The next stop in our Quilty Adventure is a good one: Double Gauze. (Check out Part I: Denim, if you missed it!)
Double Gauze is the destination you see on a billboard while you’re driving down the highway and you’re like “STOP EVERYTHING WE’RE GOING.” It’s super intriguing, right?
I’m with you. But you’re going to want to come prepared. Browse this roadmap to double gauze sewing before you speed into your first project. You’ll be glad you did.
Welcome to Double Gauze!
Population: Everyone who loves soft, cozy things.
Read More From Our Quilty Adventures!
How to Sew with Double Gauze: The History
Even though sewing, and quilting, with double gauze is a more recent trend, gauze has been around for. Ever. The name comes from Gaza, in Palestine, which was the center of weaving in the region. Originally, gauze was made of silk, and used for clothing. Now, a lot of people associate it with medical gauze, which is made of cotton, and used for dressing wounds and burns.
Because gauze has an open, loose weave it’s perfect for healing. You know what else it’s perfect for? Doubling up for quilting.
Quilting with double gauze is kind of like wrestling a cloud. The end result will be worth it, but expect this fabric to flow and move in ways your regular quilting cotton doesn't. Since this may be your first time on a Care Bear sewing adventure, let me tell you the best way to get from here to cozy quilt heaven.
Double gauze is pretty transparent, and known for its open weave. It is exactly what it sound like: two layers of gauze put together, which leaves it a little thicker than your typical quilting cotton, but still airy and breathable. I want to compare it to another fabric you may be more familiar with, but double gauze is very unique. If you want to know what you're getting into, walk to your first aid kit, open up a roll of gauze, then double it up. This sounds both obvious and crazy, but it really does feel like that. And yes, we can sew with it.
One super special attraction to this fabric is that one of my favorite fabric designers, Nani Iro, prints most of her designs on double gauze! A dream printed on a dream!
How to Sew with Double Gauze: What to Pack
I know what just happened. You looked at some gorgeous designs and you’re already at your sewing table. But hold up. Make sure you’re fully prepared for this journey.
- First, you know you’re working with cotton, so you know you want to pre-wash on low heat with some mild detergent.
- Dry on low heat for 5-10 minutes, and then lay flat until that stuff it totally dry. Now you’re in business.
- Before you even cut your double gauze, get out the spray starch (see this blog post for more on starch). Double gauze cuts best when it’s slightly stiff and wrinkle-free, so feel free to press it, too, if that’s something you do (but take care NOT to move your iron forcefully in circles. This stuff stretches and warps. Press means press, people.)
- As far as gear goes, don’t stress too much. Standard needles work fine for double gauze, but use a new one if you’ve got one. If you do have a fine sewing needle (maybe size 80) this would be ideal. But the most important thing is that it’s super sharp.
- Threadwise, 50wt thread works best for double gauze, working well with it’s lightweight little self.
Now that you have your shiz together, we’re ready to roll...
Let the double gauze quilty adventure begin! Here’s what’s on the schedge:
- Use a longer stitch than normal. This doesn’t matter quite as much as when you’re working with denim, for example, but double gauze is a completely different animal.
- Do your best to avoid ripping stitches. Duh. I know. But double gauze isn’t very forgiving with the whole stitch rip situation. It won’t be the end of the world, and your project won’t be destroyed, but this is one of those times that you want to really measure and mark before you start.
- Seriously consider serging. If you have a serger available, serging the edges of a double gauze quilt makes it an absolute breeze to bind.
- Lift up the pressure on your patchwork foot. This will help your foot glide over the fabric better without pulling. Another option is to strap on your walking foot.
Meet Some of the Locals
Below are some beautiful examples of Double Gauze in all it's gauzy glory...
Iceberg, Felice Regina
I want to reach into my computer screen, grab this quilt, wrap it around me and build a fort-for-one (and that one is moi). Not only is it made from extra cuddly double gauze, but is also tied with cotton thread and hand quilted. sigh....
My heart beats for you, Iceberg quilt...I'm in love.
Hand-Stitched Whole Cloth Double Gauze Quilt, Leigh Laurel Studios
In multiple blog posts I have mentioned my slow evolution from exclusively using longarm quilters to learning about the speed of machine quilting and then slowing back down and finding a love of hand quilting (here, here and a list of my supplies here).
Oh my gosh, THIS. Guys, THIS! THIS double gauze whole cloth quilt is going to be my Christmas holiday project. Picture yourself visiting the in-laws for a week with NO ACCESS to a sewing machine. What is a quilter to do??
THIS. Sit by the fire/the TV/the kitchen table anywhere and stitch, stitch, stitch away with the yummiest, creamiest, most cuddliest materials around.
Pure + Simple Quilted Blankets, Purl Soho
Want a FREE tutorial showing you how to make a very impressive quilted double gauze blanket in a couple hours? Sure you do 🙂
Before You Check Out
The land of double gauze quilting is a gorgeous one. Though double gauze may not seem excitingly novel or crazy different from what you have used before, the finished product is so, so good. In fact, I want to see yours. If you have a double gauze masterpiece you want to share with your fellow travelers, post a link to it below!