I know I haven’t been keeping this blog up to date – life has gotten in the way – and I haven’t felt inspired to post.
(I could have been busy quilting too J)
My best friend’s daughter got married on Saturday and she wanted a ‘signature’ quilt for her guest book.
Great idea! Of course I volunteered to make it!
My friend bought the brides “fabric of choice” and delivered it to me. WELL! It was homespun cotton. I had never worked with homespun cotton before – it felt different…
I reached out to my Facebook groups and asked the question –do I do anything different?? Have you worked with it??
I got lots of responses – I will summarize what I ‘read’ (not exact quotes haha) “it’s pretty much the same as cotton” “no problems” “use it the same”.
And so I tackled this project. I decided I would do a rail fence pattern – leaving the centre strip as the signature area. The centre strip being ‘100% cotton’.
I started cutting the fabric….and that’s where it
went to hell the challenge began…LOL
so these are my tips on Homespun cotton J
I hope this helps anyone out there considering using it!
-Homespun cotton reminds me of fabric cut on the bias times one hundred – stretchy and wiggly – and loosely woven!!!
-when I starched the fabric it was pretty much the same as when it wasn’t starched – it feels ‘flimsy’ whereas with cotton if you have starched it – you could almost ‘hold it up’ – this stuff curled on the edges etc…. eyeyeyeyey
-when cutting homespun fabric which is generally ‘plaids’ you should not cut the same way you cut 100% cotton(folded fabric – nicely lined up top and botton) – you should cut on the lines (assuming plaid) one layer at a time!! Thanks to Jo at Christmas Crab Quilts who ‘showed me the way’ (after I had cut ALL but the border fabric)
In this picture you can see I didn’t cut on the lines – it’s slanted…..
In this picture you can see I DID cut on the lines…..much much better!!!!
-When piecing this stuff – use a GOOD ¼” seam – if I was doing it again – I probably would almost go with 5/8” – this stuff is so very loosely woven – I had one tiny spot where I must have gotten too close and it unraveled on the back and I had a little hole on the front. If I were doing it again I might use a ‘smaller’ stitch length too.
-again when piecing – very ‘flimsy’ feeling – so lots of pinning!!!
-for the monogram I used 100% cotton for the background and then appliqued the monogram and date with homespun. This stuff is ravel-y J I did choose to do a raw edge applique on this – I think it suits the quilt/fabric – in hindsight I would not do the dates in that fabric again – they are so small and the ‘un ravel’ doesn’t look great in my opinion. I clipped it quite a bit before giving it to the couple.
- after I got the blocks together and went to sew the rows together I had it pinned well – but still had one ‘intersection’ of seams off by ¼” – when you are matching seams you aren’t ‘feeling’ the two intersections that come together like you will feel with cotton- its softer (you know when you have a nice crisp seam pressed to one side – the other side pressed to the other side and they ‘butt’ nicely – that lovely feeling of ‘locking’ together….GONE…not here haha!! So be careful!!)
-squaring up…..did I mention this fabric is stretchyyyyyy??? Well I will say that I eyeballed the squaring up… I tried to measure carefully …cut the borders ‘nicely’ (on the lines) and said prayers….that was all…..
-speaking of unraveling – the threads!! OH MY GOSH!! The threads!!!! I literally spent >3 hours picking threads from the back when preparing the quilt for quilting– and you cannot just ‘roll’ a sticky roller over it – else you will pull MORE threads – and your quilt will slowly unravel – not good!!! (I am experimenting in glue basting now and wonder if I had glued the seams versus pinning for piecing if I would have lost ‘fewer’ threads in the process? Who knows….IF I were ever doing another quilt/sewing project with this stuff I think I’d try that method- if you try it let me know how it works out!).
-Pressing seams open seamed pointless(they kept closing)- so I just pressed to one side…..that worked well J Actually it worked well enough that if I messed up and didn’t have the seams pressed ‘opposite’ for matching up – you can just push them over to the other side…voila!
-I used spray basting and ‘warm and natural’ cotton batting – I would NOT spray baste this again – I *think* it was due to the loose weave – but my needle did get gummed up a lot more than usual and I also saw some ‘bearding’ (where the batting comes up with the thread while FMQ) or was it the spray basting?? (again could be the user (me) haha). IF I did another I might consider the ‘black’ batting they have out there.
-the Free motion quilting went well – I used a ‘blending’ thread color and so it doesn’t show up – I’m not sure if it even enhances the quilt a little bit (I did a ‘loopy wiggle loopy wiggle star loopy wiggle loopy wiggle heart repeat’ pattern – probably could have done a ‘stipple’ and it would have worked out the same lol). I found that I couldn’t see the stitching so much that a couple of times I inadvertently stitched over a previously stitched line (no big deal as you cannot see the quilting anyhow LOL) – stitching in the ditch did ‘stabilize’ the “stretchy” a bit- which was a good thing. (Note I’m not terribly disappointed that the stitching didn’t show up – the focus should be on the monogram and the signatures in my opinion J)
-When FMQ sometimes you can ‘feel’ the seams when you go over them – even going over the four blocks that match –I barely felt it – I like that J
-I also FMQ the outside borders- again I didn’t mark a straight line – I figured it was pointless - I followed the lines in the fabric –
So I know that all of THAT seems like a really negative post – but I feel like I couldn’t find anything out there (on the web) with tips or hints on this stuff – I wanted others to be able to learn from my ‘mishaps’. Note that the more frustration that is in a quilt – the more love it gets too J I just have to love it. (I asked if she has a pre-nup agreement could she put me down for the quilt LOL)
So would I use Homespun fabric again? Well the short answer is – NO - I wouldn’t choose it myself but if my VERY best friend asked me to do another I would J (cause I love her like that lol (thank goodness her other daughter is already married lol).
If you choose to use this fabric or have used it in the past – I would LOVE to hear your comments!!!!
And here is the results of all that work!!
PS - I wish Sabrina and TJ all the best in their marriage – I hope their quilt is what they envisioned – know that whatever you think – that quilt has so much love in it – both in the construction of the quilt as well as your friends and family who have written words - that if you run into a rough patch just go curl up under it together and work it out knowing that everyone is rooting for you and wish you all of the best of everything that marriage has to offer. (if only it was that easy – but it is worth it J)