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Sewing with homespun

Sewing with homespun

Old 11-05-2021, 04:39 PM
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Question Sewing with homespun

Good evening ladies/gentlemen...long time since I've been on this board but I really need your help. I have been asked to make a quilt using homespun fabrics. She wants a primitive look but not a rag quilt. I will be starting with 5" blocks sewed in a group of 3 and then cut down to !/2 size and resewn into blocks. Make sense??

I'm looking for hints on how to cut and sew. I did see to starch fabric helps. I do that with a lot of cottons so no problem there. Suggested a larger seam allowance but not sure how that will work out putting the quilt together. If done overall will the pattern work out just smaller.

When I was in quilt shop purchasing a piece of fabric a lady behind me said to only cut in a single layer. True??

I guess anything you can tell me will help. Finished size will be around 54" x 65" It's just to be a throw not a particular size for a bed.

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.
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Old 11-06-2021, 04:14 AM
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I love homespuns and have made many quilts using them alone or combined with regular quilting cottons. I do recommend using a spray starch or spray sizing both available in the laundry section. I prefer the sizing. I cut multiple layers as with any cotton fabric and a 1/4 seam. I do reduce the stitch length a bit. On my machine I drop from a 2.5 to a 2.0. I don't worry about the direction of plaids especially since they are geared to a more primitive look. I'm not completely sure what you meant with your cutting and sewing directions but go for it! I can send photos of some of mine, the ones I still have, by email if you need some inspiration. Have fun!
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Old 11-06-2021, 05:33 AM
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I've used homespuns quite a bit and pretty much treat them like any other quilting suitable fabric and often mix them in with my scrap quilts. I do admit that I am more likely to combine them with a standard weave than go all homespun, but I think that's mostly me. I do prewash and then crisp iron, but I personally don't use starch.

This is a top I haven't finished quilting. It was meant for my husband's father but he passed before I got the top quilted...
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Old 11-06-2021, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sunflower126 View Post
... She wants a primitive look but not a rag quilt. I will be starting with 5" blocks sewed in a group of 3 and then cut down to !/2 size and resewn into blocks. Make sense??

I'm looking for hints on how to cut and sew. I did see to starch fabric helps. I do that with a lot of cottons so no problem there. Suggested a larger seam allowance but not sure how that will work out putting the quilt together. If done overall will the pattern work out just smaller. ....
I'm not understanding about sewing three blocks and cutting in half. Are you cutting in half lengthwise and then sewing to a different set with the same dimensions?

I'm not a quilter, but I think that if you were to add to the seam allowance before you cut the fabric, you could then take a larger seam and come out with the same size pattern. For example, if you are trying to have 5" finished solid blocks than with 1/4" seam allowances, you would start with a cut size of 5 1/2" pieces. However, if you want to 5" finished solid blocks with 1/2" seam allowances, you would start with a cut size of the fabric 6" pieces. I'd have to do some more figuring if it had multiple pieces that would make a 5" finished block. From my understanding, back in the really old days, one would trace the "finished" template so that would be where the it was stitched and then cut whatever seam allowance past the drawn line.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 11-06-2021, 06:46 AM
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I'm a prewasher anyway, but wetting and then drying in the dryer will tighten up the weave a bit and make them less likely to fray away. Plus starch. Good luck with your project!
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Old 11-06-2021, 12:01 PM
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I now soak fabric in hot (as hot as it comes from the faucet) for a couple of hours and then wash it gently in mild detergent and then dry it gently - before even thinking about cutting it.

I feel the agitation- and crowding - of fabric when it is being washed and dried is what makes "washed" fabric look "used/old" before it is cut.

I think shortening the stitch length to 12 to 14 stitches per inch and using a "real" 1/4 inch seam would be adequate for preventing the fabric from pulling apart.

I used some homespun pieces in a couple of couch quilts and the pieces are fine - after 20 years of use. The quilts are not washed that often - maybe four times a year - and the bindings are fraying - but the interior pieces are looking good!

I used Coats & Clark polyester covered cotton Dual Duty thread when making them. The fabric is fine!
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Old 11-07-2021, 09:52 AM
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I have only made one homespun quilt and it was a lot of fun to make. I decreased the stitch to make it a bit tighter and starched it well but treated it like any other cotton fabric. The quilt was a gift for my nephew many years ago.
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