Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Material III

My parcel arrived from Creative Grids this morning – hurrah! – so now I am have all my equipment for quilting at my fingertips!

Material, cutter, ruler, mat, sewing machine, iron. Check!

I even have a Plan for project number 1, which I shall be embarking on this weekend. I’m not telling you lot about it just yet - I need to run the details past colleague Rita tomorrow to make sure I've got things straight in my head.

I think that it is simple enough, however I fully expect that I may need your help at some point! Speaking of which, here is today’s beginner’s question – I can use material marked as ‘linen’ on the label, can’t I, because that’s just cotton by another name, right?

I saw couple of tops in the charity shop at lunchtime, 100% pure linen – one was a size 22 long line tunic, & it struck me that it consisted of an enormous expanse of good quality fabric – all for the grand sum of £1.99.

Talking of fabric, I’m going to play with some 5” squares.


  1. You can use whatever fabric you like for quilts, but bear in mind that different types will behave differently and you may get more stretch from some. You just need to make sure the weave is close enough, or you may have problems with fraying and wadding bearding through later on. Traditionally good quality cottons are used because they're the easiest to work with, but in the "olden" days they used whatever was to hand! I would recommend starting with a decent cotton fabric, you don't want to get frustrated with your first project, there's plenty of time for experimenting later on :o).

  2. Ditto everything Ali said!

    Steer clear of polycottons for now, they can be as slippery as a bag of eels. Stick to regular 100% cotton until you've got a couple of projects under your belt.

    (PS: every answer throws up more questions - have we already told you what bearding is?)

    (PPS: have you got any wadding/batting yet? Don't make the mistake of using a nasty thick polyester in your first project - it will be a bugger to quilt and you'll get disheartened. www.asding.com used to do a brilliant selection pack so you can try out lots of different types - and have a look at their Waddipaedia, great information)

  3. Ok, ok, you're right about sticking to just using good quality cottons at this point. :)

    It's just that the differetial cost of proper quilting fabrics in Quaint Shops -vs- cost of charity shop discarded clothes made of quality cotton print seems to be enormous!

    I'm still preoccupied with piecing - and will be for a bit - so the complexities of wadding, backing and quilting are ahead of me yet.

    Asding.com don't seem to have a selection pack on the website, but maybe the good fairy Asding would either put one together for me to play with (for a suitable consideration), or suggest a suitable wadding for me to buy for this Project 1...?

  4. I'm glad Bilbo made the point about using poly cotton. When I started my first quilt (a king-size bed quilt!) there was no one to tell me that. Guess what? That quilt is still in the loft somewhere, unfinished.

  5. PS And I used a thick, puffy, cheap wadding cos I thought I'd get a more puffy look that way. It was a cheap one too and sheer h*ll to hand quilt.

  6. re: cost of fabrics. Absolutely NOTHING wrong with buying 100% cotton shirts from a charity shop - I used to do it a lot and still have to sew my hands into pockets when I walk past Oxfam ... so tempting.

    Once bought a brand new man's shirt in some posh shop - it was HUGE (sort of XXXL), lovely 100% cotton material, in a lovely brown plaid which goes perfectly with a large quantity of similar fabrics waiting to be used - and it was reduced to £1.99, probably got about 1½ metres of useable fabric from it.

  7. I might have to raid the charity shops tomorrow for gents cotton shirts in a suitable shade - I have just realised that the dark green fabric that I'd planned to use as a border is some sort of blend - maybe viscose/cotton. It's very soft, but looks a bit too difficult and stretchy for me to easily work with.


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