Monday, March 19, 2012

I Let the Fabric Talk to Me

So, just what are these shot cottons saying??

First of all, if you would like a little more understanding about shot cottons, take a wander over to the Oakshott Fabric won't be disappointed.  Under the heading, About Our Fabrics, Julia Oakshott has a lovely video telling us all about the ins and outs, or should I say the warp and the weft of these lustrous, handwoven fabrics. I found it fascinating. Julia is very personable and also gives a little background history, of the company. 

I have been using shot cottons for a number of years but find that the Oakshott  Cottons are more luminous than the Kaffe Fassett ones, I have used in the past. They almost look like silk.....

Shot Cottons:
  • Are woven with two colours of thread, one for the warp and one for the weft, giving them a beautiful depth of colour, also making it easier to put colours together.....there is sort of a magical blending that happens.
  • Are the same on both sides...which can be advantageous for quilters.
  • Ravel beautifully because of the weave.
  • Have more give to them than printed fabrics.
  • Are fairly thin and lightweight.
My philosophy is to work with your fabric not against other words let it talk to you. There are so many different methods of doing things, in our quilting world, I find it's very helpful to find the best method, for the fabric you are working with. 

Below are some examples:

  • The give in shot cottons fabric or slightly stretchy quality is advantageous when piecing curves.
  • Reverse Appliques works wonderfully because the fabric is light weight and ravels so beautifully.

  • Multiple layers are no problem with the shot cottons, because they are so light weight. I actually find the applique strips, that I am using for this particular project, add texture and almost mimic the texture of the fabric. The needle sews through this stuff like butter.
  • I have heard of quilters having difficulty when it comes to the quilting part....not with the needle going through, but the give or stretch of the fabric being problematic, especially on a very large quilt.
  • My answer to that is Quilt As You Go (QAYG) of course. This method gives me so much more control.
Tip: A little spray starch in the initial pressing, of the fabric, goes a long way to adding stability. As an aside, I'm too lazy to pre-wash the rate I buy fabric, I'd never get my head out of the washing machine.

Note: In the examples above, I have mixed some regular shot cottons, from my stash, with the Oakshott cottons with no problems, but they seem a little lack luster in comparison.

Personally, I love working with shot cottons and am thrilled, to have found the Oakshott cottons. The more I work with them, the more ideas, start coming to mind.


  1. Oh thanks for that! I shall have to try a bit of curved piecing and get back to QAYG !

  2. Perhaps one day I shall invest in some Oakshot cottons -- they truly are GORGEOUS -- but for now, the exchange rate and shopping charges are just too great.

    However, I do have some questions;

    1. I notice your circle pieces have notches, are you using a fabric cutter and die set for them?

    2. Can you show a photo of the back of your pieces?


  3. I was in Bali Indonesia last summer and they had the same kind of cotton, with the warp and weft in different colors, they look a lot like silk when you use them. I wonder if that is where Oakshot gets them. In Bali they came in an unending variety of color.

    1. Julia Oakshott's video gives all that info....these come from India.

  4. Helpful info... I'm off to visit Oakshott. Thanks.

  5. I have been craving some shot cottons for a while. I will check out the site. I absolutely love the piece you were working on with the circle. it really speaks to me!

  6. They are gorgeous....I want to order from them was shippin?

  7. i'm hearing more and more about shot cottons. the colors are so nice. I've been itching to do some handquilting. Maybe these would be good for that? your blocks are lovely.

  8. Those shot cottons say to me, "take me home!" ;)


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I try to respond to all of your wonderful comments....if you are not getting any response from me it's because you are set up as a no-reply blogger. In order to receive a response you can change your status in your blogger profile. I'm no longer accepting anonymous comments.

Thanks again for all your wonderful comments


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...