Fine fabrics, such as cotton lawn and voile, can be used in quilting. Learn tips for working with these fabrics.

October 13, 2016


Hi, today's Machine Minute is brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Specialty fabrics are finding their way into quilt shops more and more, but learning the tips and tricks to working with them can make a difference between success and wishing you'd made a different purchase. Today we're going to talk about cotton lawn or cotton voile. These fabrics are making their way into quilt shops in record number, and most often they were found previously used in children's garments or simple clothing. Because cotton lawn has a very soft, fine weave to it, the texture of the fabric has great drape, and people thought you could only use it in garments, but it can be used in quilts. Just like this one here. This quilt is all made from cotton lawn or cotton voile, and it's a little bit transparent compared to regular quilting cottons. The hand is different and it's quite thin, but there are a few things you can learn about it to make sewing more successful. First and foremost, in your machine you want to use a smaller or finer size needle. I'd recommend a 70/10 needle. Now typically when you're quilting with cottons you might use an 80/12, but for this, try a 70/10 needle. Your thread choice might also be different, and I would suggest using a cotton embroidery thread. Compared to standard all-purpose cotton, cotton embroidery thread is a little bit thinner and a little bit finer and will take up less room in your seam. The other tip you might try is to use spray starch on your pieces as you're preparing them. And that just adds a little stability to the edge that you're sewing along. Finally there's a specialty foot that can make all the difference, and that's the roller foot. Now, the roller foot is specially made with these little rollers right here. They're textured so that they grab fine fabrics or smooth, silky fabrics. So anything that would be slippery in your machine is when you want to use a roller fool, and cotton lawn falls into that category. So those tiny rollers actually have a bit of texture on them so that it presses against the feed dogs of the machine as the fabric goes through and that keeps the layers going through evenly and together at the same time. Sort of the same idea that a walking foot would have when quilting through multiple layers. The roller foot does that but it does it for slippery fabrics or lightweight fabrics by adding more pressure, keeping things together. The roller foot simply snaps into place on the machine like any other specialty foot or presser foot would. Snap it on and you're ready to go. Give the roller foot a try on your machine. I'm sure you'll have success.