A Quilty Adventure Part II: How to Sew with Double Gauze

How-to-Sew-with-Double-Gauze

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 cozy things.​

Quilting-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.

Special Attractions​

If you know your way around quilting cotton, you probably won’t get too thrown by double gauze. But just to be safe, let me tell you the best way to get from here to cozy quilt heaven.

Gauze itself is pretty thin, and known for its open weave. Double gauze is exactly what it sound like: two layers of the fabric put together, which leaves it a little thicker than your typical cotton, but still nice and airy and breathable. It feels a lot like linen without the wrinkle issue, and it’s really simple and soft, kinda like the pajamas fabric you never knew you needed. And for real, it’s a dream to quilt with.

One super special attraction to double gauze is the amazing fabric designs available. One look at the Charms collection for Kokka and you’ll fall in love.​

Double-Gauze-Kokka

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 in circles. 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...

The Itinerary​

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 if your pattern allows it, go for it.
  • 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.​
  • Double gauze gives you the perfect opportunity for some embroidery. It’s a thin, soft canvas just waiting for your gorgeous needlework. Check out these if you're interested...
  • Modern Folk Embroidery: 30 Contemporary Projects for Folk Art Inspired Designs
  • DMC Embroidery Floss
  • Clover Gold Eye Embroidery Needles
  • Leather Thimble - this little guy really is my world

​Meet Some of the Locals

Below are some beautiful examples of Double Gauze in all it's gauzy glory...

Iceberg, Felice Regina​

double gauze-quilt

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

Double-Gauze-Quilting

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

Double-Gauze-Free-Tutorial

​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 been 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!​

Suzy Quilts

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20 thoughts on “A Quilty Adventure Part II: How to Sew with Double Gauze

    • Suzy says:

      That would definitely save inches of fabric from fraying, but it’s not necessary. Now that I think about it, a simple basting stitch around the edges would be enough to prevent the double gauze from fraying. If you wanted to test it yourself, you could cut 5″ squares and try stitching around the edges of one and not on the other. If you do that, be sure to report back with your findings! 🙂

  1. Barb Brandt says:

    This fabric has had me curious, but I couldn’t get past “baby blankie”. Thanks for the explanation and tips, I can see more possibilities for this fabric now ☺

  2. Rebecca says:

    My friend requested a quilt with a soft back, and I thought this might work well! But would you recommend using both quilting cotton and double gauze – cotton for front, gauze for back? Or do you think keeping them separate is a better idea? Also, do you bind with cotton or gauze? Thank you!

    • Suzy says:

      You can do either of those things. Binding with reg. cotton would be a bit easier because it stretches less, but a double gauze binding is a great cozy option too. Mix and match it up!

  3. Dede says:

    Do you have any tips on cutting on double gauze fabric? (As in strips, half square triangles, etc) prior to sewing squares?)

    • Suzy says:

      Well, since it does shift and warp a lot I would just keep that in mind when picking out a quilt pattern. Cutting really small pieces of double gauze (like anything smaller than 2″) will prove to be very frustrating. Also, on-grain cutting will be much easier than cutting triangles on the bias. If you want to do a half square triangle pattern, check out my shortcuts – you cut squares and then sew on the bias. This will help keep your fabric in line.

      https://suzyquilts.com/half-square-triangles-tutorial/

  4. clarasmom says:

    I’m really stressing about using pre-made/purchased binding on my double gauze blanket I’m making. It is 50/50 polyester/cotton. I have pre-washed the double gauze fabric. If I iron/lightly starch before sewing to bind, won’t the 50/50 binding bunch up around the edges — because it won’t “shrink” — and make the blanket not lay flat-ish? Or end up being like a cone coffee filter? Or will the whole thing accommodate — because double gauze is stretchy — and be just fine? I’ll be taking deep breathes while awaiting anyone’s thoughts on this 🙂

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Breathe in. Breath out. 😉 I think you’ll be fine since you pre-washed your double gauze and 99% of the shrinkage has already occurred. No coffee cones will be happening. haha. Good luck!

  5. Meagan says:

    Hi! I’m wanting to make a Memorial blanket for my baby we just lost and a matching one for his living sister. I’m wanting to style it after a Little a unicorn quilts which is two layers double cotton. I’ve never bound anything. Tips? Tricks? I have a serger and an embroidery/sewing machine. I’d also like to embroider their names on them. Tips for that?

      • Meagan says:

        Thank you! So one more question. I am a total newbie sewer. Like Ive made an apron and rice packs…should I make bias tape out of the double gauze? Would that be hard? Can I use other bias tapes that aren’t the same fabric of the blanket? Would that be bad or weird? Also I want to embroider my babies names on them. Do I do that with interfacing? And I should do it before I assemble the blanket right? Sorry for all the questions! I only have until Aug 5 to get these done as that’s when my baby will be buried and I am not feeling like that’s enough time!

  6. LeeJane Davis says:

    Do you recommend bating with a double gauze quilt and if so what kind? Also how do I work some applique on the quilt – any tricks or just business as usual?? Thanks!

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      You can use any regular batting. If you wanted to make it feel like even more of a dreamy cloud, try wool batting. Wowzer. That would be mega cuddly. Appliqué on double-gauze…hmmmm… I would definitely recommend using a fusible webbing so that your appliqué pieces are very secure before stitching them down. I really like the paper-backed Pellon Wonder-Under.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I have a baby quilt from just cotton fabric and was thinking of using the double gauze for the back. However I do not prewash my fabric so am concerned if I prewash the gauze the shrinking will be off. Hopefully that makes sense!

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      I would suggest pre-washing the double-gauze just because it can tend to shrink up a bit more than regular quilting cotton due to its loose weave. Don’t worry about uneven shrinkage. Once you quilt your three layers together and wash it, that baby quilt will be sooooo soft and yummy!

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