Have you tried knits from quilting cotton designers?

Wow! I’m relieved that you enjoyed my fabric haul videos – and glad that many people took the time to leave really in depth comments. Thank you! 

One of this topics that came up in the comments is how more and more quilting cotton companies are starting to release knits. I think this is a brilliant change in the industry – but are the knits any good? I thought maybe we could pool our experiences so that we can shop smart!

Looking around online, here are the quilting cotton lines that seem to branching out into knits – and what I’ve heard, if anything, about their quality!

(And since several people mentioned how pleased they are with shopping at Hawthorne Threads, I figured I’d use their site for links. Thanks to Gail who pointed out just how many knits they have now!) 

  • Riley Blake: They’ve been into knits for a while, and seem to have a good selection of basic graphic dots, stripes, and chevrons. I know Steph from Sewing Cake has been pleased with the Riley Blake knits she’s used… according the post I link to, she says they wash and wear well, don’t curl badly when you sew, and are printed on grain!
  • Westminster Knits, including Anna Maria Horner: Listed as interlock, so probably quite stable? 
  • Robert Kaufmann Laguna Jersey: These have been around for quite a while too. Lots of variety of solids and prints! 95% Cotton/5% Spandex. Robert Kaufmann also has other prints
  • Briar Rose Knits by Heather Ross:  Finally one I’ve touched! I bought some of this from fabric.com and it was AWFUL. It’s interlock (which makes me afraid of all those other interlocks) with almost no stretch and the same crusty ink that bugged me about Girl Charlie fabrics. Definitely NOT something I would recommend! It’s made by Windham, so I’d be wary if they start releasing other knits…
  • Art Gallery: They are releasing a bunch of interlock prints in September – I’m curious to see how they are! 
  • April Rhodes: Also produced by Art Gallery, but these are a 95% Cotton/5% Spandex blend. Heather made a top recently in this tomahawk print, and she said the quality is good – like a slightly lighter Lillestoff, I think she said, which is high praise! 

The curious thing that jumps out at me is that so many companies are coming out with interlocks instead of jersey. Why? (For reference, a classic man’s t-shirt would be made of interlock. Beefy, little stretch, not much drape. I stand corrected! Lisa G points out below that men’s shirts are jersey… I did some research and an interlock would look like the right-side of jersey on both sides. Could be soft, thick and stretchy, or very stable.) Is a stable knit more appeal for people used to sewing with quilting cotton? Or is it more popular for kid’s clothes? To my mind, a cotton/spandex jersey blend is much more forgiving, both for sewing and wearing. In my dream world, they’d make drapey rayon knits too!

Now to my point: Have you touched/bought/sewn with any of these brands of knit? If you have, or know of a blogger who has, please let us know what the fabric is like in the comments below. I’ll make a second post with more detailed reviews, if we come up with more information! And if you haven’t sewn with these knits, what kind of base fabric would you like them to use?

Oh yeah – and what brands did I miss?

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