Clueless QCAL (As if!) — Let’s Talk About Fabric


I know we are still two months out from starting, but Lex and I just went to our local quilt shop to get the fabric for our coats. I’m happy with my choices, but I am definitely jealous of her fabrics–I can’t wait to see what y’all pick! A few things came up while we were chatting about this project. I figure I should share those thoughts sooner rather than later, in case you are like us and can’t wait.
Before purchasing exterior & backing/lining
Before you purchase the fabric for your quilt coat, be sure to take note of the width of the fabric noted on your coat pattern. My NewLook 6585 pattern calculates the yardage needed, based on a 60″ wide fabric, but quilting cotton is usually 44″. Because my fabric is only 44″ wide, I will need extra yardage for the arms (based on how the pattern suggests I cut). I won’t need ALL of the fabric designated for the back panel as I’m making a Mullet Coat, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to need more than what has been allocated.

If you won’t be installing a separate lining (just using the backing of your quilted pieces), you will need binding fabric to hide your seams and finish the exterior edges. Jodie of Scribbly Gum Quilt Co has a post talking about binding a coat. You can find it here. It’ll be quite awhile before we finish our coats, so you can wait to buy the fabric for your binding (or the premade stuff that saves heaps of time). But if you are ready to pull the trigger, check out the post as she talks about how much you’ll need (roughly).

Before purchasing batting
I’ve heard many people use their normal quilting batting (often Warm & Natural) for their coats and have been happy. But, you may want to consider something different for this project depending on the use. Maybe go with something lighter if you live in a warmer climate, something poofier if you want some volume, or something thicker/warmer if you live in the Arctic.
To Pre-Wash or Not To Pre-Wash
In the preliminary schedule I shared in the first email, I note to pre-wash fabrics. But, I was thinking… I LOOOVE the crinkle I get on my quilts due to not pre-washing, and I think I might want that crinkle in my coat.
If you want a crinkly coat, do NOT pre-wash your fabrics or batting before you piece and quilt. But you WILL wash before you cut out the coat pattern out of your quilted pieces to ensure your coat pieces are the right size (and your coat doesn’t come out too small). If you wait to wash until everything is finished, your coat will shrink (not a problem if your coat is super big).
If you DON’T want a crinkly coat, definitely pre-wash and dry all your fabrics and batting to ensure everything won’t shrink during future washes. You may also consider a polyester batting, which I (believe) doesn’t shrink.
I hope you find my rambling emails helpful (either now or as we get closer to starting)!

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