The Lure of Linen

PAM ROCCO’S 25 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH LINEN

 

1. Avoid mixing heavy, coarse weaves with light gauzy ones in the same quilt.

2. Discard any linen that’s gauzy enough to need edge stitching.

3. Choose other fabrics for applique or curved piecing since linen has a tendency to stretch and fray.

4. Pick a quilt pattern with large pieces and simple shapes for best results.
5. Consider quilt patterns with pieces of dierent sizes that are deliberately cut o-grain.

6. Stabilize the bers with spray starch or sizing prior to cutting.

7. Cut outside edges of the quilt on the straight of grain.

8. Use a generous seam allowance ( 3/8 ˝ - 1/2˝ ).

9. Sew with a short machine stitch (12-15 stitches per inch).

10. Handle pieces gently–don’t pull as you sew.

11.Relax and don’t expect perfection.

12. Reduce bulk by pressing the seams open with a steam iron from the back of the quilt.

13. Press on the front as little as possible until the quilt top is nished.

14. Use a pressing cloth on the right side to minimiz e shine.

15. Stay stitch the edge of the nished top.

16. Select 100 percent cotton for the batting, backing, and double-fold binding.

17. Quilt it on a longarm machine.

18. Opt for open, loose , allover quilting, either freehand or using a pantograph pattern.

19. Ensure the quilting design has at least ½˝ between adjacent lines of stitching.

20. Avoid echo quilting, which may distort the quilt and make it o square.

21. Use cotton-polyester thread in both the needle and bobbin for quilting.

22. Machine wash with cold water , a small amount of regular detergent, and a little borax.

23. Wash one quilt at a time on a gentle cycle followed by the regular spin cycle.

24. Hang the quilt to dry indoors, preferrably on a stair railing, immediately after washing.

25. Machine dry only for a very short time–if you must.

 

Appeared in:

January/February 2008

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