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"Stretchy" Quilt (no I didn't make it)

by Lorellyn
(Boise, ID)

I bought this quilt second hand. It includes many VERY STRETCHY velour pieces as well as several other "unsuitable for quilting" blocks. It has no tags and I'm guessing it was made in China. (Sorry the lighting is so poor and I didn't even clear off the counter behind it before snapping the picture.)

None of the pieces seem to be interfaced! It is soft and comfortable with a cheap cotton fabric on the back and has a high loft (probably poly) batting. It's quilting looks like a very loose hand made running stitch but is probably done by machine using some kind of basting stitch.

If you, like I, have a lot of "unsuitable" for quilting fabrics, please contact me with your ideas. I'm sure stretchy fabrics have much to offer IF we can figure out how to use them in our quilts without pulling our hair out!

Maybe it's time we took stretch velour and cotton knits, etc off our "can't do" list!?! This quilt is proof enough for me!

Thoughts anyone?

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Jan 28, 2018
Stretchy fabrics - CAN DO!
by: Wayne

I do work with a long-arm quilter often and when a project came in, he shuddered at it, and almost told the customer he would not attempt it.

I did take on the challenge for him and the customer, and the result was spectacular! The face was 'hoodie' fleece pieced into diamonds, from her son's cast-offs. Unfortunately, many of the pieces had stretched at the seams and the stitching broke. I told the customer I would need to restitch the pieces using a stretch stitch, so she toddled off with it and returned with it a few days later all nicely stretch stitched, with an awesome fleece fabric to use as the backing.

She initially wanted poly filling, but I convinced her to use a cotton instead. When I sandwiched the quilt, I did it off the frame, and used a temporary spray adhesive to tack the backing, batting and top together. I then used a loose long (7 per inch [3.5mm]) stitch to quilt the top using a 4" high pantograph. The quilting was moderately dense - say about 3/4" apart. The result is/was spectacular, and I applied a binding of microsuede (since it also stretches slightly). Yep, the seams had bumps, but the adhesive helped here. I did grade some of the tips when sandwiching to smooth them - fleece doesn't iron well!

After washing, all of the stretch along the seams and quilting lines was under control, and the quilt was super soft and cozy. She was thrilled, and so was I. Over a year later, she sent me a note to say the quilt is holding up well, and her son is using it at college.

Stretchy fabrics - no problem. Just use a stretch stitch, and tack your sandwich together. Also, make sure you use a batting that WILL shrink, and a loose, moderately dense quilt design. (no straight lines!) I would attempt this with a domestic machine also, but would likely thread baste the entire quilt before starting.

From the Editor:

Excellent advice, Wayne. Thanks for sharing.

And wonderful collaboration with the quiltmaker to handle what could have been a difficult quilt. Bravo!--to BOTH of you!


Julie Baird

Aug 01, 2017
"Stretchy" works for me!
by: SueJean

I made a quilt from my husband's pullover shirts when he stopped wearing them. I started with 10" blocks and when I couldn't get a piece that size, I cut 5.5" blocks and sewed four of them into 10" blocks.

The edges were constantly trying to roll on me and seams slipped here and there, but the end result was fine. I tied it since machine quilting it would have been a nightmare and backed the whole thing with a large piece of fleece.

My advice: go for it!

From the Editor: I LOVE your attitude!

~ Julie Baird

May 29, 2016
by: Anonymous

Try using a lightweight iron-on no woven interfacing to stabilize the velour. I kept my Grandma's embroidered fleece sweatshirts to do the same thing. Her favourite colours of jewel tone purples, emeralds and navy will make a treasured heirloom, too.

Best wishes with your design.

Apr 09, 2016
Velour Quilt
by: Ginny

I'm about to attempt a velour quilt for my daughter's wedding present. The velour is harvested from my mother's wardrobe. She passed several years ago and I wanted a way to represent her at her granddaughters wedding so I saved those clothes these past years just for this purpose.

I'm looking for any tips or tricks to help me work with this fabric. So please share your wisdom so I can make this an extra special day for my daughter.

You can reach me at

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