Linen: use with caution

A while ago I blogged about quilting with linen and voile. You can read that post here. In short, I made a mini that mixed regular quilting cotton with voile and a linen blend to see if it would all come out ok in the wash. It did, so I wholeheartedly encouraged you to try it! Now I feel it might be necessary to amend with a few words of caution.

Recently Rachel from Stitched in Color shared about some problems she’s had with linen unraveling after multiple washes (click here to read her post). Tragedy! We work way too hard on our quilts to have them unravel. Right away I was concerned that I may have steered you wrong. So I threw my mini in the wash with several loads during a recent laundry marathon and I’m happy to report it is still intact.

Ok, this is an old picture but I promise it still looks like this.

Ok, this is an old picture but I promise it still looks like this.

One reason I may be getting different results than Rachel is that the Anna Maria Horner linen may be better suited to quilting than the Essex linen that unraveled in Rachel’s quilts. AMH is a quilter after all, so I’m sure she chose her blend carefully to be suitable for patchwork.

Rachel is performing some tests of her own so be sure to watch for those results if you’re interested in working with Essex linen. For now, I feel comfortable with any of AMH’s linens (she has some real beauties!) but I would not want to use others without more tests.

8 thoughts on “Linen: use with caution

  1. Thanks for sharing Sarah! I’ve had some linen stashed away, but have been nervous to use it. Glad to see yours held up nicely. I’ll be interested to see how Rachel’s testing turns out.

  2. Thanks for flagging this up, glad your quilt is still beautiful. I don’t wash my quilts very frequently and traditionally they were just aired on the line. Baby quilts are another matter though so it’s good to know.

  3. Pingback: Book review tuesday for factotum of arts (+giveaway) | Sarah Quilts

  4. I made a linen and cotton quilt in December, and here are a few tips for working with linen:
    – Prewash the linen and dry it on high heat in the dryer
    – Use a lot of starch while ironing; it stabilizes the fabric
    – Always backstitch the beginning and end of each piece/strip/block of linen. Those locked in stitches help keep the linen from unraveling
    I have not had any issues with my linen quilt, though it is only 2 months old. However, it gets a lot of use and it’s holding up beautifully.

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