Saturday, August 02, 2014

Choosing a brand of solid fabric to use with vintage fabrics while quilting

This post will not be very helpful to many of you, but I am hoping it will be helpful to myself in the future, and to others who are madly googling trying to find someone who will recommend a solid fabric to use in combination with vintage (1930s and 1940s specifically) fabrics while quilting.
 First, a peek of my newest vintage fabric, isn't it sweet!

So I finally finished piecing 585 2x3 inch pieces of 1930s/1940s fabric coins. It took a darn long time since I can only really sew for about 30 minutes once a day. (If I am lucky.) When it came time to buy fabric for the sashing I really wanted something just perfect to work with my vintage fabrics.  In my ideal world I would have yards and yards of vintage solids to choose from. Sadly the only solids I have are colored, and I don't have the yardage available for something like this.

I needed 2.5 yards to make the sashing.

My usual source for that kind of fabric is Joann. They do sell Kona now, but I find Kona really thick and heavy and just not really suited for "fine" vintage fabrics. (I do find it works fine with the coarser feedsacks though.) Most of their other solid colored fabrics do not wow me either.

I really want something light and soft and with a tiny bit of the perfect sheen.

So. I googled and googled and googled. I read forums. I asked everyone. No luck.  Then I stumbled on this very helpful post.  I still wasn't able to decide, but I decide to take a rather expensive (for me! I really do not like to spend a ton of money on a hobby) risk and order a bunch of 2.5 yard pieces of different whites to find the "PERFECT" white based on her reviews. After all, I will use the other white fabrics in something for sure and then I will know what white to order for the quilts that are still tumbling in my brain waiting to get out. (I am becoming more than a little obsessed with quilting now.)
 First up-  designer solids in arctic white by Free Spirit Fabrics. Eh, this might as well be Kona to me. Too heavy, too thick of a weave.

 Pure elements solid snow - very soft, very drapey, quite silky, but to me it seems more like blouse fabric.
RJR Cotton Supreme Solids in Ink Blossom - too heavy again.  At this point it was becoming apparent that weight is really the deciding factor in this challenge.
Michael Miller cotton couture solid - I mistakenly ordered "soft white" in this, which is really a winter white instead of a bright white, but it was the immediate winner as soon as I touched it. It is so soft and light and fine. It has a beautiful hand and a tiny bit of sheen and is working beautifully with my precious old fabrics.

My verdict for the best solid fabric to use with vintage fabrics?  Michael Miller Cotton Couture all the way.  I think I might splurge on a color card to see if any of the colors will work. (Color matching old fabrics is a whole different nightmare.)

My next decision is which basting method to try.  Now that I am digging into my more valuable and rare vintage fabrics I am more motivated to really do it RIGHT. My usual pin basting method is just no good on the new Bernina, so I think I am going to give that 505 spray a try.

I will confess, I am more nervous about that than the fabric test though! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for spray! Try on something small first - a doll quilt or lovey. Just get a feel for it before you use your precious fabrics.
    Thanks for the info on the solids - I may have to get a color card as well!


Hi there. What say you?