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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The jury is in - Ramblings on fabrics...

 The avid "raw edge" appliquer that I am, I have often wondered just how much difference, my using Fray Check or Fray Block on the pieces would really make. Most of my things are art quilt type of things that would never get washed, but there are those occasional other things, that would likely find their way into a washer from time to time. So I set out to find out just what the differences are.  

                  Here are 3 blocks. The top one has had nothing put on it and as you can see, there was quilt a bit of raveling on the applique pieces after 1 wash.

From what I can tell, there is very little difference between the Fray Check and the Fray Block. I switched a couple of years back to Fray Block. I wish I could tell you why, but I really don't know now.  There might be a tiny little amount of extra fraying on the Fray Check block, but I am not sure if that isn't just from the difference in fabrics. The more solid rusty orange fabric is a top quality quilt shop fabric, while the brighter, checked orange is a JoAnn's fabric. It shouldn't have held up as well in the wash, but I am not seeing that result.
So what I have come up with after this little experiment is, that both seem to do the job they were designed to do which is good news for us! It's my opinion that all raw edge applique should have something used on it.

This got me to thinking about fabrics. It seems that quilt shop quality fabrics can in fact be as subjective as any other fabric in quality. It's my humble opinion, there is a time and a place for all fabrics regardless of the price point for that fabric. I love going into quilt shops and seeing everything they have to offer, but the $$$$$'s can be a big factor, in a project. Personally, I feel that not all JoAnns' or Hobby Lobby fabrics are a lower quality either. So for myself, I am happy to use a "mixed bag" in my projects. After all, originally didn't they chop up old clothes and piece them back together to make something to keep warm with? I know there are precious few that survived and they are "treasures" like no other. My projects will likely not last an eternity, but neither will I, and for me it's the journey I took creating it, that is more important. If it gets used up till it's no more, than it lived a good life! So no matter what our means or purpose, there is something for everyone and room for all, in our quilting world.
 Go out and create your personal treasure!! Then share it with us all.
There is "NO" better inspiration than that!


  1. Thanks for this example. It's really helpful to those of us who don't to appliqué that often.

  2. You are so right, Joan- and good for you for saying it: we don't have to spend a fortune to create!
    We all need to give ourselves permission to create for the sake of creating, for the joy it provides, and maybe that means spending less because it doesn't have to be a masterpiece.
    I hope your post encourages fellow creators to start on something, whether they buy expensive stuff, bargain bin stuff- or use stuff they dug out of the basement...
    I for one, am going to my studio right now! lol

  3. I agree -- every raw edge applique should have something to secure its edges. I've learned that only hand-dyed or hand-painted fabrics will not fray when fused, if the pieces are cut AFTER the fusing paper is removed. Commercial fabrics are going to fray, so you're smart to put Fray-Check on those.

    LOVE the pumpkin!



Thanks for stopping by today. Your comments really do make me day!