Exploring Art Gallery Fabrics' Substrates
Have you been following my guest posting over on Art Gallery Fabrics' blog?
It’s been a fun few weeks of exploring different fabric substrates AGF has on offer: quilting cotton, linen, denim and now, this week, I’m diving into canvas!
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I get asked all the time about my thoughts on working with a particular fabric. How does it compare to others I’ve worked with? Does it stitch nicely? Does it fray like crazy? And since we order so much of our fabric online, it can be tough to know how they feel. Which is why I’m sharing some insight on my experience working with AGF’s substrates.
FIRST INTRODUCTION TO AGF
I kicked off my guest blogging stint with a little trip down memory lane. It’s a fun exercise to do from time to time as I didn’t realize just how many quilts I’ve made featuring Art Gallery Fabrics. It also reminded me just how far I’ve come in my own textile exploration.
Especially considering I didn’t have a clue about the different fabric manufacturers when I first started out, or that there were even designer prints out there; never mind knowing that not all quilting cottons feel the same (even though they're all listed as 100% cotton). I thought what I got at my local fabric store chain was all there was out there. Boy, was I wrong.
Which meant a whole new fiber world opened up to me. Ah, this quilty journey has definitely been a learning experience!
And what fun it has been getting to know the different fabrics available to play with.
EXPLORING PURE SOLIDS & LINEN
Which is why, I’m so excited that I spent the last little bit not only having fun trying out new quilt design ideas, but also sneaking in some new textiles.
You can see where this exploration lead to in my Cloud Surfing posts Cloud Surfing Inspiration and Cloud Surfing Design Evolution. And I talk about my love for their PURE Solids – they just feel ah-mazing. They stitch beautifully and have a very subtle sheen to them. Plus, they're just so silky soft. Now, I just need to get my hands on a *colour card!
I also talk about working with AGF’s Premium Linen Blend for the first time.
Did you know AGF has linen? I didn’t and I LOVE linen! You know this, as I’ve been sneaking it into my quilts since my very first one!
What I love about their linen is that it has a little bit of a nubby texture, which gives it this glorious hand feel – especially when paired next to their silky soft *PURE Solids. It’s heavenly. My only wish is that it came in ALL the colours.
For now, it seems to only be available in Sand, but I bet there will be more on the way soon (fingers crossed for gray) 😉. Oh, and for those of you who want to know about the fray factor – I’m happy to report that fraying was at a minimum! Plus, the linen has a nice weight to it, so it's not too floppy and flimsy to work with (if you've worked with thin linen, then you know what I'm talking about) - it holds its shape nicely. Probably on account of it being a 55% linen and 45% cotton blend.
QUILTING WITH CANVAS & DENIM
It felt good to dive into the world of canvas while also finally getting around to making a floor cushion, which has been on my to-make list for ages. Not only will it help with additional seating when my large family is visiting, but it also means a new sleeping spot for Pips!
Since I envisioned this pillow being used quite a bit, I thought introducing canvas into the mix would help make it nice and sturdy. Not to mention, it’s got a fun texture that I thought Pips in particular would enjoy.
Plus, I found it in this gorgeous tree print, and you know my obsession with trees. Since the print was so pretty, I opted to keep it whole cloth and went straight in with some organic wavy lines in 28wt Aurifil Thread. This is actually a very *soft peachy colour that I used in my Sew Organized pin cushion, but it matches the peachy/pinky tones of the trees perfectly. I also think the added thickness of the thread holds its own against the density of the canvas.
Canvas is definitely thicker than any of the other substrates I worked with, so you'll want to keep your layers to a minimum when cutting (otherwise, it's quite the arm workout!). My *sewing machine handled quilting the canvas beautifully - no tension issues and no need to wrangle her through the machine. Yay for that!
For the cushion sides I opted for this denim. Did you know AGF’s denim is the same weight as their cotton? When the team first mentioned they had denim for me to play with, I was a little hesitant – not because I don’t love denim – I do, but it’s the density that I don’t always love. Especially when I’m thinking of quilting, I don’t always want too much of a contrast between my fabric weights.
If you’ve had similar concerns, then this denim is for you. It’s silky soft, just like their other cottons, but it has that gloriously deep dyed indigo colour that you love about denim (plus, they have some cute printed options!). Just a heads up that I had some ink transfer to my hands after all that quilting. So, you’ll want to either pre-wash and/or use extra *colour catcher sheets when washing your projects.
To keep the focus on the top print, I opted to go with simple 1” straight line quilting using this beautiful grey-blue 40wt Aurifil Thread. I picked this thread up for my very first quilt featuring AGF – Playtime, which I just think is super cool that I should feature it again so many years later.
The quilting + the softness of the denim has such a lovely hand feel, which now has me wanting to feature more of the denim in a quilt. Ideas are brewing!
SUSTAINABLE PILLOW STUFFING
As for the stuffing? I stuffed this puppy with ALL the scraps. I’ve had a bin under my sewing table where I’ve been collecting my trimmings and threads specifically so that I could stuff a pillow. It’s been accumulating over the last several years and I thought for sure I’d have enough --- not even close! So, I stuffed her with some extra pillow forms, and tons and tons of batting scraps. And there’s still room to stuff her more. It’s a great way to sustainably re-use your “quilting waste” all while adding comfort to your home – total win-win.
I’d love to know how you manage all your quilting leftovers – do they end up in the trash? Do you donate? Do you up-cycle them into new projects? I’m always on the hunt for ideas on how best to limit my quilty footprint and welcome any tips you have to share 😊
Oh, and if there's something you wanted to know about these fabrics that I didn't cover - just ask away in the comments below!
PS This is project #5 I've completed off my Q1 FAL List - woot woot!