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Chambray fabric is perfect for the quilted towel

 

Yesterday, we prepared a lovely piece of waffle weave cotton to make a lightweight, yet cozy, throw that I’ve dubbed a quiltowel. Essentially it’s a cover up.

It’s a perfect companion for an afternoon of reading or dreaming lakeside.

 

Cool lakeside breezes make our Day at the Lake "quiltowel" a perfect spring/summer project.
Cool lakeside breezes make our Day at the Lake “quiltowel” a perfect spring/summer project.

 

First, we’re going to determine the width of the waffle weave. Mine measured 56″ once it was washed and hemmed.

For the top band, I cut four 12½” blocks in a series of soft chambray prints, found not in the quilting section of my fabric store, but in the garment making area. In addition, I cut four 5″ x 12½” long strips. These will act as a border sashing to frame either end of top band.

For the bottom band, I cut several 12½” blocks in random prints and tones. I cut some in quarters and some in halves, and then played around with the piecing arrangement until I had a wide enough band to fit the bottom edge. While piecing, take care to press the fabric seams to one side, and on to the darker side so the seam doesn’t show through the front.

Fun Fact: Chambray refers to any fabric that is woven with a white weft and colored warp. In fashion, it’s a nice compliment to the more twill-like weave of denim. For me, chambray always seems to invoke summer. Back in the ’70s, I had a vast collection of chambray shirts and peasant blouses that saw me through all kinds of summer adventuring. The more those beloved garments were washed and hung on the line to dry in the sun, the more faded and soft they became. Bliss.

Finding an array of printed chambray made it the only choice for my Day at the Lake cover. But fabric randomness will work just as well. After all, it’s just plain fun to raid the scrap basket to create the top and bottom bands.

All this cutting was made easier with a 12½” square quilting ruler. I like rulers in specific sizes because they take the chore out of cutting and measuring, especially when using wide width fabrics or making sure those orphan blocks are going to be usable in your new project.

 

A beautiful finished edge!
A beautiful finished edge!

 

Use a 12½" square ruler to cut several blocks of coordinating background fabrics -- in this case -- breezy casual chambray.
Use a 12½” square ruler to cut several blocks of coordinating background fabrics — in this case — breezy casual chambray.

 

Keeping the 12½” square blocks as your guide, just piece random scraps together until you’ve got a 56″ wide band.

When you’ve done the cutting, and pieced the bottom band, cut batting and backing to match the finished bands. Clip together with Clever Clips and set aside.

Tomorrow, we’re going to piece some pretty, classic Dresden plates to decorate the top band.

See you then.

 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1:  Essential sewing tools for any quilting project

Go to part 3:  Sewing the perfect Dresden Plate quilt block

Nancy Devine is a self-confessed craft-crazed blogger. She is a regular contributor to A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, one of the administrators for The Craft Café, a Facebook page devoted to the international sharing of the creative life, and a curator of an impressive collection of fabrics, notions and seam rippers. In her spare time, she wrangles dust bunnies and writes a blog called Nancy Dee Needleworks. Understandably, her house is a mess.

2 Comments

  1. Patrizia Greco

    Chambray is one of my favorite fabric. I never thought until now it could be used for quilting!

    • It is lovely to work with, Patrizia. It has the look of denim, without the bulk. I am glad I tried it, and I hope you get a chance to do so. Thank you for visiting QUILTsocial.

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