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Ribbon quilt done with iron-on?

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    Ribbon quilt done with iron-on?

    Hi there,

    I have a few hundred dog ribbons that I want to sew into a quilt. I have some sewing skills but I am very nervous about sewing these tiny satin ribbons. I have looked into getting someone local to stitch it all together for me but I'm not sure I want to spend that money yet.

    What do you all think about doing this all with iron-on? I have approximately 100 ribbons per wall hanging quilt and they don't need to be in a fancy pattern or anything. I just want to have them on display as they are dog competition ribbons for my 2 dogs that have now passed away.

    There are many ideas out there for horse ribbon quilts so there are great photos of quilts that have been made. However, I can't find much information on making the quilt. If the iron-on doesn't work, I may resort to paying someone to stitch them all on.

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give.

    Re: Ribbon quilt done with iron-on?

    I can't give any advice about iron on… but I have made stuff with my horse show ribbons and I'm a novice sewist.

    So… here is my experience. Even though you normally don't backstitch to lock stitching in quilting, it's worth it to do it with ribbons. They become amazingly brittle very quickly and the ends fray and the stitching easily comes apart if not locked, I think because the ribbons are so much stiffer than cotton. Also, avoid any machine stitching with the front of the ribbons downwards, where they would contact the feed dogs - they will scuff the surface of your ribbons. This is an instance where I would definitely machine sew the binding on the front and then hand stitch it to the back.. so you are not running your quilt through with the front facing downwards at all. Another FYI is just to be aware that if you do stitch your ribbons together, you'll lose a 1/4 inch or so on each side, so they will appear skinnier than normal and you might lose some of the text on the edges.

    Hopefully someone else can chime in with iron-on advice… I have no idea about how well that would work. Good Luck!


      Re: Ribbon quilt done with iron-on?

      First, can the ribbons handle the heat of the iron at the temp needed for the bonding to work? You don't really want to melt your ribbons.

      Then, I'd be worried about the adhesive and the ribbon material. Some of the fusible materials may distort the color/texture of the ribbons, sort of like a glue or grease stain might. I'd pick the lighter, web-type fusibles if this is what you are going to try.

      Are they flats or rosettes? Do they have the pointy tops & paper tags on the back of the flats? You may be able to try a piece of foam core and a stapler/gun to attach the ribbons to the foam core and then frame/hang the foam core on the wall.

      The advice on the ribbons not coming in contact with the feed dogs is good. You may also find it easier to try a foundation piecing approach to assembling the display.

      This is one thing I haven't tried with my ribbons. Good luck and post some photos so we can see how it comes out!
      Be who you are and say what you feel
      because those who mind don't matter,
      and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss


        Re: Ribbon quilt done with iron-on?

        Thank you for the ideas. They are mostly flat ribbons that are already cut off the backing so no more paper tags on the back. I don't mind the idea of the foam core. I also am concerned about the integrity of the ribbon now that you mention it.