Because flannel is a thicker, softer fabric, quilting with flannel is kind of hard on your hardware. Choose a quilt backing with an interesting motif and then quilt from the back along the fabric's printed lines, to transfer the design to the front. You can still do free-motion quilting on a fleece-backed quilt, but I have found that it’s easier when you use motifs that are fairly large and free-form, like a loose stipple or free-form leaves. 100 weight, also called light weight or micro fleece. I still recommend Polartec if you can get it. I have found that fleece is a bit harder to free-motion quilt than a quilt backed with regular quilter’s cotton. Fold up the excess polar fleece around the edges of the quilt top so the polar fleece creates a bound edge around the quilt. Back Your Quilts with Polar Fleece: Durable, Light, Warm, Washable. Sometimes my sewing machine struggles to sew through it. This is true, especially if your top includes white or pale fabrics. Dec 4, 2019 - Make your quilt backings from polyester fleece and you'll get a light, warm, washable, durable quilt that doesn't need a backing layer of cotton fabric. Latest guidelines from pediatric groups is NEVER use fleece blankets for babies or toddlers. Fold a piece of lightweight cardboard or heavyweight fabric like denim or twill until it is as thick as the layers of fabric in your quilt. The raw edge of the fleece will lie upon the top outer edge of the quilt top. This simple patchwork design with squares can be quilted in the ditch against a soft, black fleece backing. Never iron fleece with the iron set above the polyester setting – it will melt. (I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the best-looking backing in the world, but since the main one using it was the dog, I thought it was good enough for its target audience.) Can you back a quilt with polyester fleece instead of the usual batting and cotton backing layers? When I make a double layer fleece blanket I reverse the stretch. I lay the crosswise stretch along the lengthwise stretch which reduces the stretch of the finished blanket. Check out more tips for sewing with fleece! I decided that I did not want to use a regular quilting cotton for the binding on an all-fleece quilt. May 1, 2019 - Make your quilt backings from polyester fleece and you'll get a light, warm, washable, durable quilt that doesn't need a backing layer of cotton fabric. 1. Pin all the edges carefully. Smooth top back and pin the edges. I used black fleece for this project, which I managed to get on sale from my local Jo-Ann’s. The biggest challenge in quilting with fleece is its tendency to stretch as you work with it. Match the selvedges and use a ruler with a grid and your cutting mat to cut a 90 degree angle. Because most fleece fabric is made from polyester, it is (1) warm, even when wet, (2) water-resistant, (3) doesn’t fray at the edges when cut, (4) doesn’t shrink when washed, and (5) comes in a huge variety of different finishes, colors and prints. This picture shows the back of a rag quilt I made to keep in the back of my car. Stitch in the ditch to secure the quilt layers together, working from the center out. Arm your sewing machine with a new, 80/12 or even 90/14 machine needle if you have one. And I am here to tell you that the Polartec fleece is definitely better. Lay the quilt top right side up on top of the fleece, then smooth away any wrinkles. Here’s how to get the best results: If you are bothered by jammed threads or uneven stitches, you may want to try putting a shim under your presser foot. Sew the remaining 1/2 side. Machine-stitch a quilt with cotton fabrics on the front and fleece on the back, using batting as normal, for an extra-plush lap quilt. This project, titled Happy 81st Birthday Grandma, is made from large squares of fleece which are simply quilted with a large “X” pattern. It holds up better when you wash it. It’s like Step #5, except do the long horizontal seams. Design It, Quilt It: Free-Form Techniques. Lay the quilt top right side up on top of the fleece, then smooth away any wrinkles. You can find the nap by running your hand over the fabric. The back of the fleece will look like this when you are done. 4. When it is free-motion quilted, fleece looks just as luxurious as any high-end fabric! Adjust the pressure as you normally would. This is what the back of my quilt looked like before I ironed down the horizontal rows. This helps keep the fleece’s bulk and stretch under control as you sew. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. When she made her first fleece-backed quilt, Kelly decided she was never turning back! 3. Anywhere. Gather your materials. Step 2 Cut a piece of batting the same size as the blanket. Pin the folded fleece in place around each edge, folding the corners in neatly. She didn’t use quilt batting for this picnic blanket and opted to bind the quilt using fleece from the back, which simple wraps around the raw edges. When cutting fleece, make sure to follow the nap and cut all of your pieces in the same direction. It’s for this reason that you shouldn’t feel limited to quilting cottons for your quilt backs. Choose the right needle: 70/10 or 75/11 for micro fleece, 80/12 or 90/14 for medium weight, and 100/16 for heavy weight. It doesn’t pill or start to look worn after a few months. I normally wouldn’t quilt to the edge using this method and instead quilt 1” away from the edge or so…but it was an afterthought with this little quilt. If you live in a climate where the weather gets cold, you can’t beat polyester fleece as a quilt backing. The back of your quilt should be about 3-4” larger all around than the top of the quilt. December 28, 2014 By Lindsay Conner & filed under Quilting Blog. You cannot breathe through it hence why it blocks the cold air so well. Featured photo by See Things Differently, Flickr.com. I like to use 200 weight fleece for my quilts. Do use thin cotton or polyester for lining fleece garments; Under collars can be done with nylon taffeta or webbing. This can help the presser foot stay balanced. The beauty of fleece is that it doesn’t fray so you don’t have to finish it off. Lots of softer alternatives like minky quilting and fleece quilt backing can take your quilt and make it extra cozy for the chilly months. Baste the two quilt layers together. I used to. If you have that issue, simply reverse the clamp and grab the loose elastic end. If you’re the kind of quilter who hates to throw away scraps, you can piece together smaller pieces of fleece to make them large enough to use for your backing. Both are very snuggly. Then if I layered the batting and quilt top on top and stuck pins through it, more than likely when I removed the tape the fleece would retract back into it’s normal shape, causing my quilt top and batting to go crazy. Now Put fleece flat on ground. Featured photo by See Things Differently, Flickr.com. Fleece also comes in wider widths than the standard quilter’s cotton most often used for backings, so it’s often possible to back your quilt without having to piece the fleece backing to make it wider. Sign up for the Premium Membership and get access to our best Craftsy videos and projects. 3. Stitch around the raw edge of the fleece using a wide zigzag stitch to secure the fleece binding around the edges of the quilt. Don’t bleach or use fabric softener or dryer sheets when you wash fleece. It’s just better. Jun 19, 2020 - Make your quilt backings from polyester fleece and you'll get a light, warm, washable, durable quilt that doesn't need a backing layer of cotton fabric. Set your machine to a longer stitch of 7-9 stitches per inch (3-3.5 mm). Sew a 1/4 inch seam around 3 1/2 sides of the quilt. Quilting with fleece can save you some money because it allows you to make a two-layer quilt instead of the traditional three-layer one. When washing a finished fleece quilt, use a low-heat setting and steam to press your seams. Smooth out any wrinkles and double check everything. I stitched around some block designs on the more elaborately pieced one--stars with alternating chain blocks and the other was a small trip around the world with 5" flannel squares so I just did an X design on it. Where I live in Northern California, the nights are chilly almost all year round, so I back almost all my quilts with polar fleece fabric instead of the traditional batting and backing layers. A simple and fast quilting method is to "stitch in the ditch." Before you build your quilt sandwich and start quilting, you have one step to complete: you need to make a quilt back.. Quilt backing is the bottom layer of a quilt sandwich. I’ve quilted with cheap fleece (the kind you can get at big-box fabric stores), and I’ve quilted with the real deal, Polartec fleece made by Malden Mills, which you will probably have to buy online. Yes! Baste with your favorite method. Back the quilt in fleece (choose a school or team fleece print for super-fans) and sew up the bonus pillowcase pattern, which is perfect for rolling up your quilt to take it with you to the big game. Fleece is soft, light, warm, and washes and dries well. Space the basting pins every 2 to 3 inches, working your way out to the edges from the centre until you pin-baste the entire quilt. Iron the rest of the seams open. Cut your front and back fabric to the same size. 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