I have used all sorts of fabrics in my memory quilts. Everything from sweatshirts to silk ties to nylon workout jerseys. My favorite stabilizers are called Armoweft (medium weight) or Whisperweft (lightweight) which are made by HTCW Inc. http://www.htcwproducts.net/ There really isn't a huge difference in the feel of these so I use whichever I can find. If you have trouble finding it, your local quilt store will probably order it for you or you can get it online. When I started making memory quilts I used lightweight, non-woven, fusible interfacing and it will work. I just like the Armo/whisperweft better; it adheres better to the fabric and leaves it feeling very close to original.
- If you plan on washing your quilt, wash your fabric first. Even if it is fabric that wouldn't normally be washed and dried, if it is going in a quilt it is a good idea to wash it first. Yes, I have washed silks and wools before using them in a quilt.
- For t-shirts, you will want to decide on the logo that you want to use and cut this out with about 2" of fabric all around. The ink used for the logo CANNOT be ironed. You will lay the shirt with the logo side down on your pressing surface and ix the stabilizer to the wrong side of the fabric. I like to use a teflon pressing sheet but parchment paper (from the baking isle at the grocery store) or muslin works too. Once the stabilizer is ironed onto the t-shirt you will cut it to size.
- When using silks or other types of fabric that might stretch or are noticeably lighter weight than the purchased fabric you are using you will want to stabilize that too. If you use interfacing be sure to keep the temperature of the iron at the correct setting for the fabric you are working on. I have found that the Aromo/whisperweft product will still adhere to fabrics when using the lower heat settings appropriate to the fabric type. I have also used foundation piecing when using silk ties. Basically you sew the ties onto a piece of muslin, then piece it into the quilt as usual.