Sunday, December 19, 2021

Weekend Review: The Art of Mixing Textiles in Quilts

The Art of Mixing Textiles in Quilts / Lynn Schmitt
Lafayette, CA: C&T, c2018
111 p.

 Another quilting book this week, full of beautiful images and inspiration. I picked up this one because I'm interested in the idea of mixing textiles in projects -- I am certainly not a quilting cotton purist, especially since I sew with so many different fabrics, and want to be able to scrap bust all of them! 

This book is a great resource. The first section talks about the different non-quilting cotton fabrics that the author uses, like wool, silks, linen, or upholstery fabrics, among others. She goes over the best ways to use and combine these fabrics -- tips on seam pressing, stitching, interfacing/stabilizing, and so on. One good example of a basic tip is when sewing heavier fabrics like wool or upholstery weights, don't press the seams to one side. Press open to reduce bulk, and you can also grade seams. This is something garment sewists will probably know but it's a great tip for someone new to incorporating these fabrics.

I'm mostly interested in this topic because it seems to me that this book has lots of great ideas that can be used in garment sewing, especially these days as patchworked and quilted clothing is becoming a little more popular once again. And I feel like there is a lot of useful content here. Plus beautiful images, did I mention that already? 

Her style of eclectic piecing as she calls it is really eye-catching, as is shown off with 14 projects here -- pillows, quilts and small projects which feature piecing, applique and some wonderful quilting designs too. One piece that uses both traditional blocks and more modern design is this beautiful little wall hanging. I love the combo of colours, techniques, and the overall finish.

There are also practical or useful projects included and this "Market Tote" is one example. It uses the same mix of traditional blocks and more general piecing as the wall hanging, and on the other side of it there is actually some applique as well. It's a great use for the sturdier fabrics that she uses in the mix.
I also admire some of the quilting on these pieces. The wall hanging has a spiral motif that contrasts with the square blocks, and there is one piece, shown on the cover, with a circular medallion quilted onto an area of green silk, right among the flying geese blocks, and it's really stunning. The shape of it and the way it catches the light are both very pleasing to the eye. There are many little details in these projects that are very inspiring. 

I really enjoyed going through this book. Other projects include table runners, pincushions, pillows & throws, and while I might not be planning on making many of them they were a delight to look at. The initial section of information on textile use is the most applicable to my sewing habits, and I think her experience and advice would be useful to anyone wanting to blend fabrics in a pieced/quilted garment. If this kind of stitching appeals to you, I'd recommend checking your library to see if you can take a look at this book too.  


  1. I will check this one out. I have been wondering if it's possible to combine things like velvet and chenille with voile and crepe in a patchwork style quilt. Of course it's technically possible, just requires the right amount of interfacing to balance the weights, but it sould be nice to start with some guidelines before I start experimenting.

    1. I think the beginning section of this book would be helpful for all that info. Would love to see what you are working on!

  2. I currently have 'Making Scrap Quilts to Use it Up' out of the library - intriguing. In the quilts I particularly like the less structured designs using foundation piecing. (And the bag). I have just been given a very very large bag of fabric pieces from my hairdresser, who has a client who quilts, and there are such a mix of fabric types in it. I wondered what she used some for, but obviously there is no reason why you can't mix textiles if you think about how you will do it. I had just never really considered it. Unfortunately this is not a book available in my library or online. But not to worry, I will keep it stored away and may find one second hand.

    1. I'm surprised by how many books are in your library system! Too bad about this one, but the beginning section really is the most useful, and if you can find it via interlibrary loan or 2nd hand I'm sure you'll agree on that.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!