How To Make Your Own Quilted Fabric

stitcheasy2003October 31, 2010


I have seen prequilted fabric in the fabric stores, and thought I would like to make my own.

Q1: Would someone please tell me how to make your own quilted fabric.

Q2: What kind of batting should be use? For Placemats? Totebags?

Thank you B.

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You can layer any two fabrics with a thin batting between, then just quilt the layers together. It be easiest if it was all straight-line quilting like stripes, squares or diamonds. Handle it just like you would a finished quilt top.

For totes or placemats, I'd personally use a very thin batting like Hobbs or Heirloom. I don't like polyester, but a really thing poly would also work.

After the quilting is done, just use it like you would regular pre-quilted fabrics. After you cut your pieces out, all the loose stitching will be sewn into seams again so you wouldn't have to worry too much about them.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 12:18PM
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I often make my own quilted fabric for totes, humbug bags and place mats. For table/place mats, I use heavy weight interfacing because I don't like a poofy place mat. For the others I use the thinnest batting that I have - usually Warm & Natural and I do a quilting of a diagonal grid using my walking foot or I do a free motion quilting in a medium to large size depending on the size of the item I'm making.

Here are some humbug bags with fabric I quilted:

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:06PM
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If you haven't quilted before you might need to know that the best way to proceed with something like a placemat, say, or the individual pieces of a bag is to cut out the top and backing fabrics a little large. Place the batting in between and secure it with basting and quilt each one individually then trim to the finished size and/or continue with the construction of a bag rather than quilt an expanse of fabric and then cut out individual pieces. Working with smaller segments is just oh-so-much easier than a larger one.

When you do your quilting it works best if you have something called a traveling foot or an even feed foot or a machine with a built in one. Some machines come with such a foot. Sometimes you have to buy it as an accessory. Using such a foot means that the top fabric is fed into the machine at the same rate as the bottom fabric. This prevents puckers and distortion.

If you want straight lines most machines also have guides that are fitted onto the foot to assist you in making parallel lines of various distances. The angle that creates squares or diamonds is established when you sew you first crossing line. But it's worth knowing that organic and irregular lines are interesting too. They just work better if it looks like that's what you were going for rather than attempting geometric lines that weren't quite.

I recommend basting the quilt sandwich. Particularly on first projects. Although for a small project there are basting sprays. Some people use safety pins or basting guns. But basting with a very long needle and tiny stitches on the top/longer on the bottom means that there is nothing to get in the way of the quilting lines as they go under the machine's foot. I tried to avoid basting for years but, in the end, I think it's faster and less frustrating.

In any case, and however you do your securing, make sure that the top and bottom fabrics are taut (not stretched but taut) and have no wrinkles and the batting is lying flat. The best way to do this is to masking tape the bottom fabric to a table top and then lay out each layer smoothing it with your hand. Then use whatever method you choose generously to keep each layer in place while you move the sandwich around under the arm of the machine.

Finally, when all your quilting is done, you finish up with a binding or seams that enclose the raw edges.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:16PM
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PS: Forgot to add that when you lay out your lining fabric make sure it's right side down!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:20PM
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Teresa NC7 - how do you make a humbug bag and what do you use it for? Quite interesting looking. Might make nice gifts for Christmas. Thanks. Carol

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 2:26AM
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Here is a web page with a tutorial on making the little bags. Click to enlarge the directions at the bottom of the page. They are great for sewing notions, cosmetics, toys, marbles, etc. The humbug is a bought pattern, but the teepee is essentially the same thing.


Here is a link that might be useful: teepee bag tutorial

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 6:59AM
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A variation on the teepee bag is the log cabin chicken pin cushion. Here's a pic from a site online (can't find one of mine to take a pic of).

They're cute and fast to run up. My daughter kept one in her room in college and she'd never even think of sewing. ;>

I found some very cheap colored leather scraps in a craft store and used them for the bills, the combs and the tails. Felt works too, of course, so might that colored fun foam that's come along in the last few years but the leather really sold the deal.

If you like you can make them in different sizes and colors. Then you can have a mother hen and a couple little yellow chicks (without the combs). They're cute together too.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 10:52AM
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imrainy gave you some great info. I quilt my own fabric for bags and purses all the time. I too cut the pieces I need at least 2-3 inches larger than final size. Quilting takes up "size" in fabric. You will need to experiment to see how it works for you. A good rule of thumb is the more quilting you do, the more your fabric piece will shrink... hope I am making this clear. Also depending on what you are making, if I am making a bag with a separate lining, I use muslin or an "ugly" piece of fabric for the backing of my quilted top. It isn't going to show and is less expensive. I don't use my "good stuff" where it won't be seen. But that is just me. I only do this with things that won't be washed.
Smiling big.....I have made those humbug bags for years and never realized they were the chicken shape! and all you need is a face and comb!!! I love those chicken pincushions
Isn't this forum the most wonderful thing????

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 5:06AM
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