Luscious Linen

I received a package yesterday from the lovely Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics. I’d ordered some linen last week for a small embellishment project I’m working on. I wanted the linen for the border of this small quilt since it has such nice texture and the color was so perfect.

I was a dressmaker before I was a quilter, so I’ve worked with linen before, but it’s probably been about 20 years since then. And of course, I was sewing clothing with a pattern that was pinned to the linen and cut out, not trying to rotary cut straight strips for a border. This was interesting. The linen kept moving in unanticipated directions at inopportune moments, and generally being a bit odd to work with. My mom would say it’s a PITA; Dad would call it “squirrely.”

I figured back stitching at the ends of the seams was in order. The linen is a coarser weave than the cotton fabrics, with fewer threads per square inch, so raveling is a bigger issue and securing the ends of the seams just felt right.

I pressed the seams toward the cotton fabrics in the main part of the quilt, which is completely opposite what I usually do with border seams. Again, with the coarser, slightly heavier weight of the linen, pressing the seams toward the lighter, finer fabrics just felt right.

The quilt top is done, but obviously needs quilting. The quilting will be simple, probably just straight lines, though I’m considering adding some hand quilting with big, sashiko-style stitches using these Valdani hand over dyed 3-ply flosses that I picked up last year at Quilt Market. Many of the other yummy beads and buttons and baubles you see will be used on the quilt, to embellish the circles before they are attached. I’m not sure how I’ll finish the edge of this quilt, but I’m leaning toward a facing. It needs something simple to go with its quiet nature I think.

Here’s a really cool mother of pearl flower that I’ve had for many years, just waiting for the perfect project. A lovely woman named Belinda, who used to manage the Gussy Goose Craft Store in Stuttgart, gave this to me years ago. It seems like it belongs with this project. It has no holes, so it will have to be applied with glue.

And these buttons? They came from Birgit (of Patchcom in Schönaich), when she brought a collection of buttons to share to a quilt guild meeting years ago. I have five, and I think that’s enough to do what I have in mind with these unique round buttons with this off-center hole. If five aren’t enough, I wonder if she still has any more I can beg?

I’ll work on the quilting this weekend and maybe even get to the facing. I think the embellishments are destined to be a traveling project for my trip to the States in October. The rest of this yard of linen may get used for a bag with one of the patterns I ordered from Kathy, but I have to order handles and bottoms before I can start that, and it may have to get put on the back burner until January. Bummer, because this linen is so fabulous; it just feels right—it has a beautifully textured yet smooth hand, and it’s cool to the touch, which is really wonderful in the middle of this hot, German summer. What’s on your agenda for the weekend?

14 thoughts on “Luscious Linen

  1. Those “one-eyed” buttons…can you use them to close a garment? The quilt is GORGEOUS! I love linen in quilts. It’s really refreshing and you just don’t see it often. Probably becasue it’s a pain to work with:)


    1. Hi Jennifer! I don’t know about using those buttons on a garment. I just never thought about it, but I think it wouldn’t work very well…

      Thanks for your comments about the quilt! It’s really shaping up to be even better than I thought it would, which is definitely a bonus! 🙂


  2. Funny, they’re such similar colours to those I’ve been working with. And I ended up facing my quilt, too; I’ve finished my first Inchie quilt!


  3. CAn’t wait to see the finished project! The embellishments seem like they will take an ordinary project to extra-ordinary!


    1. Hi Shelly! I can’t either, to be honest, but I only have so much time to work on it at the moment, and I think most of the “fun part” is going to be delayed by other, more pressing projects. 😦 Anticipation is always good though!


  4. This quilt is going to be so wonderful when you have finished. The different textures are already really interesting. I look forward to seein gthe quilting when you have done with it. Those buttons with the off-centred holes look lovely.


    1. Thanks Mandy! I’ve become a texture and embellishment junkie lately, and I’ve been saving some of these taupe fabrics for some sort of project like this for a long time. It was so fun to cruise through the stash of embellishments and find so many things that sparked ideas to go with this quilt!


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