children in the foster system that have been abused and removed from their homes.  Some of the quilt tops will be cut down, I think, and made into either smaller quilts for the kids or into bags that they can use to carry their meager possessions in, since some will come into the foster system with little more than the clothes on their backs. 

Martha

  • Filed under:
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Female
85 Posts
Points 2,500

If you don't care about the quilt and want to get rid of them, I suggest a quilting guild or museum.  My grandmother was famous for mixing fabrics and I've found that almost all had a cotton or poly backing. 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
138 Posts
Points 2,715

I would use a cotton linning but I would wash the top and the linning first so they would shrink what they would anyway. And then I would do the quiting and they should be fine.  I learned the hard way.  The first one I did like that when washed  puckered up and looked awful. Since then I wash and dry them first first and they turn out fine.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (11 items) | RSS
Have a Question? | About Us | Privacy Policy | Join Today © 2014 F+W All rights reserved.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use