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Thread: Muslin vs. Cotton for Applique

  1. #1
    Member monkicat's Avatar
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    Good morning,
    I decided to work on my applique skills and jump right into the Beyond the Cherry Trees BOM. I'm using what I have on hand, which is Natural Moda Muslin 9946-12 for the background, and Moda Bella solids for the shapes. I'm finding the muslin a bit see-thru/thin, but like the natural color and soft feel.
    I wanted to create a really vintage look for this quilt, but am wondering about the pros and cons that I need to watch out for.
    Will it shrink too much, is it strong enough?
    Any info will be helpful!

  2. #2
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    My question is: Have you washed the muslin? If not, then there will be shrinkage. I always wash before using. Then I spray starch the block and you should be good to go. If you didn't wash first, then you'll get an antique look quicker, as you'll get more puckering from the shrinkage.

  3. #3
    Member monkicat's Avatar
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    Hi Denise,
    No, I haven't washed the muslin. I usually don't pre-wash my fabrics because I love that wrinkled look. I did however, cut the block a 1/2 inch larger than required to allow for that when cutting the blocks to size.
    I'm kind of new to applique, and have seen that many quilters wash their blocks after completing them and then put them together in the block, so I may do that too...?

  4. #4
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Muslin will definitely give the antique look you're looking for as that's what was used then. I think if you use a W&N for the batting, you should be good to go! :thumbup:

    Good luck! Have fun!

  5. #5
    Member monkicat's Avatar
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    By W&N, do you mean Warm and Natural batting? I don't think I've every used it here, don't know if it's available, but will definitely try it as long as it is easy to needle. thanks so much!

  6. #6
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    I do alot of applique and have always found muslin too thin for background.

    If I want a antique look, I use Kona white cotton & dye it. Rit dye has a tea stain color, I wash the cotton and dye 1 shade darker than the color I am looking for and then wash it again to remove any excess dye. Then dry & press, using spray starch. Ready to go! Kona cotton is tightly woven and rarely is there a show through.

    I also cut my background atleast 1 inch bigger than required, leaving enough room to resize the block to the desired size. Hand stitching distorts the fabric quite a bit and I want enough of a fudge factor to make sure I can size up correctly.

  7. #7
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    I can't help much with your question about muslin being too thin, but your concern about pre-washing preventing the crinkled look, I can help with. I pre-wash everything, I've had some scares that were discovered before doing all the work, so I will continue doing this. I recently finished a quilt appliqued with Kona as the background and Hobbs 80/20 as the batting. I hand quilted it. I washed it because it was one of those that took me years and years to finish, so it was dirty. I was surprised how much it shrank with everything being pre-washed and the batting having some poly in it. It definetly has that old fashioned crinkled look.

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