Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Essex Housetop Quilt

Essex Housetop quilt

It's done!  And washed, and washed, and washed, and washed...

Essex Linen test quilt

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.

Housetop quilt

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.

Chrysanthemum free motion quilting

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!

a Housetop quilt

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

Essex Housetop quilt

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!

backed with Florence & Essex Linen olive

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!

bound with Comma Periods Chalk

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!

28 comments:

  1. the bird looks like it's from timber and leaf by Sarah Watts for blend fabrics (i loved that line so much i bought a ton of it)

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  2. Thanks for the linen study. I love the quilt colors you picked!

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  3. I love, love, LOVE this quilt. It's my favorite I've seen posted on any blog lately. The colors, the simplicity... I hope your intended recipient love it too!

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  4. It's beautiful! I'm so glad it came out of the wash ok. Even a simple quilt is a lot of work - especially with your protective measures. May it live long and prosper!

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  5. Lovely design. Simple. Great colors.

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  6. this quilt is beautiful. Love it.

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  7. I have found that using a shorter stitch length to sew linen works pretty well for me. The wider weave of linen really makes unravelling a little more apt to happen. I love the simplicity of this design and how it really draws attention to the fresh colors you used. That skinny strip of pink is a perfect counterpoint to all those lovely aquas, blues, and greys.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jenelle! At times I thought the pink was a little "off" but it speaks to the feminine vibe I was hoping for. Also, I can see how the shorter stitch length would work well. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Another beautiful quilt, Rachel! I love Essex Linen and have used it in a wall quilt and on little clutch-purses. Like Jenelle, I have used a shorter stitch length and haven't had any problems, but then my endeavors haven't been pieces that are washed and dried either. Your fabric choices in this quilt are great - playing on texture more than pattern. I'm sure the lucky recipient will be tickled pink!

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  9. beautiful, beautiful! glad it worked out well with the linen. such great selections, even on the back. love it!

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  10. Beautiful! I used some unwashed Essex on Penny Sampler blocks before you posted your horror story... I'm debating re-making or just doing the zigzag stitch as you suggested...

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    1. That's a hard one! I can say for me it would have been totally worth re-making the block. But, of course, I don't know that the zigzag stitch wouldn't do the trick.

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  11. It's beautiful - very elegant. And the quilting is divine!

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  12. Beautiful, beautiful! I love the simplicity and elegance of the colors and fabric patterns. AND I am so pleased to hear about your success with washing the Essex Linen. I have been nervous about using it for a quilt (even switched a project over to a wall hanging) but your success (along with the suggestions you have already received) make me think I might try a quilt with the linen. Thanks!

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  13. Люблю эту цветовую гамму. Очень понравилось. Прекрасно.

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  14. This is so pretty and I really like the feminine touches you added. I'm glad that the Essex worked out okay, I have some in my stash and I have been afraid to use it :)

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  15. I absolutely adore everything about this quilt! I'm so pleased your extra measures have done the trick. I'd recently purchased 10 yrds of Essex linen and have been terrified to use it. Whilst I'm not sure my little brain could handle added an extra 1/4" to 'some' seams, a smaller stitch and zigzagging are doable. Thanks again for the tips!

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  16. It's wonderful!!! I love the design and the colours :)))

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  17. What a great example for a test piece, I love the touch of pink, which really brings it alive. Hopefully your message about the linen travels around, I know I shall remember it xx ps. always love a polka bound quilt!

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  18. You are an amazing researcher! Thanks for testing your method so scientifically. The quilt results are wonderful and I am wishing I were on your gift list. :-)

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  19. I love the colors in this quilt! Thanks for all the good ideas on working with linen. I haven't used it in a quilt yet but love the texture.

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  20. Beautiful! I haven't sewn with linen yet, so thank you for the tips!

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  21. Thank you for the heads up with linen and for sharing your findings. I am working on a log cabin quilt with linen in the center of each block. Considering your experience, I think I will shore up that area with some extra stitching.

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