Today’s Tips and Tricks Tuesday is brought to you by Bobbie from A Vision to Remember! If you’re loving rag quilts as much as we are this season, she’s got the scoop on how to be sure you’re using the right fabric for the job.
I couldn’t even count how many rag quilts I have made in the last four years for my Etsy Shop. However, there have been a few things that I have learned about which fabrics work best in a rag quilt.
I think the question that I receive the most about rag quilts is: What type of fabrics do you use?
The answer is: basically anything that will fray….
Your next question I know is: How do I know if a fabric will fray?
Answer: on the bolt of fabric it will say something like 100% cotton or quilters or flannel.
I like to use 100% cotton fabrics because they fray the best. Some of the solid fabrics that I use do have polyester in them. The polyester in fabrics will keep the fabric from fraying.
Minky is a favorite fabric for baby blankets because it is so soft. Go ahead and use it in rag quilts if you want the softness. Just keep in mind that it will not fray. The same thing with fleece. It makes a blanket really soft but it will not fray.
Instead of cutting the minky down into the same sizes as your rag quilt pieces I like to make the rag quilt and then add a solid piece of minky backing onto the quilt. Here is a little tutorial for that.
Here is the lowdown on the fabric I use for the tops of the quilts:
I mix and match fabrics. I basically use anything that is quilt-worthy for the blankets. I use mostly quilters’ cotton, flannel (be careful of the quality because some of the flannel from the big box quilt stores and walmart is very poor and will get those little bumps on the top), home decor fabric (it isn’t the softest but sometimes its the only fabric in a certain style/color that I can find), and any other 100% cotton fabric.
For the back of my quilts I use solid flannel. You can use the same fabric on the front and the back of the quilt if you would prefer.
Where do I purchase my fabric? I personally purchase the majority of my fabric from wholesale fabric companies. But when I don’t need 10-15 yards of a single fabric then I purchase from 4 places for the rest. They are Home Fabrics which is a discount fabric store for fabrics that were overprinted or have problems with it), Joanns, Hobby Lobby, Etsy, and my local quilt shops.
Oftentimes when we travel for the weekend or whatever I like to stop at the local quilt shops. They have the best eye candy. Seriously!
A note about quilt shops: their fabric is pricey compared to the big stores, but it’s to die for. So, when I find fabric at these shops that I just have to have, I try and find coordinating fabrics from the other stores. That I don’t break the bank so to say.
Another thing to keep in mind about your small quilt shops is the fabric quality is above and beyond anything you can get at your big box stores. If you are going to invest a lot of your time to sew a quilt then it will probably be worth the investment to buy a little more expensive fabric.
Thanks again to Bobbie for sharing her quilting secrets with us today! Be sure to head over to her blog for more amazing sewing tips and tricks!