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Quilting fabric

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Bobbie posted on Tue, Jul 31 2012 7:02 AM

Being a new quilter I was wondering if the fabric with a higher thread count makes better quilts than the lower thread count. I have heard of brands such as Moda, Northcott etc. are these high, medium or low thread count fabrics? Which fabrics do you prefer, high or low thread count? 

Any information would help, thanks!

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Patti replied on Tue, Jul 31 2012 7:35 AM

I think thread count can make a difference.  Too low and it can be flimsy and not wear well.  Too high and it can be difficult to sew through.   You won't find that around in a fabric store but sometimes people try to use bed sheets as backing.   I hear hand quilting on that can be difficult. 

I think we all like to feel our fabric.  I don't buy it if it doesn't feel good to me. Hard to describe what that feel is.  Not flimsy, not stiff.  Go to wall mart and feel the fabrics.  Some good, some bad.  It varies a lot there.  Joanne's sells quite a variety of good and some poor fabrics too. 

Most quilters primarily use 100% cotton.  It just sews easier, not so slippery and doesn't fray as much.  Also much easier without stretch.  However, people use everything, depending on the project and the effect they want.

Patti

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Patti ,that was a great explanation on fabric . Barbara

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Joe replied on Tue, Jul 31 2012 7:52 AM

Patti's post is a clear voice of concentrated quilt wisdom. But this here:

---However, people use everything, depending on the project and the effect they want.---

Is brilliant.

I use everything. I use sheets for backing too. But you can tell, after you've done a few if it will work ok. Feel is the way, as all said.

You can try a small piece, for a coaster or something around the house, and then you'll know.

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gini replied on Tue, Jul 31 2012 11:40 AM

good explanation, patti.  

 it really depends on how you are going to use your quilt, what fabric you put into them.   you can use nearly anything on a wall quilt that isn't going to be washed.

homespuns are very loosely woven.  they make beautiful quilts

i've used sheets for summer quilts, i know  they are a booger to applique through, i tacked the two sheets together with a machine.   they are a great size with no seams,  two sheets together are the perfect summer weight quilt for our weather.

gini in north idaho

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Thea replied on Tue, Jul 31 2012 12:35 PM

Great explanation Patti.  

I usually only buy fabrics from quilt shops - I watched a program that Jodi Davis from QNNtv did on how fabric is made once and learned a lot from it - I don't like my fabrics to fray or for the design to wash out because it wasn't made with quality.  

My MIL and her Mom always used sheets for the backs of their quilts and they are still around - they are more tightly woven and therefore you sometimes have to use more then one needle if you are machine quilting - they did nothing but hand quilt so didn't have that problem.  Batik fabrics are woven very tightly and I love them... 

But for me it just depends on what the project is as to what fabrics I use.  I do buy quality so am not worried about any problems... recently I have found that the dyes are starting to run again as our fabrics are being made for the quantity not quality - so I have really started using color catchers and have been thinking about prewashing - I hate doing prewashing though as I want to start right in on a project and don't want to have to do that step - but as with all things I have thought about it.

I love using flannels and minkie on the backs of winter quilts - summer quilts I use cottons... I think mostly I use 100% cottons... but the thread count could be anything from 100 - 200...

 

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gini replied on Tue, Jul 31 2012 12:48 PM

our LQS did a swatch test on fabrics and fading.  the higher quality fabric has a better dying process,  when compared to cheaper fabrics.   even though they looked and felt similar going in,  the amount of fading in the cheaper fabrics over a year of hanging in the shop, out of the direct sun, was amazing.

gini in north idaho

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Bobbie replied on Tue, Jul 31 2012 1:41 PM

Thanks for your input everyone, you have been very helpful. I think I will just buy fabrics that have a good feel to them. That seems to be the majority opinion. There are just so many fabrics to chose from! I am still having fun learning everything. 

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You've already learned one VERY important thing--shopping for fabric is the FUN part!

Can't wait to see some pics of what you are working on!

Rose

 

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