Tag Archives: linen

The Shire Quilt

Shire Quilt

I have to say, this was the most fun I’ve ever had machine quilting!  I’m not sure why it was such a breeze but it could be that I switched to a #16 needle to do the quilting.  I think it made a big difference.  Not even a hint of a pucker on the backing.  As smooth as can be. The stitches were just beautiful.  I wish you could feel the texture of this quilt – I couldn’t keep my hands off it once it was quilted.

shire layers

I combined Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in flax with assorted green quilting cottons.  I love sewing the look of linen with colored fabrics.  I prewash all my fabrics before quilting and the Essex linen is so exception.  I prewashed it and thoroughly dried it and ironed it.  I don’t want any surprises after it’s washed as a quilt.

shire front

shire full back

The backing on this quilt is the totally amazing Background Notes by Zen Chic for Moda. I love, love this fabric.  It’s mysterious and interesting and I love how it complements the linen on the front of the quilt.   I have a thing for text fabric. Look at all that yummy handwriting:

shire back front

I used a stitch length of 3.5 to quilt this.  Like I said, I was mindlessly quilting with a #12 needle in the last few weeks and noticed every once in a while I was getting a skipped stitch with my walking foot.  So I consulted my Janome manual, saw that they recommended a heavier needle when machine quilting and so I switched to a #16.  How did I no think of this before? It made a big difference.  If you’re using the same size needle for piecing as well as quilting, try switching.

shire stacked

I cut 4″ x 17″ strips and sewed these together then subcut into 4″ strip sets and assembled 16-patch blocks.  Each square, after sewing, was 3.5″.  There were 12 squares across and 16 squares down (three 16-patch blocks across and four 16-patch blocks down).

shire rolled

Here are a couple of photos of the finished top before quilting. I think it’s fun to see how the look totally changes after batting is added and quilting is finished:

The binding I chose was Square Elements in Lime.  I tried out a number of fabrics, but I thought this complemented the quilt the best.

shire back front back

A nice mitered binding is so fun to sew:

shire mitered corner

I used Warm and Natural batting, which I prewashed and dried.  Again, I don’t want anything to shrink. I used to like that look a long time ago but now I don’t want much puckering or an antique look in these quilts.

The finished size of this quilt is 42″ x 55″.  It makes a nice throw size for on the sofa.  And here’s why it’s The Shire.

I can’t wait to start my next quilt, but I’m waiting on fabric and the place I ordered it from must have put it on the slow boat to China because it’s taking forever!  I hope it arrives tomorrow.

It’s a busy month but as always, I hope you’re making something!

As usual, check out Lorna’s linky post here!