Nani Iro Dreams Quilt + Tips For Quilting with Double Gauze
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Happy Wednesday! If you've been reading my blog or have known me for just about any amount of time, you'll know I have a lot of favorites. Each new quilt I finish usually ends up as my favorite. I have favorite quilt backings (mostly vintage sheets), lots of favorite shows, foods, fabrics, etc. With that being said, this is my favorite thing that I have ever made, and I am not sure what will or could beat it at the moment.
My friends, meet my Nani Iro Dreams Quilt.
I've been collecting double gauze for a while now, specifically Nani Iro double gauze designed by Naomi Ito for Kokka. I snatched up yardage of most of the many prints that my local shop carried over the years, vacation shopped for double gauze and splurged online a number of times to build my stash. The biggest addition was a bundle I bought at last year's Fall Quilt Market and split with Jacey. This past Spring I knew it was time to make a double gauze quilt. I've worked with double gauze for a few garments, but never for a quilt.
I wanted the fabrics to be the star of the show, so I chose to make very simple nine-patch blocks. My square size was determined by the bundle, I chose the largest square size I could with very little waste. I used nearly all the prints in the bundle and supplemented with yardage from my stash.
This wasn't a project I wanted to try to quilt myself, so I sent it out to Gina Pina for quilting. I knew she had quilted with double gauze before and would feel comfortable working with this fabric. Something simple seemed like the right fit for the quilting. She did a beautiful meandering loopy design! Thanks, Gina!
Since double gauze has such a different feel from quilting cotton, I wanted to try a different type of batting. I selected Quilter's Dream Orient Batting. It's a blend of bamboo, silk, tencel and cotton. It's airy and light and turned out to be an absolute perfect match. Between the fabric and the batting, this quilt is much more blanket-like than quilt-like. It has no stiffness whatsoever, it's like being under a cloud. It's super duper soft and very cozy. Also, the crinkle is crazy! The previous photo was taken unwashed, and the one above is after washing/drying. So crinkly!!
I used more double gauze on the back, a big piece of yardage given to me by Deedrie (you're the best!), and more yardage from my stash. For the binding, I chose a light gray voile.
My Tips for Quilting with Double Gauze
Pre-washing and Starching: Double gauze has a tendency to shrink quite a bit. It's pretty loosely woven, so it can be prone to unraveling. Both of these factors make pre-washing important in my opinion. I normally only pre-wash fabrics for garments, but I'm glad I took the time to wash the double gauze for this quilt. I washed mine on cold and dried normally. In preparation for cutting, I used Flatter by Soak to give it a little extra stability and make it easier to work with.
Seams and Tools: When working with double gauze I find it helpful to use a nice new needle. My favorite size for working with fine fabrics is 75/11. I pieced my quilt with 50wt cotton thread. I generally use polyester when working with double gauze for garments, which also works great. I used 1/2" seam allowances when piecing this quilt to make it a little extra durable. I pressed all my seams to the side, alternating direction every other row so that my seams nestled. Double gauze seams can get pretty thick, but I wasn't comfortable pressing these seams open. My favorite sharp, thin pins are ideal for working with double gauze.
Finishing: Clearly I knew while make this quilt that I'd want it to last forever, because I took a lot of steps to ensure it would hold up to wear. After trimming off the excess backing and batting, I used my serger to finish the edges of the quilt. In my mind this helps with durability if the binding were to get worn, but I also found it made the edges lie flatter while attaching the binding. My last recommendation is to avoid double gauze for binding. It can be thick and difficult on garments, but I think it would be miserable to use on an all double gauze quilt! I was happy with the mix of textures with the voile binding on my quilt.
Where to Buy: If you’re unable to find double gauze in your local fabric shops, here are a few shops I've ordered from that carry double gauze:
Red Beauty Textiles (TX)
Miss Matatabi (JP)
Fabric Worm (CA)
Pink Castle Fabrics (MI)
Super Buzzy (CA)