Old Muscat Souq using Entwine Wovens from Andover Fabrics
Old Muscat Souq is a modern quilt pattern inspired by a family trip to Oman. It uses fat quarters or yardage to create a fun, inspiring quilt. This design uses basic, straight edge rulers and is available in four sizes. Old Muscat Souq is perfect for those large scale prints you want to show off in a modern pattern. It also highlights beautiful solids, as you will see in this post.
I wanted to make Old Muscat Souq using the yardage version on the pattern, and only solids, so people could see what it would look like. My original version of this quilt used fat quarters and lots of different fabrics. The yardage version uses three fabrics and really shows off the colors you choose.
I decided to use a new line that just come out from Andover Fabrics. It took me a couple days to decide if this was the fabric I wanted to use because I have a love hate relationship with woven fabrics. They feel so soft and add texture to my quilts, but they tend to fray super easy. In fact, my quilter told me she has gotten quilts from her customers and they already have a hole in the seams before she quilts them because of fraying. Yikes!
When I saw Entwine Wovens by Giucy Guice I loved the colors in the line and the subtle pattern throughout. I ultimately decided to give woven fabric another go and use them in this quilt. Mostly, I wanted to see what a quilt would feel like if I used only wovens for the fabric. In the past I had used woven fabrics for parts of my quilt or to add a bit of texture. However, this time I was going all the way in.
Woven fabrics are 100% cotton. However, they use a looser weave than the traditional printed cotton fabrics many of us use. Printed fabrics get their design printed on them. Woven fabrics have their design woven into them by using different color threads or threads of varying weights. Warp threads are the threads that run vertical in a loom. Weft threads are the threads that are woven through the warp threads from salvage to salvage to create the design. Because of the looser weave, woven fabrics drape better than traditional quilting cotton fabric. They are also softer and add texture to your quilts.
The loose weave makes them a bit of a hassle to work with. After cutting into the fabrics the threads can easily fray or come apart. I experienced this with Entwinve Wovens. In fact, every time I stood up from sewing with these fabrics my son would ask if I got in a fight with my quilt. However, the extra attention woven fabrics take is worth the final result.
Working with Wovens
I am by no means a fabric expert, however, while making this quilt I noticed a few things that helped make sewing with these fabrics easier. First, handle the fabrics as little as possible while piecing your quilt. I usually have a pile of the cut fabric I am working with next to my sewing machine. Sometimes little hands come in and touch them, play with them, or move them around. However, this time I did all my cutting at one time and organized them in nice neat piles and placed the piles out of the way where no one could accidentally knock them over or play with them. I also worked solely on this quilt top until it was done. This way the fabrics aren't shuffled around. I read that some people like to starch their woven fabrics. I have never done this. I asked around and don't know anyone who has. But I am thinking starching would help keep all those little threads in place. Next time it might be worth a try.
When I pieced my blocks I made sure the fabrics were still in tact and that I could get a solid 1/4 inch seam. If a couple threads had frayed while piecing I would double stitch the seam to make sure there wasn't a chance of a hole poking through. I also made sure to check my seams while pressing the quilt before I sent it off to Kaitlyn from Knot and Thread Design for quilting.
I chose my colors for this quilt based on a mock up I had done while designing the quilt pattern. These colors are not ones I would usually choose, but they are so fun all together. I think the red tips to each star really pops and shows off the pattern. I chose the same blue fabric from the corner insets for the backing fabric. This fabric is so dang soft and is a perfect backing.
Even though the woven fabric was a hassle to deal with, I am so happy I used it. The texture on this quilt is amazing. Kaitlyn did a beautiful design for me and after washing it up this Old Muscat Souq quilt has so much character. Just look at the picture below of the backing!
All that to say, give wovens a go sometime if you haven't already. Just have patience and check those seams.