Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Essex Housetop Quilt
It's done! And washed, and washed, and washed, and washed...
Happily, all seams held up after 4 machine washes and dries! This is my Essex linen "test quilt", an experiment to discover if certain sewing techniques could yield a sturdy quilt even when using much Essex linen (after this sad incident). For all seams involving the linen, I used 1/2" seam allowances and also zigzag-overcasted the raw seam edges. Extra work? Yes. But not too much trouble in a quilt design with so few seams.
And it's my first finished Christmas gift too! This simple housetop design was sensible for this sort of sewing and hopefully fits the tastes of the woman I have in mind. She likes simple designs, conservative colors, lots of feminine touches.
Which is why I did my chrysanthemum free motion quilting across the whole big quilt! By the way, my newly repaired Juki didn't skip a single stitch. Wahoo!
From the center out, fabrics are: Essex Linen Light Blue, Field Study Fine Feathered, Kona Aqua, Kona Candy Green, Essex Linen Natural, Kona Peach, Essex Linen Denim, Kona Storm, Windham Books & Letters, Kona Snow, Chicopee Cross Square, Kona Everglade, Essex Linen Olive.
This quilt is definitely simpler than my usual style, but I am happy with how it came out, especially the quilting. I hope she likes it - that's the real test of course!
It's backed in more Essex Linen in Olive, a large piece of Florence Dot Plaid and that tiny bird print, picked up on a whim at Quilt Con. No idea about its origins. The bird print is one of those purchases that's had me scratching my head until now. You know how after the fact you wonder what you were thinking you'd do with it? Well, it fits so well with this quilt!
I bound Essex Housetop in Comma Periods in chalk, which just proves how much I love the recipient of this quilt. Comma Periods continues to be such a useful fabric and my stocks are getting low... Don't you all buy out Lark Cottons! (kidding... kind of.)
P.S. If you're worried about a work-in-progress that includes linen and it's too late to use generous seam allowances, you can still overcast your raw edges with a zigzag stitch to protect against unraveling. For a finished quilt of concern, consider zigzag quilting over linen seams to reinforce them. Many folks don't seem to have problems at all sewing with linen, so it may just be my luck.
Best of luck to you!