Wool Fabrics

grrloutloudFebruary 23, 2011

So my parents just moved my grandmother into a home and as I'm the only grand-child who has inherited all the craftiness, I also inherited all of the yarn and fabric that she isn't taking with her. The problem is that of the 10 or so garbage bags that showed up on my doorstep, only about 1 is quiltable fabric - there's a ton of woah-70s! apparel fabric and also about another full bag of what feels like wool and wool blend (complete with dead bugs!). I've seen wool quilts of the felt and then sew variety, but I was wondering if anyone had made a more traditional preparation with seam allowances? My thought had been to try a simple "coins" type quilt with big chunks (of the 6.5" x 18.5") variety and then just do a simple fleece backing, no batting...and put it in the camper as an extra layer for cold nights. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. :)

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I have probably thirty yards of pristine wool suiting fabric I bought at a fabric store going out of business about thirty years ago, carefully stored so the moths couldn't get to it.

It is going to be my next major quilt project. I got it for a song, so also bought lining fabric, figuring it would end up as suits. But, I own a greenhouse now and do not need a bazillion wool suits anymore. :-)

Yes, I'm going to make a wool quilt. My deceased MIL used to make them years ago, and batted and tied them. You'll find wool was a very common quilting material circa civil war era when most farm had a flock and grew linen. You ever hear of lindsy-woolsy? It's a fabric woven of flax and wool fibres. It was a very common cloth and even Civil War uniforms were made of it.

I am not going to felt my wool, and it shall be seamed. I'm not going to make utility quilts, either to throw in the truck. It'll make a drop-dead gorgeous Amish-style pattern and I'm thinking Roman stripes. I shall also bat it with wool and knot the quilt. I would not be able to afford a totally wool quilt at 35$ a yard and it would be the warmest winter cover you can imagine.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:33PM
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I have read that the Amish used wool more than anything and that it makes wonderful quilts. (I'm fascinated by their quilts.) I've seen photos of their wool quilts and the luster of the colors is stunning. (They don't use prints in their quilts, just solids.) Living in Florida all my life, I know NOTHING about wool so of course have never sewn with it, don't even know if it can be washed, but it's interesting and if I had some I would be willing to try it. I do remember an old green Army blanket that my dad had from the service, and it was very scratchy, and I believe it was wool, hope that's not how it all is??

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:44PM
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The earliest quilts I can remember seeing were on my grandfather's and uncles' beds. They were made of squares of men's wool suits. I don't know if they were lined or not and I suspect they were backed with flannel. And they were tied. I thought they were awesome, so many squares, so many different patterns.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:49PM
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My mom has a wool quilt in the works now. She's using a simple brick pattern, crosswise. A word of caution about bringing big sacks of wool with obvious dead bugs into your house--be cautious. It sounds like molt skins from carpet beetles to me.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 8:12PM
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I'm sure they were carpet beetles at one point, but the fabric was all in an unheated house for about a month (last month) in MA. We've been seeing temperatures in the teens and lower at night, so I think they're dead. To be safe, though I sealed everything that came from her up in rubbermaid in the attic which is also not terribly well insulated and stays pretty chilly.

I started piecing some stuff together tonight - I put pictures in my new quilty blog:


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 10:33PM
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I saw a show on Simply Quilts a long time ago about a woman who made felted quilts. They were simply done but looked stunning!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 12:00PM
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