When it comes to quilting…quilting cotton isn’t your only option to sew with.
While I LOVE quilting cottons, and while they will always be the bulk of what I quilt with, there is a wide variety of fabrics out there that you can mix and match to make beautiful quilts.
Recently I made this throw for my girls:
And I filled it will a lot of my favorite fabrics. The quilting cottons come mostly from our “Just Add Sugar” collection with Riley Blake Designs but then I added some other fun textures like:
Now if you know me you know that I have a thing for velvet and am always sneaking it into quilts whenever I can.
(Like in THIS QUILT from our Four Corners line.)
Velvet feels delicious and adds great texture…however…it can be tricky to work with.
The pile that makes velvet so delightful also makes it slippery and will cause it to shift while sewing so pinning and slow sewing is a must. Velvet and ironing are also a bad combination (a velvet board is suggested for pressing) so while I use velvet whenever I can I use it on large areas and not small, fussy pieces.
You can see in both quilts shown here I used the velvet in solid square areas….and that the velvet used in the colorful throw is a crushed velvet (which is a lot easier to work with because the pile has been reduced).
This fun fabric is known for its raised surface design. It is a double cloth and usually comes in either a cotton or a cotton poly blend.
And while it is traditionally limited to solid colors it gives quilts a great extra texture.
This thickly piled fabric gets its name from the French word for caterpillar. The texture of this fabric has a striped appearance coming from rows of thick tufts against thinner rows of fabric.
I often add this to toddler and children’s quilts. It does shed like crazy during cutting so have your vacuum handy!
Traditionally denims have been stiff and heavy but today there are a variety of denims on the market that are light weight and super soft.
However, I have been known to cut up old Levi’s and use them in picnic quilts. (The denim gets softer with each wash and you know…waste not, want not.)
While I only added crushed velvet, chenille, denim, and pique to this quilt there is still a long list of fabrics that are also wonderful to add as a fun surprise in a quilt…fabrics like:
*Chambray (I actually LOVE this fabric for borders and backing)
*Flannels (who doesn’t love a flannel quilt?)
*Brocade (I treat this much the same as velvet…as in large areas and not small, fussy pieces)
*Corduroy (has a nap that needs care when pressing…heavier weight…I use this sparingly)
*Terrycloth (fun to pop into kids quilt squares…requires pinning)
*Faux Suede (I’m in the middle of a quilt using this for the first time…more details coming soon.)
*Oxford Cloth (a traditional shirting fabric that I always have stockpiled for blocks and have even used it quilt backs)
….the list could go on and on…
Don’t be afraid to mix and match and have fun.
I always think that the crazier the quilt is the more memorable it will become!