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People always say that around Christmas, the media is all, “You deserve warmth and comfort and relaxation!” and then when the New Year hits, it switches to, “Get with the program! Get in shape! Get practical!”
Well, I’m about to take a page from the mainstream media playbook (since I’m just as widely circulated, right?) We ended the year with a comfy drive through Jersey and Wool, but now, it’s time to face reality.
We’re going to Poplin.
Poplin is not playing around. It’s a no-nonsense, plain and durable cotton fabric with a long history in the clothing world. Can you quilt with it? C’mon people. Hasn’t this journey yet taught you that you can quilt with anything? Let’s go. I’ll show you.
WELCOME TO POPLIN
Land of Low-Maintenance Utility
How to Sew with Poplin: The History
Poplin has changed over the years (I mean, haven’t we all?) in some pretty great ways. Traditionally, the French-originated poplin was made from a silk warp, with a weft of worsted yarn, which kinda sounds interesting, right? It was soft, kinda shiny, with ribs from selvage to selvage. Also, some people called it tabinet, which I think would be a great name for my future daughter.
Nowadays, poplin is made from wool, cotton, synthetic fibers, or even a mixture of all of them. It’s a basic under/over weave, and no longer has that shininess, or ribbing. It’s pretty basic, but basic can be pretty great. Just wait until you hear about poplin’s special attractions.
Some people place poplin in the category of “Forgiving Fabrics.” Um, yes please. I love/need forgiveness all the time. Poplin doesn’t wrinkle easily, and if it does, you can iron those wrinkles out in a snap. Because poplin is tightly woven, it’s nice and durable, making it a great choice for clothes, but other crafts, too (you know where I’m going with this).
Poplin is so versatile. You can do basically anything you want with it. You know what I want to do with it? I’ll give you one guess. (Quilt, guys, it’s quilt.)
How to Sew with Poplin: What to Pack
On our visit to poplin, we’re packing light. Because we can. You won’t really need a special thread or needle. Poplin is on the thinner, slipperier (IT’S A WORD) side of things, so you’re going to want to have your sharp scissors in tow, as usual.
Other than that, this is one of those trips we can hit with just a day pack. If you have your usual gear, you’ll be all set on our ride around poplin. It’s going to be great.
Poplin’s one of those places that’s wonderfully easy to navigate. No one-way roads, weird turn-arounds, or frustrating dead-ends. Just an open road, great weather, and light traffic. Let’s enjoy it.
First stop with poplin is a familiar one: washing the fabric. As always, check for any specific info you have on your fabric, but as a general rule, you can wash poplin in warm water and tumble dry on low. Like I said before (and I’m delighted to say again), poplin doesn’t wrinkle easily, and those wrinkles are easy to get out. I use a spray bottle and an iron on the cotton setting.
Since poplin runs on the thinner side, starch can be used to your advantage to stiffen things up while you work. (Read more about different kinds of starch on this blog post.)
Remember when I told you any needle will do? Well, I stand by it. It’s still technically true, but you may want to do a little test with the fabric you’re using. If you find that your needle punches holes in your poplin, consider a finer needle. Just in case you make a mistakes, smaller needle = smaller holes.
Piecing your poplin is… you guessed it… also easy. Because poplin’s cross-grain stretch isn’t all that stretchy (compared to other quilting cottons) you don’t have to worry as much while piecing. Isn’t this such a nice, carefree trip?
Indian Summer, Suzy Williams (me!)
If you've been hanging around this blog for a while, one thing you may have picked up on is that I collaborate with Birch Fabrics...a lot. I love them. They love me. It's a beautiful thing! Well, in all of my collaborations I use their 100% organic poplin. It's so soft and yummy I feel spoiled every time I get to slice it up.
The quilt above is a throw quilt pattern for sale in the shop, and is also a free baby quilt pattern found here. All of my collaborations with Birch Fabrics turn into free patterns for YOU so everyone wins! If you are interested in some of those free patterns, check out the FREE PATTERNS tab in the navigation bar above.
Tri-Love, Melissa Lunden
If you can't choose one poplin, don't! Chop up aaaaall the fabrics and sew a quilt. This is a free beginner friendly quilt pattern found here. If you haven't made an equilateral triangle quilt yet, now's the time. It's kind of a quilter's right of passage, actually. 😉
Happy Houses, Rossie Hutchinson
THIS QUILT IS SO CUTE I'M DYING!
And would you believe it, it's a free pattern TOO! How great did your day just get??
Before You Check Out
Poplin is one of those destinations where you can go just to have fun. I told you this was going to be all about down-to-earth practicality, but practical can be fun, too, right?
Before you end your stay in poplin, let's bring up one last thing – those great scraps you're bound to have. The possibilities of those little scraps are endless, especially if you've tried any of my Sew Mojo mini quilts. They are fast, fun and soooo scrap-friendly. Make the most of your leftovers, and turn them into something great… and don’t forget to tell me about it! I love great things.
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