Saturday, May 31, 2014

AMB Fabrics - Whole Cloth Hand Quilting - and the May NewFO

May has come and gone in a blur.  The Bloggers Quilt Festival is always such fun, seeing lots of new-to-me bloggers' creations, and the fun of friendly competition and the chance of winning some fab giveaways.  I know many folks are also following the AMB Farm to Fabric Blog Tour, featuring the new all-American made solid fabrics recently introduced by Clothworks.  I was immediately intrigued, both with the blog tour, and once again being able to buy cotton quilting fabric totally produced in the USA.  I've been wanting to try my hand at whole cloth hand quilting, and what better time than now.

The AMB solids will soon be available at my LQS, but in the meantime I ordered a couple yards from Pacific Fabrics & Crafts.  I've always loved yellow and have wanted to create a light yellow whole cloth quilt since seeing so many gorgeous whole cloth quilts on the Celebrate Hand Quilting Facebook group.  Also, being new to commercial stencils, I decided to start small with a pillow or sham sized piece. 

So, without further ado, here is my progress to date on said sample pillow/sham in AMB's light yellow - my NewFO for May:
The actual color of the fabric is much prettier than my amateurish efforts with the camera would show.  I tried photographing this piece in various rooms under different lighting conditions, and even outside on the deck, all with dismal results.  You'll just have to use your imagination and envision a gorgeous soft yellow here.
I've been hearing the praises of Aurifil 28 wt. cotton thread for hand quilting, and thought this would be a good project to give that a go.  I had one small spool of a light blue-green in that weight, and with the addition of some Thread Heaven, it is quilting beautifully.  
Batting for this project is a polyester remnant I had in the stash, and it is giving this some nice loft.  I think I would plan to use a Hobbs Polydown batting for a large bed-size whole cloth quilt. 
All in all, I am very pleased with the performance of the AMB Brand solids.  They have a nice hand, with a bit more texture and perhaps a little less sheen than some of the other solids currently available.  They needle beautifully for hand quilting, which is a big plus!  And, they come in 50 gorgeous colors.   One caveat for anyone planning to use these fabrics - there is a shrinkage factor to take into consideration!  My yellow fabric piece measured 44 1/2" wide by 37" long before washing.  I used cold water and the hand wash cycle in my front loading machine, and then dried the fabric on low heat.  The after-wash measurements were 44" wide by 35" long.  A fairly significant lengthwise shrinkage, which would affect the symmetry of a whole cloth design if the fabric were not prewashed.  But, the good news is, the fabric launders beautifully and any wrinkles iron right out without a problem. 
So, there you have it, my May NewFO.  Linking up with Barbara at Cat Patches for the May NewFO Linky Party where you can see lots of other newly started projects, and link up with one of your own new creations!

P.S.  I have absolutely no affiliation with AMB Brand or Clothworks - just a love of hand quilting and a desire to support Made in the USA products!


  1. Great review of the AMB fabrics! I won't hesitate to try them now that you have given them the thumbs up :) Your quilting is amazing - I thought it was machine quilted until I looked closer!!!!

  2. Thanks for the review on the AMB Brand. I'm not normally a fan of solids, but I do like the idea of being able to buy American-grown cotton! I've been seriously thinking about trying my hand at a whole cloth quilt ... but I would like to choose a color other than white or natural but am a little intimidated by designing my own quilting pattern. How did you come up with yours (which is gorgeous!!), may I ask?

  3. Very pretty, Pat. My one hand quilted effort was a whole cloth doll quilt. It was fun!

  4. Your whole cloth quilt is going to be beautiful. Your stitches are lovely and so even looking. Love the yellow color. Hope your Quiltmamia magazine arrives soon.

  5. Beautiful! I have a question for you completely unrelated. Did you design the fairy quilts that you made for your granddaughters in 2012? I really love what you did and was wondering if you had a pattern for them. Thanks!

    1. Chiska, I've sent you an email about those quilts. Thanks!

  6. Beautiful fabric and hand-quilting!! Love it :-). I love solids but our LQS owners do not, so they have very little. They don't even have solid white!!! Frustrating for those of us who rely on them. Thank goodness for mail order!!


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