The Art of Choosing: Types of Fabric

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Art of Choosing is a series discussing fabric, color, and the fabric selection process! Here's what's been posted so far:

1. Recognizing a Fabric's Overall Color
2. Folding
3. Stash Storage
4. Organizing Your Stash by Color
5. Building a Well Rounded Stash
6. Supplementing a Fabric Line
7. Reader Stashes
8. Building a Scheme Around a Single Fabric
9. Building a Scheme Around a Photograph
10. Light vs. Dark
11. Warm vs. Cool
This Week: Types of Fabric

This week we're going to take a step backwards and talk about what probably should have been one of the first posts in this series! A little overview of the different types of fabric we can sew with! Please bear with me, it's a lengthy, image heavy post! I am by no means an expert, so if I've misspoke, please let me know! I am mainly talking from my own personal experience with basic fabrics, which in some cases is limited!

Vintage Feedsacks

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Vintage feedsacks were popular in the early to mid 1900s, most especially during the Great Depression. They are literally sacks that one purchased their feed, grain, salt, flour, sugar, and meal in. Originally they were mainly white or tan, perhaps with the company's logo on it. As producers realized that women were reusing these bags and sewing with them, they started printing patterned sacks. In general they have a loose weave, but are quite sturdy. Many fabric patterns we see today were inspired by/copied from feedsack patterns.

Vintage Quilting Cottons

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Vintage quilting cottons are not much different from modern quilting cottons. They came in a variety of colors, from bright to muted. They do seem in general to be slightly stiffer than modern quilting fabric, but mix well with new fabrics. The one major difference is that earlier quilting cottons were only 34" wide instead of today's standard 44" wide.

Vintage Linens

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
It has recently become popular to reuse vintage bed linens for sewing projects and quilting. Most especially bright, bold patterns from the 1970s. The idea of repurposing bed linens is nothing new, many quilts throughout history have been made from recycled materials. The key is to use a sharp needle and change it often when sewing or quilting! For more on sewing with vintage linens see my guest post on whipup! Vintage tablecloths (and new ones for that matter!) are a great way to get good sturdy yardage. Just make sure they don't have any food stains!

Clothing, Suiting & Apparel Fabrics

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Fabrics generally associated with clothing can be great fabric options in your sewing projects! Corduroy, denim, velveteen and jersey (t-shirts!) could all easily be pulled from most of our closets. So as you're spring cleaning your closet, keep that in mind! While I don't think I'd want to quilt with denim (although it's been done!), it is great for bags and other projects requiring some sturdiness!

Suiting and other apparel fabrics can add great texture to just about any project! Also nice for adding a professional look to a project. Just be mindful when mixing different types of fabric, as they will shrink differently if the item will be washed!

Voile

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
To be perfectly honest, I was generally unaware of this beautiful fabric until Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks line hit the stores. It's very lightweight fabric that has a wonderful feel! It is a popular apparel fabric but has also become popular in quilting. Denyse Schmidt's Greenfield Hill features voile prints and rumor has it Joel Dewberry's new line will include voiles as well.

Cotton Lawn

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Cotton Lawn is similar to Voile in that it is lightweight and somewhat sheer. It has a wonderful silky feeling. In my mind, cotton lawn is primarily associated with Liberty of London. A beautiful fabric for clothing and quilts!

Double Gauze

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I have never actually sewn with Double Gauze so I don't know too much about it! It was the basecloth of choice for Heather Ross's Far Far Away I and Nani Iro by Naomi Ito. It is very soft and lightweight!

Linen

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Linen in quilting and sewing projects has become very popular. There are a wide variety of options when it comes to linen. There is 100% linen, many different cotton linen blends, and now even quilter's linen (100% cotton that looks like linen!). There are also different weights of linen. Echino and Kokka fabric manufacturers produce their fabrics on a cotton linen basecloth.

Crossweaves, Shot Cottons, Chambray

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Beautiful woven cotton fabrics, often with different colors used in a single fabric. These are beautiful in apparel, quilting, and home decor items, really giving a lovely dimension to any project! They tend to look different in different lights!

Home Decorator Cotton

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Home decorator cotton is handy for a lot of projects, most especially home decor projects! Within home dec fabric, there is traditional canvas as well as home dec weight cotton sateen. There are many more types of home dec fabric as well!

Flannel

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
The first project that comes to mind when I think of flannel is Pajamas! In addition, flannels are great for quilting (especially as backing!).

Quilting Cotton

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
The modern quilting cotton we all know and love! Wonderful for quilting, and all other types of projects!

Premium Cotton

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I don't know what else to call these lovely fabrics. If you've ever felt fabrics from Westhill or Mendocino by Heather Ross, Prints Charming fabrics, or Art Gallery Fabrics, you know what I'm talking about! These fabrics have a wonderful hand. They're smooth and silky. I haven't been able to find out much about this type of fabric, from my simple assumptions it seems to be simply higher thread count cotton. If anyone has any insight on these beauties, please share!

There we are! A very, very brief outline of the different types of fabrics out there available to the average sewer! This is by no means a complete list, simply the ones I'm familiar with! :)

I love working with quilting cotton (of course!), premium cotton, shot cottons, and vintage sheets!

What are your favorite types of fabric to work with?

This Week

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Thesis Quilt Top, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I was able to get my thesis quilt top pieced this weekend! Yay! I had been playing around with this layout and decided to just go for it. SO glad I did! (Thanks for your encouragement Amanda and Christina!) All fabrics were hand dyed/batiked by me this past winter using Malka Dubrawsky's Color Your Cloth. It was such a fun process, I can't wait to find time to do it again!


Vintage Sheets, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Had major luck thrifting this morning! 12 sheets and 6 pillowcases! Most are being added to the shop!


Monday Baking, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Ashley pinned this awesome Peanut Butter Banana Bread on pinterest, and I had to immediately try it out! It is AMAZING! New favorite recipe!


MY BIKE!!, originally uploaded by jenib320.
My bike is HERE! We picked it up today and I assembled it (all by myself!) this afternoon. I love, love, love it! Can't wait until it's warm enough to ride it! PS - It's from Walmart! Only $90!


George, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I couldn't resist taking a few photos of George in the bike basket! :)


George, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Thank you all for your wonderful support, I really appreciate it. Your sweet comments make my day!

Today I love the..
Smell of: Breakfast out!
Sound of: 3rd Rock
Taste of: Pancakes
Sight of: George in the basket!
Feel of: Favorite fleece blanket

Good Things about Today:
- Had a great morning thrifting and eating with my Mom!
- THE BIKE IS HERE!!
- Pizza night with Michael!
- My pillow for Blogger's Pillow Party won! :)

Weekend

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Hello Kitty is Back!, originally uploaded by jenib320.
This is my cute little back-up machine! The Hello Kitty Janome! It got jammed up last year, and I finally got around to getting it fixed. Picked it up from the shop good as new! It's so nice and light! My regular machine weighs a ton, so it will be nice to use this as a travel machine! I put extra Hello Kitty stickers on mine, of course! ;)


Cutting, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Finally cut into my hand dyed/batiked fabrics this week. It was scary, but I love them even more all cut up!


Destash, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Doing a little destash! We're moving! Michael was accepted into University of Wisconsin's Pharmacology Phd program, so we'll be moving to Madison this summer! Figured it's not too early to start purging and putting away money for the move! Thanks for looking! :)


Thrifted!, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Thrifted this little enamel owl trivet! This might be the cutest thing I've ever thrifted!


Birthday Spoils!!, originally uploaded by jenib320.
More birthday goodies arrived this week! Sweet gifts from Christina and Yahaira! I am so lucky to have such talented and kindhearted friends! Thank you again ladies :)


Willie, originally uploaded by jenib320.
This is Willie! I volunteer at our local animal shelter every Friday afternoon. He just came into the shelter this week! He weighs 34 POUNDS! He is huuuuge! And super duper sweet! Just had to get a little video and some photos of him! I have never seen a cat this big in my life. Photos and video don't do him justice! :)

Today I love the..
Smell of: Fresh air!
Sound of: 3rd Rock
Taste of: Indian food
Sight of: Fabric
Feel of: George bunny

Good Things about Today:
- Got quite a few errands run today
- Managed to finally get a destash together
- Made this delicious, easy crockpot recipe!
- Skype chat tonight!!

Favorites

Friday, March 25, 2011


Favorites, originally uploaded by jenib320.
1. New plan, 2. Stacked Coins for Kristy (GWNB), 3. Project Special Delivery, 4. makes me want to make a huge one for our bed, 5. 74/365 - Mini Hexie Quilt in Progress, 6. [59:365] Mug Rug Swap 3 -- Sent!, 7. party napkin quilt top , 8. Sonnenschein, 9. Scrappy Stripes Baby Quilt
Every week I go through my favorite photos on Flickr, and choose nine sewing/quilting related projects to showcase here. These photos and projects are not my own, you can find the original images and creators by clicking the coordinating links! If for any reason you do not want your project featured here, please email me and I'll remove it!

Happy Friday!

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Today I'm sharing a mug rug tutorial with you that will help bust your scrap stash! This little mug rug is a great way to use up long skinny scraps. Let's get started!

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Sewing Level: Intermediate

Finished Size: Approx. 10"x7"

Materials:
- 10 print strips 4.5"x1.25"
- 2 sashing strips 8"x1.75"
- 2 sashing strips 6.5"x1.75"
- 1 binding strip 2.5"x44"
- Backing fabric 12"x9"
- Batting 12"x9"
- Coordinating thread

Looking for supplies? Check out my Pattern Supplies and Resources post.

Instructions:
*Use a 1/4” seam allowance unless otherwise noted*
Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
1. Take your 10 print strips and sew them together to create a little patchwork rectangle! Press your seams however you'd like!

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
2. Attach your 8" sashing strips on the long side of your pieced rectangle. Press your seams open. Attach your remaining sashing strips to the short ends of your rectangle. Press your seams open.

3. Make a little quilt sandwich with your backing fabric, batting, and pieced top. Baste!

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
4. Quilt as desired using coordinating thread. I quilted mine with wavy lines using my walking foot, purposely wiggling the quilt as I stitched. I stitched using green thread every 1/2" or so, then went back and stitched with turquoise thread in between my previous quilt lines!

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
5. Trim your backing and batting and square up your mug rug. Create your double fold bias tape and bind away. I bound mine by machine stitching it to the front and hand stitching it to the back.

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Voila! Now go get some tea and a cookie and test it out! ;)

Scrappy Stack Mug Rug Tutorial - In Color Order
Mug Rug Madness, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Happy Sewing!

The Art of Choosing: Warm vs. Cool

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Art of Choosing is a series discussing fabric, color, and the fabric selection process! Here's what's been posted so far:

1. Recognizing a Fabric's Overall Color
2. Folding
3. Stash Storage
4. Organizing Your Stash by Color
5. Building a Well Rounded Stash
6. Supplementing a Fabric Line
7. Reader Stashes
8. Building a Scheme Around a Single Fabric
9. Building a Scheme Around a Photograph
10. Light vs. Dark
This Week: Warm vs. Cool

This week we are going to talk about how to build one of my favorite schemes, a Warm vs. Cool Color Scheme!


The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I first started playing around this concept after a happy accident. My first two quilts were a warm color quilt and a cool color quilt. After finishing both, I ended up with a lot of scraps. Playing around with little triangles I made the block above and thus started my love for warm vs. cool! :)


Finished Value Quilt, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I'm going to lay things out a little differently this time! First I'm going to show you my initial fabric pull, then we're going to look at warm and cool separately and finally the fabrics that didn't make the cut and my final stack!

1st Pull

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
These are the fabrics that I grabbed to put together my stacks. This is without any "edits" yet! Lots of different value and accents! There isn't really anything wrong with these stacks, but not let's simplify and streamline them!

Warm Colors

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
For my warm color stack I choose red, light pink, fuschia, orange, and gold. I could have opted to include more colors like peach, traditional yellow and additional shades of orange.

Cool Colors

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
For my cool color stack I choose lime green, turquoise, plum and light purple. I could have included a wide range of other greens and blues.

1st Edit

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
These fabrics got pulled pretty quickly after my first pull. Many of them at distracting accents and a few had tones that simply didn't match with the rest of the colors.

2nd Edit

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
These fabrics didn't make it for a variety of reasons! I paired down my color palette to focus on certain shades, ditched a few darker shades, and also set a limit of 27 prints per stack.

Final Stack

The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I finally ended up with this pair of stacks! I choose a variety of light and dark prints but tried to stick mostly to medium shades. In general avoided fabrics with white or really light backgrounds, as they don't necessarily read well as a single color. I used mainly tone on tone and color + white fabrics.

I think the most important tip for putting together these stacks is taking care when choosing fabrics with accents. When I did use a fabric with an accent, I stuck to fabrics that have generally warm or cool accents. For instance, in my warm stack I used a pink Martini print by Amy Butler (9th from the top!). It has mostly pink, but has gold accents. Both are warm colors! Similarly with the cool stack, I choose a green Hopscotch print by Erin McMorris (8th from the top!). It is mostly green with turquoise accents. Both are cool colors!

Well, there we go! We've now made it through the bulk of this series! Don't worry, there are still going to be weekly posts for a while longer! There have been a few topics requested in the comments (now is your chance to make additional suggestions!) and a few topics I've realized I should have covered in the beginning! Then, in May, something else is going to finish this series off properly...


The Art of Choosing, originally uploaded by jenib320.
A Quilt Along! I'm working on a Warm vs. Cool quilt using simple patchwork! The quilt along will kick off sometime in the beginning or middle of May after I graduate! School is about to get super busy, don't want to bite off more than I can chew! However, you will see little sneak peaks of the quilt you'll be making here and there! I hope you'll join in the fun! :)

Catch-up

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Cathrineholm, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Phew! It's been another busy week around here! Happy Spring Day everyone! In addition to it being the first day of spring, it's also my birthday! I am now 22! ;)

My Mom and I hit up the monthly flea market in my hometown today! I found the large Cathrineholm pot (on the bottom!) this morning! It matches the little one I found with Sandy this past summer! :)


Dansk Kobenstyle, originally uploaded by jenib320.
We also found this Dansk Kobenstyle brown baking dish! It's my first piece of brown! Neither pieces were very "thrift" priced, but still much better than current ebay prices!


Single Girl, originally uploaded by jenib320.
I am having a love hate relationship with my Single Girl quilt. I love the fabrics and colors. I hate the piecing. It's going to be put away until after school is over!


Quilting, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Did manage to start quilting up my Dream On quilt!


AHHHHHHHHH, originally uploaded by jenib320.
The most wonderful birthday package arrived from Amanda on Friday! :D Thank you again dear!!


Happy Scissors!, originally uploaded by jenib320.
Amanda knew I had been lusting after a pair of these Gingher handsewing scissors, and got me a pair for my birthday! Yesterday I made them a little cute holder with Folksy Flannels scraps. Christina showed us one this style the night before, it was the perfect quick project!


George, originally uploaded by jenib320.
George bunny is just so sleepy!

Thank you for all your sweet comments on my business card! I'm so pleased with how it turned out! I think a few of you maybe asked what font I used? It's called Cursive Standard! :)

Today I love the..
Smell of: Rosemary mint perfume
Sound of: Keane
Taste of: Japanese food
Sight of: Sunshine!
Feel of: George bunny

Good Things about Today:
- Gorgeous spring weather!
- Good thrifty finds!
- Bunny kisses from George!
- Apartment is still semi-clean!
- Michael got me the cutest bike for my bday!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...