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Topic: Linen in pieced quilt top - Opinions NEEDED!  (Read 972 times)
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« on: January 07, 2009 03:11:58 AM »

I LOVE The Purl Bee's Zig Zag Quilt and I figured it would be a great, straightforward project for my first full sized quilt (I just finished my first project all together over the holiday).  Simple piecing, simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting, definitely something I can do.  I showed the pattern to my husband, and while he really liked it as well, he brought up a good point.  We have two 60 pound black dogs who like to lay on our bed.  If I did a white background (red and chocolate brown are going to be the zig zag colors) like in the pictures, that thing would be filthy in no time.  However, I don't want to use a dark background color, because most of the wood in the room is pretty dark (the bed frame, dressers, and floors - the trim and doors are white).  I figure a netural beige or tan will be the way to go.

I've been mulling over how to go about this for a few days.  I definitely want to stay with a solid color, because I like the look of the original quilt.  The white really makes the colors pop, and I don't want to necessarily lose that.  I love the look of natural colored linen, so I though, "Why do I use that?"

Of course, a ton of questions flooded in.  Is that an appropriate material to quilt with?  Will I have to do anything different or take any special precautions while piecing?  Is 100% cotton quilting thread still the most appropriate thread to use?  Am I insane to use linen, which wrinkles so easily, on bedding?  Are there other, better, options that I haven't thought of?

If anyone can offer any insight, I would greatly appreciate it!
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009 03:50:15 AM »

Good questions! 

Calling ritapizza!!! Rita just used linen for a quilt block swap for the SewConnected Quilting group.  Hers had some beautiful embroidery on it, too, so I'm not sure she's going to be washing it.  I'll try to contact her and see if she can offer suggestions for you.

I hadn't thought about what type of thread to use when I made her block for her.  I just used cotton thread.

You may want to check out Kona cotton, too.  There are some very lovely neutral colors.  It's good quality stuff and won't wrinkle like linen.

I'm glad to know others let their dogs on the bed!
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009 12:41:04 PM »

I agree with SewHelpMe about checking out some cottons in neutral colors first.  Linen wrinkles so much that it would really bug me to see a beautiful quilt and all the work you have put in, with wrinkles..

« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009 07:25:21 AM »

I agree with the previous 2 posts, especially since (depending on the type of batting you use), there's always a certain amount (usually inches) of shrinkage once a quilt is washed. The linen might be sort of permanently wrinkly where the cottons are just "puffy".  But I could be completely wrong, never used linen in a quilt. 
As for the thread, it seems like there are conflicting opinions on what to use.  I've read that you should always use thread comparable to the makeup of the fabrics in the quilt.  I've read a few people who prefer cotton/poly blends.  But it seems most of the quilting books I've read use all cotton thread.  I've seen at least one pattern in a book using cotton thread on a silk taffeta quilt, so my bet would be to use cotton (especially if hand stitching). I've only ever used cotton thread in my quilts.
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009 09:24:05 AM »

Also, the Kona cotton will be 50% off next week at Joann's.  It's worth a look.
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009 03:03:17 PM »

There is an article about quilting with linen in the Jan. '08 issue of Quilter's Newsletter.  You could look for that.  I have never yet used linen in a quilt, although I plan to.  Without having actually tried it, I don't think linen will have the same wrinkling issues in a quilt as it does in other settings...once it's sewn to batting and backing it seems like it would be fairly stable.  But again, I might be sadly mistaken.  I don't think you would have any problems with cotton thread.  Also, you could use a cotton linen blend if you like the look/feel of linen, b/c a blend would give you the look/feel but behave a little more like cotton.


If you are working on (or thinking about starting) a postage stamp quilt with 1.5" squares, I have scraps and squares to give away.  PM me if you're interested.
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