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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Can a quilt be made with knit fabric? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Can a quilt be made with knit fabric?
quilts with knit fabric & how would you bind/finish the quilt?
bookwormbethie
bookwormbethie
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Date: 10/19/10 3:01 PM

Hello! I feel so silly asking this question, but when I see pics of quilts in magazines, on flickr, or in person, they all seem to be made out of 100% cotton fabric.

I've seen some super cute knit fabric at JoAnns, and I'm wonder if a quilt can be made with knit fabric for the top, batting in the middle, and knit fabric for the back.

I do have a walking foot & 1/4" foot. I know I would use a different needle to sew with knits. Does anyone ever make quilts with knit fabric?????

How would one go about binding a quilt with knit fabric? I have never heard of homemade knit bias tape????

thanks,
bethie

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Doris W. in TN
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In reply to bookwormbethie


Date: 10/19/10 4:02 PM

You need one of the better books on making tee-shirt quilts, because they are knit and have to have fusible interfacing to stabilize them. Quilters make them all the time. Usually, they are backed with cotton because the knit has been stabilized, and bound with cotton. That is the only type 'knit' quilt I have ever heard of. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it might be a challenge. A walking foot would be necessary.

Iowa Hoodlum
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Iowa Hoodlum
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Date: 10/19/10 5:50 PM

I have a love/hate relationship with a family hand-me-down quilt patched together from whatever was around at the time. There are wovens and knits mixed together in the quilt. It's polyester and cotton fabrics (not blends: some pieces are cotton, others are polyester. The bindings are all woven, though. Since everything it was made from was well-worn or worn-out, I can throw it in the wash without fear of anything bad happening to it in terms of color fading, shrinkage, etc.). Anyway, I guess I would test out some seams and see what happens. If you're not going to be stretching the finished product, then you may not need to take all that much care to keep all the stitching stretchy.

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Peggy L
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Date: 10/19/10 6:09 PM

I made a t-shirt quilt for my DD several years ago. As Doris said, I backed all the shirt pieces with a light weight fusible to stabilize and then used a cotton for the backing.

The only quilts (and I am going on memory here) I have seen made with knits are some of the quilts in the Gee's Bend exhibition that was in Houston, TX a few years ago maybe around 2003 or 04. This group of quilters worked with what was given to them. Interesting story and there is a book about them!!!

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bookwormbethie
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Date: 10/19/10 8:23 PM

wow thank y'all for the info. i had no idea that the knit fabric would need to be stablized for a quilt. in my nearly 2 years of sewing i have avoided fusible interfacing, i just plain don't like the idea of it. when i've made clothes that have needed lightweight fusible interfacing, i have used the sew-in kind, it makes the sewing process a bit longer, but i like using sew-in for garments. i'll have to think over this whole knit + fusible interfacing for a quilt though, although i am glad to know this since i had no idea that a knit fabric quilt would need interfacing.....

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LauraTS
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Date: 10/20/10 6:05 PM

Depending on the stability of the knit, you might be able to make a throw using large pieces, omitting the batting and quilting. I wouldn't try using a knit that wasn't stabilized with interfacing for any complicated patterns or any quilting - it's going to shift all over the place no matter what you do, in my experience.

I made a throw out of reused denim and had a heck of a time with the stretch denim pieces I incorporated - I should have interfaced to stop the stretch, but I didn't.

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LuceLu
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In reply to bookwormbethie


Date: 10/20/10 10:35 PM

Good question. I have considered saving my knit scraps and serging them into a sort of patchwork, backing them with one of those t-shirt sheets and large zigzagging the hell out of it to keep it together. No binding--serge edeges together and pillowcase it (turn it). Against all warnings and advice-- break all the rules and I think my son would love it.

TanitIsis
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Date: 10/20/10 11:00 PM

I have a patchwork quilt my Grandma made for me in the early eighties. It's largely polyester (ah, the times) and I'm pretty sure most of the squares are of horrible polyester knit (the colours are pretty, though). They are definitely not very stretchy, however---not sure if the fabric was originally stable or if they're interfaced. It has definitely been through the wash many a time; the backing and binding is a woven poly-cotton blend, I think.

iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 10/21/10 4:25 AM

People do make t-shirt quilts. They are always stabilised and you may need to use wider seams than normal, then trim them down to reduce bulk. Walking foot totally necessary! You would want a very sturdy non-stretching fusible interfacing and be sure it is properly fused or you'd end up with bubbles. T-shirts quilts can and have been successfully quilted, you may want to look at fusing the batting and sticking the quilt top and back to it-one side at a time as pinning would be difficult and you'd likely make holes with most safety pins in knit fabrics. OR hand tie?
I'd be using a knit needle in a size 90, and you may even want to put a regular woven on the back of the quilt to add additional stabilisation to the whole thing.
I recall some years ago someone was on Simply Quilts with their T-shirt quilts, nice way to make better use of clothing that is no longer worn and to capture memories in a quilt.
There is no need to use only cotton batting, you can use wool. You may even find one of the low loft felted "grippy" polyester batts that has very little loft and behaves alot like cotton. Its about half the price of cotton and good if you want a synthetic batting in the quilt. It is a very particular sort of poly batting, not the everyday fluffy stuff you see cheaply on rolls. It really does look like white felt more or less, and once the quilt is pressed in place it can be every bit as difficult to lift and rearrange the top as it is on cotton. I've only seen one retailer where I live selling it, don't know its name, sorry.
Be aware the back of the interfacing can be slippery... spray basting is another alternative that if you do it outside, and take sensible precautions of using a mask, could help you tame the slippery interfacing and baste at the same time. The last thing you want to ever do is to inhale aerosoled glue
-- Edited on 10/21/10 4:29 AM --

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Dustykins

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Date: 10/21/10 8:56 AM

I don't have a clue how she did it, but here's quilt made of cotton jersey:

zigzag quilt

I think she's planning on posting a tutorial on her blog in November sometime.

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