Using Alternative and Unique Fabrics in Your Quilts

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Quilts don’t have to be made only using quilting cotton, especially if you are making art quilts. Heather Thomas shows you several different alternative fabrics to try out in your next quilt.


Heather shows a variety of different silks that can be used as your next quilting fabric. Some of them include silk charmeuse, silk velvet and silk dupioni. Silk charmeuse is a lightweight, woven fabric. Because of the way it is made, the right side of the fabric has a nice luster while the wrong side is more dull. Silk velvet is a very soft, plush fabric that is lighter weight than standard velvet. Silk dupioni is a rather rough, woven silk fabric with a slight iridescent look. While all of these silks can be incorporated into your next quilt, Heather explains that some of these unique fabrics require additional preparation to make them easier to work with. Heather recommends fusing a permanent, woven interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric before cutting and quilting begins.

Other Unique Fabric

Some of the other unique fabrics Heather shows include cotton twill, canvas and linen. Twill refers to the type of fabric weave and is constructed with both diagonal and parallel ridges. A cotton twill is this kind of weave using raw cotton. While canvas is generally thought of as a home decor or outdoor use fabric, it is a heavier weight fabric that can actually add a lot of structure to a quilt.

When it comes to using new unique fabrics in your next quilt, one of the easier ones to work with may be linen. Heather explains that all of these fun, unique fabrics can be easily added to a quilt or even used to make the entire quilt, as she shows with several examples.

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Tags: alternative fabric, dupioni, Free Videos, Heather Thomas, quilt silk, velvet