A new year, a new house, a renewed blog, a new focus on my quilting. My plans are to show more "how to" posts about quilting.
So many non-sewers contact me in frustration because they have ruined their treasured ties. When I first wrote the instructions to make a quilt from neckties I was writing for people who have sewing and quilting knowledge. Since then there have been many first time sewers attempting to make this quilt. Please do not use your treasured memories to learn to sew. Yes, it’s a very simple pattern to make. However; it does require at least a minimum knowledge of sewing and sewing products. If you know nothing at all about sewing please find someone in your area who does and is willing to help you. I repeat; using your treasured memories is not be the best choice for learning to sew considering the rookie mistakes that can be made. A fabric store may be able to help you find a mentor or they may have learn to sew classes
Do you actually know what a quilt is? No, it’s not a blanket. A quilt and a blanket are NOT the same thing. Before you make a quilt you first must know what it is. The word quilt actually comes from a Latin word culcita meaning stuffed sack according to the dictionary. Wikipedia describes a quilt as a warm bed covering made of padding enclosed between layers of fabric and kept in place by lines of stitching.
Fabric (cloth) for clothing is manufactured flat then cut and sewn in ways to make it stretch to fit on a round body. Quilts can be made from clothing by cutting the pieces apart and sewing them into a flat fabric again. The problems of working with stretchy fabric is… well… it stretches. When sewing two pieces of fabric for a flat pattern if one or both of them stretch out of shape you don’t get a nice flat quilt. If the fabric you are cutting and sewing is slick and slippery as well as stretchy you are going to have a difficult time keeping everything even and together enough to sew it flat.
Neckties are stretchy because the fabric is cut in such a way to make it wrap around a neck and remain flat while worn. When you plan to make a flat quilt from slippery and stretchy neckties you need a product to help overcome those problems. I call it a stabilizer but some sewers and quilters call it an interfacing. It is NOT a glue product. Let me explain the difference.
Wonder under & Heat n bond: These products are NOT a stabilizer or interfacing. Please do not get these confused with what you need. These are a glue product activated by the heat of an iron and used to glue fabric pieces together. If not used correctly you could end up gluing your ties to your ironing board. These products usually come with a paper attached to prevent it from sticking to itself however newer forms may come without the paper.
Interfacing: Interfacing and stabilizer are very similar products. Interfacing is a product made to be left inside of clothing to give body to it. In the old days it would be sewn inside of collars, cuffs, and lapels to keep their shape during wearing and cleaning the garment. At some point in time someone decided to make interfacing easier to use without hand sewing it inside a garment. So they came up with having tiny dots of glue on one side. One side only. Interfacing was all there was before the invention of stabilizers. Interfacing came in many types and thickness. The padding product found inside of neckties is an interfacing. It gives a thickness to the ties so they look nice but it also acts as a stabilizer.
Stabilizer: This is a product made to prevent fabric stretch and works very much like an interfacing. In the old days of clothing manufacture a stabilizer and an interfacing meant the same thing. Its only over the last three or four decades that the sewing industry has decided to split interfacing and stabilizer into two separate categories even if they are the same thing. A lot has to do with the explosion of embroidery machine sales. These days the clothing industry calls the product interfacing while the embroidery industry calls it stabilizers.
No matter what the sewing industry calls it (stabilizer or interfacing) you need a product that will prevent the ties from stretching as you work with them. Pellon is the brand I choose because I like it. There are other brands out there in fabric stores.
I repeat: if you do not know how to sew or know the basics of quilt construction please do not use treasured memory ties to learn to sew. It is true the Dresden plate design is very easy but only if you know the basics of quilt construction.