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What You Need
Buying quilted fabric is easy but you can't always find the weight and color you want, to say nothing of the expense. Many sewing projects such as small kitchen appliance covers or tote bags are best made with quilted fabrics but your supplier may have limited supplies of pre-quilted fabric. Learn to make your own quilted fabric to have exactly what you want and save money!
What you need to create your own quilted fabric:
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- Fabric- Cotton fabric is usually chosen because it will "stick" to the batting and will not be slippery as many other fabric options might be.
- Batting (Read the paperwork that comes with your batting to know how close the stitching lines need to be to stabilize the batting.)
- A backing fabric (muslin is an inexpensive option)
- Thread - machine quilting thread is best How to Choose the Best Threads for Patchwork and Quilting
- Safety pins - large enough to not bunch the layers of fabric.
- Seam guide or template
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Prepare the fabric
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- Preshrink your fabric to prevent it shrinking after you are finished.
- Press the fabric and backing fabric well.
- On a flat surface, lay out the backing fabric, wrong side up.
- Smooth the fabric so there are no wrinkles.
- Smoothly lay the batting on top of the backing fabric. It is easiest to roll the batting and unroll it on top of the backing fabric.
- Smoothly lay the fabric on top of the batting with the right side up, so that the two fabrics make a sandwich out of the batting.
- Smooth all the layers.
- Use safety pins to "baste" the layers together without disturbing the smoothness of the layers. You will remove the safety pins as you sew. Do not try to sew over a safety pin! If your fabric choices are slippery, hand baste the layers together.
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Sew the Quilting
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- Use a rotary ruler to mark a line that runs at 45 degree angle to the corner of the fabric... or on the bias of the fabric.
- Set your stitch length to a slightly longer stitch length if the fabric seems to tight or bunching. Allow the stitches to be long enough that the fabric does not pucker.
- Sew one line of stitches on the marked line.
- Use a sewing machine guide to sew lines of stitching that are an even distance from the previous line of stitching. The spacing between the lines will be dictated by the requirements of the batting and the size of the project you will be using the quilted fabric to make. For example, a small change purse would need closer stitched lines than a bed spread.
- Continue until you have quilted the amount of fabric you will need for a project.
- Criss-cross your quilting stitches by quilting again from the other direction.
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Jazz it up!
- Consider using decorative stitches rather than straight stitches. Experiment of scraps of fabric with all the decorative stitches you machine has to offer. Use scraps because you don't want to have to remove stitching from your chosen fabric.
- Quilt in curved lines rather than straight lines, just be sure your lines of stitching are an even distance apart.
- Use contrasting thread to make your quilting stitches add to your fabric.
- For a project that both sides of your quilted fabric will be visible, consider printed or colorful fabric for the inside as well as the outside or both layers of fabric.