Above fabric is Flamingos Lawn by Rifle Paper Co.
My dear, dear friends and travel companions: today we embark upon the final leg of our Quilty Adventure. I must say, it’s been a trip. If you missed any of our amazing destinations...
...pull a U-turn and check ‘em out. If you’ve been trekkin’ with me the whole time, it’s time to hit one last destination before getting our photos developed and starting on our Quilty Adventure scrapbook. Ready for this? It’s time for Lawn.
Read More From Our Quilty Adventures!
WELCOME TO LAWN
The Classiest Place on Earth
Hold up. Do you even know what lawn is? Don’t worry. I’ll be the first to admit that this is one of our more exotic excursions. Lawn is the Cotton family’s quiet, fancy cousin in the corner. She’s gorgeous, though, and as soon as you get to know her, you’ll be friends for life.
How to Sew with Lawn: The History
Lawn is a plain weave made out of fine, high count yarns. You know what that means – a super-fine, silky feel, with a little bit of luster. Lawn is straight luxury, people. You’ll feel like a graceful ballerina just sewing with it. Lawn is light and crisp, and often has really brilliant prints. What’s not to love?
Lawn gets its name from “Laon,” a city in France (surprise, surprise… the French are fancy!). The city used to produce mass quantities of lawn fabric, which used to be made from linen. We’ve since moved toward the fine cotton lawn we use today. And speaking of uses, it’s a super popular fabric for undergarments. And quilting. You know, the two necessities in life.
Three words: Liberty. Of. London.
OK, now two words: (isn't this such a fun game??) Tana. Lawn.
Liberty of London fabric has a very faithful cult following (I'm a fringe believer). What keeps the group mysterious and seemingly out of reach to some is the tana lawn these timeless patterns are printed on. If tana* lawn is scary because of its unknown factors, let's demystify it. I don't want you feeling left out.
There are a few things you need to know about lawn. Let’s start with transparency. And I don’t just mean between you and me – there are no secrets between us! Lawn, as a fabric, is semi-transparent. Yes it’s cool, and soft, and comfortable, and not completely sheer, but just keep this little transparency thing in mind.
Even though lawn is delightfully light, it still keeps it’s shape quite well, and… it’s wrinkle resistant! Yesss! And just in case you weren’t already in love, lawn doesn’t shrink all that much. We’re still going to prewash, since it’s my favorite past time ever, but don’t get stressed.
It’s going to be a smooth and silky ride, everybody! Let’s pack our bags, and get moving.
*What is "tana," you ask? Tana Lawn is specific to Liberty of London not because it is a different kind of lawn but because of where the cotton was originally grown. In 1875 the founder, Arthur Liberty, tried to find ultrafine long-staple cotton fiber that could be spun much finer than normal cotton. He found such raw cotton growing around Lake Tana in East Africa – hence the name.
How to Sew with Lawn: What to Pack
For our ride through lawn, get out your classiest bag – we’re going to fill it with the most delicate of gear for our fancy French friend.
- Needles: Tiny. We’re talking about the smallest needle you can see. Look for 60/8 Universal or Microtex. Like I’ve already said, lawn is super-fine, so we’re going to treat it with some respect. Here is your needle exception – if you are joining lawn to a heavier fabric, say quilt-weight cotton broadcloth, a 70/10 Universal needle will work.
- Pins: Silk pins are ideal for this smooth, silky fabric.
- Thread: Fine. Yes, I know I keep using that word, but this is important! Fine 50 wt. cotton thread is a great choice.
- Cutting Tool: Fresh. A fresh rotary blade is best, to make sure you don’t snag this beautiful fabric.
You won’t regret pulling out all the stops for this trip through lawn. The result is going to be stunning!
And now, we set off on our final ride on our Quilty Adventure. A little bittersweet, isn’t it? Well, let’s make it our best yet. Lawn’s a great place to end on a high note.
- Prewash. We’re going to start off with that prewash, but this time, we’re going to get our hands dirty… er… clean. Lawn is delicate enough that we’re going to take matters into our own hands and wash with cool water, and either a gentle fine fabric detergent or even a little bit of baby shampoo (don’t worry, lawn, it’s tear free!) Dry flat, s'il vous plaît (that’s if you please, in French. Classin’ it up over here.)
- Starch is great for lawn, especially when you want to line everything up precisely. Get down with your favorite starch before things get going. (Check out this blog post to read more about starch!)
- Seams. Lawn really doesn't fray too much, but pinking shears are still a good idea, if you’re game for it. If you do choose to combine a lighter-colored lawn with other quilting cottons, press your seams toward the quilting cotton, to make sure they don’t show through the lightweight lawn. Your lawn will thank you – it hates it when seams show through. How embarrassing!
Lawn Diamonds, Sarah Schraw
Jaw drop. Like wooooooah. This one makes my brain ache in a weirdly enjoyable way. Why does the pain hurt so good?? OK, I'm going to get serious for a second and let you in on some important info:
- Sarah is currently selling the pattern for this quilt and you can find it in her Etsy shop.
- Anyone else watching The Bachelor?? Isn't Nick THE WORST??? Also, Vanessa is my pick in my family's bachelor draft. Christen (above) is also on my team, but she gets no air time! That's why I had to use this gif of her cause she's secretly awesome. I can tell.
Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 42, Snips Snippets
I'm super embarrassed that I can't find the name of this quilt. Typically I would just move on and display a different quilt, but I couldn't bring myself to do it! This one is goooorgeous!
If you know this lovely quilt's name, please oh please tell me in the comments so I can make the correction. The few things I do know, aside from the obvious oh-my-gosh-this-is-stunning fact, is that this quilt is made using Cotton + Steel lawn.
Also you can find the pattern in Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. You can't miss it cause it's on the cover!
Prism Quilt in Liberty of London, Purl Soho
I have so much love in my heart for half square triangles. This quilt goes beyond the regular HST and brings us 2/3 triangles and 1/4 triangles (those aren't official names. Don't quote me...usually ever.) Also, FREEEEEE tutorial! Probably should have led with that exciting news...
Before You Check Out
One parting tip before we head out: If you have extra lawn to store, it’s best kept folded, not hung. And finished products are best SHARED WITH ME IN THE COMMENTS, not kept secret in your house! Haha, but for real I would love to see your fancy lawn creations!
Well, everyone this Quilty Adventure has been an absolute pleasure! I know I’ve learned a lot about the nooks and crannies of the fabric world, and I’m so glad I had you along for the ride. Even though our adventure is done, I still have some great things in store for us! Keep checking in. I get lonely when you’re gone! xo