Archive for organics

Organic Quilting For All- The Quilt Top

Perhaps the name should be eco-concious, or sustainable quilting, instead of organic.  Because you don’t need to be using organic fabrics to improve your quilters carbon footprint.  I have been noticing that there is a lot of vauge, unhelpful and plain wrong info available about quilting organically.  So heres to setting the record straight, and helping all quilters get a little greener.

A quilt is basically three layers of material held together with stitching.  Each layer can be approached with an idea of how to make it greener.

The Quilt Top

The good news is that you don’t have to give up designer quilting fabrics.There are some wonderful designers working exclusively with organic fabrics

Some larger companies are also adding organic lines

But adding organic cottons is not the only thing you can do to be more earth friendly.   What about that stash?  Most quilters over purchase fabrics for specific projects, and so a stash is born.  Making every fourth or fifth quilt a stash quilt is a great way to save money and make your quilting a bit greener.

Another thing to consider is trying new fibers.  I am currently loving working with hemp and hemp blends.  Hemp is not generally an organic certified fiber, but is considered sustainable because coventional production is already very low in chemicals.   Hemp Silk is a wonderful luxury fiber to try out.  Make sure you preshrink  if you are mixing fibers in a quilt.

Did I miss a good resource?  Let me know in a comment and I will add it to the list.


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Why Organic Quilting?

A few years back I decided to become an organic quilter.  It was not a sudden decision, or even particularly dramatic, but was rather the next logical step in my lifetime of crafting, and a my love of natural fibers.

As a kid growing up in a farming area of Australia I was surrounded by conventional agriculture.  It seemed crazy to suggest that crops could be grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers.  I had never even heard of organic.  But I also remember the river becoming dangerous for swimming and drinking due to run off from the cotton fields.  I remember irrigation ponds so big you couldn’t see the other side.

At the same time I was learning different hand crafts from my mother and aunts.  I developed an increasing love for natural fibers.  I loved the smell and feel of raw wool, of raffia, of linen, and silk.  I learned more about how these fibers are produced, and of course was gradually exposed to more information about what fibers were more sustainable and easily produced.

Flash forward 10 years and I had quit my job in the toxic wood finishing business so I could have a safe pregnancy.  With more time on my hands, and a new house to fill I began crafting more in general, and quilting in particular.  I, like most quilters began building a significant stash of fabric.  After a while I began selling quilts.  I needed some wide width fabric to use in whole cloth quilts, and as backing, my search led to Harmony Art Fabrics  which was at the time was the only source of organic cotton suitable for quilting.  The prices were a bit higher than conventionally grown cotton, but quality was great and the fabric was 110″ wide.   The rest, as they say is history.

Yes I do still use conventionally grown cotton (that enormous stash remember?) But I have been happy to see the availability of organic quilters cotton grow over the last few years.   So why organic quilts?  Well really why not use the best quality materials available?

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