There have been many times when I have pieced a quilt, quilted it, bound it…and then loved, washed, loved, washed, repeat many years, and then I find it. Â The dreaded hole! Â Most of time I can blame no the kids, but the fabric.
The fabric wasn’t the best in quality when I started quilting, and to be honest I had no idea what I was doing, buying or sewing! Â I went off of- hey, I kind of like this emotion. Â I happily went home to sew something up right away with the new fabric that I had bought.
Come to find out a few years later, that that method wasn’t the best in determining what fabric to use in the quilt. Â I should have taken a look at the quality of the thread. Â Or noticed that it had a bunch of sizing so it would make a popping sound when my needle sewed through it.
There are a few ways to find out the quality of the fabric you are buying.
1) Â purchase fabric from online or local Quilt shops. Â These are the places that carry the best part of the fabric when it is produced. Go often and touch the fabric! Â It’s kind of like baking bread. Â After a few times, you just ‘know’ what the dough should feel like. Â You fingers will catch on to what quality fabric should feel like. Â Learn the feel!
2) Â hold the fabric up to the light. Â Single layered, if you can see the person you are standing next to through the fabric, it probably isn’t the best. Â It might be the cutest thing on the planet, but if it is translucent you will quickly not have a quilt after it is washed a couple of times.
3) Â check the salvedge edge. Â See who produced it. Â Sometimes there are lines of fabric that are printed for different stores. Make sure the original fabric design company is listed, and not the store it is printed for. Â You might be taking a chance on it if it has a different name.
4) Â can it stand on it’s own? Â this kind of goes along with #1. Â You will learn to have a feel for fabric. Â Some fabric has a lot of sizing on it- so much so that the fabric can almost stand on it’s own! Â It stiffens the fibers, and can be a bugger to wash out. Â This can be a sign of possible bleeding of color too- you never know.
My goal in life is to never make a quilt that will be around 101 years. Â I want the quilts that I sew to be used, and worn into the ground. Â I don’t mind that! Â I love to find my kiddos snuggled in something that I made them….or that they ask for a new one- just because. Â This to me is the ultimate joy of quilting for me.
With that though….I don’t enjoy my quilts falling apart because of shoty fabric, bad thread or crappy, fading prints. Â I am more careful in my selection now. Â I know that they will be worn out because of use, not because of the material I used.
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Q & A: What’s your take on fabric quality? Â Does it matter to you?
How do you make sure that you don’t get holes in your projects?
Have a suggestion, tip….let’s talk about it in the comments!