Wovens – fabrics where the design is created by weaving dyed threads rather than printing on the surface with dyes. Stripes, plaids, jacquard textures and dobby dots are all woven fabrics.
Texture. That was the first answer from every designer who replied to our question “why do you like using wovens in your quilts and projects?”
Even with more than a dozen woven collections in the past several years, many consumers are still wary of sewing with these fabrics. So it was time to go to the experts and get opinions and advice.
Our Moda designer-respondents are:
- Jen Kingwell – Behind the Scenes Wovens
- Camille Roskelley – Bonnie & Camille Wovens
- Laurie Simpson – too many woven collections to list, including the coming-in-August Northport Wovens shown above
- Corey Yoder – Sugarcreek Wovens
Why do you like using wovens in your quilts?
Jen: I love the textural element they add to a quilt.
Camille: I love the texture they give my projects! One of the reasons we wanted to have a collection of wovens that coordinated with our other groups was so we could mix them in with all of our other projects. So far, I’ve used them in every single one!
Laurie: I love stripes and plaids, and if you look at antique quilts, they are used frequently and abundantly.
Corey: I like the texture that wovens add to projects – they’re a beautiful addition to prints.
Do you mix them with prints? Have you made quilts using only wovens – plaids and stripes?
Corey: Yes, to both. And more are coming!
Jen: Of course I mix them – with anything and everything! I have made a quilt using only wovens but my preference will always be to mix them with lawns, quilting cottons, shot cottons and so on.
Camille: Yes and yes! I love mixing them with prints and using them on their own. I recently made a Swoon quilt in just wovens and a Summerville quilt with prints and wovens mixed.
Laurie: Yes, I mix them up! That is their charm. They often are a quiet spot for the eye when mixed up with prints. I have made quilts using only wovens – the Live Your Life Minis – but I mix them every chance I can.
Do you do anything different when you use them? (e.g., cutting, thread, pressing?)
Laurie: I don’t do anything differently. I starch heavily if I’m machine piecing – but I do that for prints too. If I’m hand-piecing or doing appliqué, I skip that step.
Corey: I like to give them a bit of a starch so they have a bit more body – and no, I don’t always starch regular quilting cottons. I also find myself being a bit gentler when pressing so they don’t press out of shape.
Jen: No. Just use them!
Camille:Nothing at all. I treat them just like I treat my regular quilting cottons.
How are wovens for appliqué?
Laurie: Wovens for appliqué are particularly nice. They are a bit less tightly woven than most prints and this allows the edges to turn under nicely, especially with needle-turn appliqué. Curves are so easy with wovens.
Corey: I’ve used wovens for appliqué. I am a fusible-web-appliqué girl, and that method works really well with woven fabrics.
Jen: To be honest, I haven’t appliquéd with them. lol That’s something to try!
Have you used wovens for binding? Do you have any tips to share about that?
Camille: Yes, and while they were a little bit stretchier, they weren’t any more difficult to use for a binding. I machine-bind my quilts and I didn’t have any trouble.
Laurie: I have used wovens for bindings quite a bit – especially because of my love of striped bindings. If you want your stripes or plaids to be on the diagonal – and cut on the bias -the wovens will do this beautifully. The only thing you have to watch out for – and this goes for Bella Solids too – is to make sure that you have all your seams on the outside as it is easy to get it turned around. More than once, I have been almost done stiching down the binding and have found that a seam allowance is on the outside.
Corey:I am just getting ready to give it a try. My Sugarcreek wovens have a wonderful dark grey stripe that I think will be perfect for bindings. My mom suggested doubling the binding – adding one extra fold to a double fold. (Would that be triple fold?) The reasoning is that it wears a bit longer… but I haven’t tried it. Yet.
Jen: Yes – and I didn’t find that I needed to change anything in my binding technique. My Moda wovens are so beautifully fine and soft that binding with them was a breeze.
Have you used wovens for any projects other than quilts – including minis and pillows? Bags?
Jen: I’m currently making a boro piece which I will turn into a bag. I’m also having some apparel made for my good self!
Camille: Yes! Minis and pillows. I made a mini version of one of my quilts – Sweet Escape – into a pillow and it is my new favorite thing. It makes me smile every time I look at it!
Laurie: Not yet. But I recently saw a couple of little zipper bags made with wovens that I’m coveting.
Corey: Not yet… I’ve only used them for quilts so far. But I like making pillows and bags so I think that’s coming soon.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Jen: If I use them in a border, I do fold my backing fabric to the front and tack it to stop fraying. Bu that’s because I am hand quilting, so the very edge of my quilt gets a little bit of a workout during the process!
Camille: I’m asked a lot about using wovens and I think people might be a little nervous to use them because they aren’t familiar with them. But since I started out using them right off the bat – most of my early patterns mixed wovens and prints – I’ve never had a reason to fear them. I just knew how much interest they added to my quilts and it was love at first sight for me. Having a collection of wovens was certainly on my quilting bucket list and I’ve loved every minute of sewing with them so far!
So what’s not to love about using wovens?
Every one of the designers who sews with wovens agrees on one important point – they love using these textural fabrics in their quilts and projects.
What about you? Do you use wovens like these in your projects?