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My little guy, Miles, is almost four months, and I just finished up his little gauze quilt. I learned a lot using gauze on both sides with wool batting in the middle. This was also my very first attempt at hand quilting! I love having a few projects to do from my rocking chair in the living room (instead of always needing to be near my sewing machine.)
For this project, I used:
Sarah Jane’s painted gingham mist in gauze
Bambino double gauze in white (I’m not finding this stocked anywhere right now but it’s super soft.)
Gutterman hand quilting thread
I wanted to experiment with something a bit new. I have sewn a bit with gauze, but I haven’t tried gauze on both sides yet. This combination is a bit dreamy with the wool batting.
Side note: Is cotton gauze fabric the same as ‘double’ gauze? Yes, they are the same. The double part has to do with the stitching in the fabrics and how the fibers work together.
If you want some super amazing inspiration, Imaginegnats talks all about double gauze on her blog. You can start with this post. I believe she sells some beautiful gauze off her site. Also, if you are on Instagram, give NathalieBearden a follow…this gauze quilt is absolutely lovely!
These two ladies were the ones who gave me the inspiration to give the gauze a go. After you see their quilts, you’ll want to try a gauze quilt too. 😉
Here’s how I made my simple gauze + wool + gauze quilt:
1. I laid my backing of simple white double gauze on my kitchen table. This is the first step in the basting process. (It’s so much simpler to baste a baby blanket than a large quilt!)
Be sure to lay it face down.
Smooth it out as best as you can. Then, without stretching the fibers, use masking or painters tape and secure the backing to you table.
2. Lay your wool batting on top of the backing. Smooth it out as best as you can.
3. Lay the gauze for the front of the quilt on top. This should be facing up.
4. It’s always good to have your backing a bit larger than your batting. Your piece of batting should be a bit larger than your quilt top.
This avoids silly errors. For example, sometimes your quilt top will shift little bits during the quilting process. If that happens, it’s nice to have some excess batting and backing to make up for the shifting.
5. Pin, pin, and pin some more. The wool has some good friction that works in your favor. It will prevent the gauze from slipping a bit, but I recommend pinning lots.
That is, of course, unless you use basting spray. Basting spray is a temporary adhesive made for fabric. It washes out easily. It’s great if you have the extra funds to buy the spray. You spray it between each layer of your quilt and basically glue each layer together.
6. Pick up some hand quilting thread. I used a very thin basic thread. The hand quilting thread has a wax coating to ensure it glides well through fabric. The coating also prevents those frustrating tangles.
Since experimenting with hand quilting, I’ve seen many quilters using Pearl Cotton Quilting thread. It has a thicker look to it. I also see size 8 is a fairly common size to use. I haven’t tried this thread out, but I will give it a go on my next hand quilting project. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you have experience with Pearl thread. I’d love to hear about it.
7. Begin the hand quilting process. I didn’t use a quilting hoop. Since this was a baby quilt, I could easily handle the fabrics well. I could roll up one side and simply hold the fabric. My goal was simple to try for even stitches. I followed the pattern in the fabrics instead of tracing any fancy design.
I have since read that gauze blankets are much softer with less quilting. Maybe I should have gone every other or every third row instead of quilting every row of gingham. Something to keep in mind for next time.
8. Bind your quilt. I used the same process for binding as I show in this post. I sewed the binding on with a machine and then used a blind stitch to finish the front side of the quilt. You can see in the below picture I was just a few inches short of having enough white gauze for the binding. 🙂 Scrappy look to the rescue!
9. In case you were wondering the difference of the batting and gauze after a wash and a dry, here is an after picture:
The front looked very much the same, but the back Bambino gauze crinkled quite a bit. Both sides took on a softer feel. I understand now why many call these gauze + wool + gauze blankets somewhat dreamy. They are very soft with a very light drape and extremely worthy of a good cuddle.
I’m definitely still learning the best processes for working with gauze. Give me some tips and other great findings you’ve learned! I’d love to hear from you.