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Thread: linen for quilt back

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    linen for quilt back

    Has anyone used 100% linen for quilt backs? I'm obsessed with the linen from fabric.store. I'm making a scrappy quilt for a friend, and pondering what to do with the back. With the width of the linen, around 57", I'm thinking that the price is not really that much. I get an email every day with one item on sale and it takes serious willpower to keep from hitting the buy button. I would wash & dry it a few times to shrink it and make it softer. I'm thinking it would add a nice texture and certain "weightiness" to the finished quilt.

  2. #2
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I've never seen linen, other than when I had a linen jacket that always looked crumpled. Linen does have a nice texture. If the linen gets soft when you wash it, I'd say go for it! The LQS has been using a really small wale corduroy on their quilt backs. That comes in wider widths, like 57 or 58.
    Lori

    *********
    trying to stay grateful






  3. #3
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    You might want to wash and dry a piece of the linen first. Some linen wrinkles a lot. You wouldn't want a really wrinkled back.

  4. #4
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    Being a looser weave, linen will probably have a tendency to shrink quite a bit - think flannel. I'd prewash to reduce the shrinkage. Otherwise, I don't think I'd be concerned about wrinkling. By the time it is quilted/washed, you're not going to notice any other/extra wrinkles.

  5. #5
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I have never sewn using linen either. I myself prefer sticking with good quality 100% cotton. Good Luck !!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  6. #6
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    I've just made a quilted bag with linen fabrics. They are absolutely gorgeous. I don't think that wrinkling would be much of a problem once it's quilted, as the bag has no wrinkles. I'm not sure whether the fabrics were 100% linen or a cotton/linen blend (it was a kit) but they were amazing to work with!
    My friend saw them and loved them so much she wanted to make a quilt with them.
    I had a quick look on the site and they definitely look to be a good price! Since making the bag I have been searching for linen in the UK and it's ridiculously priced!

  7. #7
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    I put linen on the back of a quilt a few years ago. I just washed and dried it so it would shrink up and do whatever it was going to do....worked fine....

  8. #8
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    Real and nice quality linen is a very luxurious bedding. Irish linen sheets are famously fabulous.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I have an amazing story to tell you about using linen in your quilts.

    About 1780 or earlier in Hanover County, Virginia (outside Richmond), a young lady named Martha Frances Dabney made a stunning quilt using cotton "chintzes" from England. These fabrics were cherished and expensive (the handwritten note attached to the quilt by her great grand daughter stated that they "cost $12 in those days") and were used in small amounts in this quilt. [Perhaps they were leftovers from dresses and other home furnishings.]

    Martha lived at a time when many landed (and, unfortunately, slave-owning) Virginia families raised flax for rotating among their crops. From flax, linen was spun and woven for many of their fabric requirements. (This is where we get the term "homespun", which occurred when the Colonists began the 'non-consumption movement' and rebelled against the taxes and purchase restrictions for fabrics and other goods placed upon them by the English government.)

    She used a homegrown linen as the background and backing fabric in her 86" x 86" pieced quilt. This linen was unbleached, a natural ecru/sand color. Though some of the English "chintzes" in this quilt have degraded because of the iron mordants used to set the dyes in them, the linen is still in perfect shape. It is believed that even the thread used in this quilt perhaps was linen.

    The quilt now lives at the textile museum of Colonial Williamsburg, where it is stored in light, temperature and humidity controlled environment with a "sister" quilt of similar age, construction, and color, but without the provenance (written family history) Martha's quilt has.

    Martha Frances Dabney married Thomas Collier who had been born at "Portobello" plantation, Yorktown, VA, (which is now the secretive Camp Peary right across from the main entrance to Williamsburg, Virginia). Thomas Collier and his wife Martha Dabney gave their names to three generations of Dabney Colliers, including my brother, father, and great-grandfather, and from whom I get part of my last name.

    Go right ahead and use linen in your quilt; you’ll be in fine, venerated quilting company!

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  10. #10
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    I have an amazing story to tell you about using linen in your quilts.

    About 1780 or earlier in Hanover County, Virginia (outside Richmond), a young lady named Martha Frances Dabney made a stunning quilt using cotton "chintzes" from England. These fabrics were cherished and expensive (the handwritten note attached to the quilt by her great grand daughter stated that they "cost $12 in those days") and were used in small amounts in this quilt. [Perhaps they were leftovers from dresses and other home furnishings.]

    Martha lived at a time when many landed (and, unfortunately, slave-owning) Virginia families raised flax for rotating among their crops. From flax, linen was spun and woven for many of their fabric requirements. (This is where we get the term "homespun", which occurred when the Colonists began the 'non-consumption movement' and rebelled against the taxes and purchase restrictions for fabrics and other goods placed upon them by the English government.)

    She used a homegrown linen as the background and backing fabric in her 86" x 86" pieced quilt. This linen was unbleached, a natural ecru/sand color. Though some of the English "chintzes" in this quilt have degraded because of the iron mordants used to set the dyes in them, the linen is still in perfect shape. It is believed that even the thread used in this quilt perhaps was linen.

    The quilt now lives at the textile museum of Colonial Williamsburg, where it is stored in light, temperature and humidity controlled environment with a "sister" quilt of similar age, construction, and color, but without the provenance (written family history) Martha's quilt has.

    Martha Frances Dabney married Thomas Collier who had been born at "Portobello" plantation, Yorktown, VA, (which is now the secretive Camp Peary right across from the main entrance to Williamsburg, Virginia). Thomas Collier and his wife Martha Dabney gave their names to three generations of Dabney Colliers, including my brother, father, and great-grandfather, and from whom I get part of my last name.

    Go right ahead and use linen in your quilt; you’ll be in fine, venerated quilting company!

    Jan in VA

    What a wonderful history!
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

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