So I have a secret or rather a confession to make, I’m not a huge Far, Far Away fan and honestly I’m not a huge fan of Hope Valley either. I know among modern quilters that makes me a bit of an outcast or freak but it’s the truth.
I think the Far, Far Away fabrics are cute but I’m not in love with the designs and the whole double gauze cotton thing- not a fan. It’s expensive (although rightly so) and it’s tricky to quilt with. When it came out I only bought a couple fat quarters (what can I say I do think the frogs are super cute…) I didn’t really have a plan on using them but when Castle Peeps came out I had the idea of making a blue, gray, and yellow quilt for my nephew Emmerson and I knew the frogs would be perfect with the blue castles. When I bought the Castle Peeps fabric the store had some of the blue unicorns left and well those colors go really well together too… So I bit the bullet and decided to try my hand at quilting the double gauze cotton and Kona Cotton solids.
The verdict after quilting is much the same as it was before although I now have first hand experience to base that opinion on. While beautiful the double gauze fabric requires a more delicate hand then regular quilting cotton. I didn’t prewash mine for fear of it unraveling in the wash. Unwashed it frayed along the edges rather easily and I didn’t think it worth the risk. As it was I messed up a couple times and had to rip out stitches and while it didn’t ruin or destroy the fabric it did unravel more then regular cotton would. My major complaint though isn’t with that aspect of the fabric but rather it’s stretchiness. Double gauze is supposed to be a bit stretchy, it’s just how it’s made but in quilting stretching is bad. It’s especially bad when trying to make precise angles which I wasn’t even trying to do. I was cutting wonky squares, trying to embrace the qualities of the fabric, but the cuts wouldn’t stay straight for the life of me. Part of it was my heavy hand with the iron. The more I tried to flatten it the more it spread and when it spread it didn’t do so evenly. It would also stretch out of line when I was sewing it to the Kona Cottons and again as I was doing the actual quilting. Since I was using small pieces it’s not too noticable and the overall look of the quilt is worth the effort but I don’t think I would use it again. It’s not hard to use and I’ve seen some beautiful quilts made with it but you have to be careful. No prewashing, very light hand with the iron and go slowly when piecing so the fabric doesn’t shift or stretch. As for quilting well I went light on the pins on the double gauze because I didn’t want to put any more holes in it then I had but but that also made it less stable during the quilting process so I suppose it’s a toss up.
And now it’s your confession time, what popular designers are you not a fan of?