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Have you ever looked at clothing made with pre-quilted fabric and thought … WOW … I’d love to get some pre-quilted fabric to play with!!!
… and then ended up getting distracted before it made it from your shopping cart to your sewing machine?
If you have, then this blog post is for you!
When I was playing with design ideas for the Marty Hoodie I tried out some ways to pre-quilt knit fabric and retain some stretch, using fabrics I had on hand. This blog post will show you what I did and hopefully inspire you to bring some pre-quilted awesome into your next winter sewing project!
What fabrics to use:
The two fabrics I had, that I thought might be pretty good for this project were fleece (fluffy on both sides) and sweatshirt fleece (fluffy on one side).
- 2 layers of sweatshirt fleece – fluffy sides together
- 1 layer of sweatshirt fleece – fluffy side against a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie
- 1 layer of sweatshirt fleece – fluffy side away from a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie.
- 1 layer of fleece with a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie.
- 1 layer of fleece between two layers of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie.
By far my favourite was the layer of fleece with a layer of the stretch jersey I was using for my hoodie. Kt loves that it makes the inside of her kanga pocket fluffy and soft.
I used the same technique for all my combinations. If you’ve got different fabrics to try, I’d still give this method a go.
Practice on scraps of your fabrics. You need to find out whether your pre-quilted fabric will “shrink” after quilting and also how quilting will effect the stretch if you’re needing to retain the stretch. This will help you choose what size pieces to start with.
- Place your layers wrong sides together. If using 3 layers have the fluffiest layer in the middle. You can pin or use wonderclips or basting spray as your would with a regular quilt if you would like. I found that the pieces I was using kind of “stuck” together so I didn’t need to.
- Mark stitching lines with chalk or fading pen on the right side of the jersey. I had my lines about 25mm (1″) apart.
- Increase your stitch length (I increased mine to 4). If you have a walking foot be sure to use it.
- Sew along the centre diagonal first – corner to corner then sew the other lines working from the centre out.
- When you’ve sewn all the lines in one direction turn your fabric around and do the ones that cross them. Again start at the centre and work outwards.
- Cut your pattern piece from your pre-quilted fabric. It might be a good idea to baste around the edges after cutting out your pattern piece.
I’d really love to have a play to see if this same method would work with regular quilting fabrics (with no stretch). I used fleece in my rag quilt (woven fabrics on either side with a layer of fleece in between) and it worked beautifully so I think fleece in the middle should work with woven fabrics also to make woven quilted fabric.
(Side note: I used the Threading Rainbow’s tutorial for making the Rag Quilt from issue 11 to make my Rag Quilt. They also included a tutorial for using rag quilt panels in clothing in this issue – which is well worth a look!)
When researching this blog post, the other tutes I found for DIY pre-quilted fabric, used a layer of batting between two layers of cotton fabric. So if fleece doesn’t give you the result you’re looking for then be sure to give batting a go. If using batting you’d use the same method I have here.