Quilty Love » A quilting creative blog

Today I’m excited to introduce this fun new fat quarter friendly Quilty Arrows quilt.

Quilty Arrows is a modern take on the chevron or arrow quilt design.  This one goes together pretty quickly using your favorite fat quarters.  Quilty Arrows is great for the beginner quilter.

Quilty Arrows has instructions for Crib, Throw and Queen Sizes.

Arrows Quilt I used Little Miss Sunshine by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics.   I had this stack hidden in the back of my fabric cabinet and had pretty much forgotten about it.   It felt a little like Christmas finding this fabric bundle as it was perfect for this quilt design.

I used one of my favorite background fabrics for this one… Essex Linen in Black.   I recently wrote a blog post all about using Essex Linen in your quilts Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Quilty Arrows is quilted on my domestic machine with my favorite multi zig zag stitch spaced 3/4in apart.  Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern

Quilty Arrows Pattern is available in the shop as both PDF and Paper copies.

Fabrics:   Little Miss Sunshine by Lella Boutique for Moda
Background:  Essex Linen by Robert Kaufman in Black
White:   Kona in White
Batting:  Warm and White

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Today I want to talk to you guys about my current quilting obsession.

I can’t get enough of the stuff.

I’m talking about Yarn dyed Essex linen by Robert Kaufman.   Just about every other quilt I make uses it.   It gives the best texture and some really great added weight.   Our quilts need to actually be warm around here ;)

Quilting Essex Linen

Yarn Dyed Essex Linen is a linen cotton blend used mostly for garments but has been quickly adopted by modern quilters.   There are a few sad quilting stories using Essex Linen but so far that has never been my experience.

  • Essex Linen is heavier and warmer (love that about it!) than quilting cottons
  • Essex Linen shrinks more than quilting cottons
  • So much yummy texture
  • It’s a looser weave than quilting cotton so fraying is a concern
  • Stretches easier than quilting cotton
  • Extra Wrinkly and Crinkly when washed

With a few tips and precautions I say quilt away with Essex Linen!

essex linen

The three colors I’ve been using the most are Steel, Flax and Black.  I swear these colors go with just about any fabrics.  I’ve been using it to replace my normal white backgrounds in quilts.   It’s a fun change.

I buy my linens multiple yards at a time from Fabric.com:

Steel Yarn Dyed Essex Linen
Flax Yarn Dyed Essex Linen
Black Yarn Dyed Essex Linen

essex linen

Here are a few tips when working with Yarn Dyed Essex Linen:

Use a smaller stitch length

I tend to put my stitch length down to about 1.8 when sewing with linen.   It’s more prone to fraying and shrinking.  A smaller stitch length will ensure it holds better.

Consider Pre-washing

Pre-washing will help take care of the shrinkage before you start sewing with it.   When in doubt, pre-wash.

Having tested both pre-washing and not pre-washing Essex linen, I have found I actually prefer to not pre-wash.  I didn’t feel it made a huge difference either way.  I don’t pre-wash any of my fabrics though and don’t care to work with pre-washed fabric.

Samples of Essex Line before and after washing

Pre-washed but before final wash

essex linen jelly rings quilt Final Wash below

Essex Linen Jelly Rings Quilt

Never washed below

Essex Linen Plus Quilt Not Pre-washed below

essex linen City Tiles Quilt Post quilting and washing below

essex linen City Tiles Quilt

Starch it up

Starch is my new best friend especially when working with Yarn Dyed Essex linen.  It really helps keep it’s shape and just makes it all around easier to cut and sew accurately.   I find linen presses really nicely especially when using starch.

Starch will help it keep it’s shape as it does stretch easier than cotton fabrics.   I use this starch quite liberally while piecing but buy it at the big box stores for a few bucks a bottle.

I also love the Lavender Best Press.   It smells so good!

Quilt it up

If you are worried about your Essex linen fraying or falling apart consider quilting it a little more densely.   Dense quilting with help hold the fabric in place so it is less likely to come loose or fray after it’s all stitched up.

Quilting it up more also helps prevent the fabric from stretching and becoming looser over time.   The quilt below is not quilted very densely at all and the linen has become looser over time.  I like nice flat and smoothly taut fabric on my quilts and this is not like that at all.

essex linen fabric Densely quilted Essex Linen below ensures there is no stretching or shifting of the fabrics over time.  Just about every seam gets quilted for added stability.

The pros of working with Yarn Dyed Essex Linen far outweigh the cons and until I have any major issues I’ll keep using it!

Here are a few of my favorite Essex Linen quilts:

Double the Plus Essex Linen quilt

Double the Plus Quilt
Essex Linen in Black
Kona White

Hexie Framed Essex linen quilt

Hexie Framed Quilt Pattern
Essex Linen in Black
Playground Fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics

Essex Linen Rebel Quilt

Rebel Quilt Pattern
Uses Essex Linen in Steel
Cotton and Steel Sprinkles
Cotton Couture Solids

Essex Linen Plus Squared Quilt

Plus Squared Quilt
Essex Linen in Steel
Lella Boutique by Moda

Essex Linen City Tiles Quilt

City Tiles Quilt
Essex Linen in Flax
Cotton and Steel bluebird fabrics

Essex Linen Quilty Arrows Quilt

Quilty Arrows Quilt
Essex Linen in Black
Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics


quilting essex linen fabric

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  • Sharo T - I am a linen virgin, and recently purchased the color Shale. This post couldn’t have been more timely, as linen is my new facination. Thank you so much for the tips and for sharing your beautiful quilts.ReplyCancel

  • Michele - I recently purchased some Moda cross weave cotton that has the exact same look at Essex linen. I mean, I couldn’t tell them apart. I haven’t sewn with the cross weave yet. Have you had a chance to work with some?ReplyCancel

  • Quilty Arrows Quilt Pattern » Quilty Love - […] fabrics for this one… Essex Linen in Black.   I recently wrote a blog post all about using Essex Linen in your quilts.  Quilty Arrows is quilted on my domestic machine with my favorite multi zig […]ReplyCancel

Happy to share this scrappy Ombre Gems quilt with you all today! Since it’s the end of the Ombre Gems Quilt Along I thought this would be the perfect way to close it out.   I had good intentions of having my VandCo Ombre Ombre Gems quilt done and ready to share but.. nope.   Life got busy and it has been sitting  basted for over a week.

But this scrappy quilt has been done for a few weeks now and I’m excited to finally share it!   When I was designing this pattern waaay back a year ago I made a test block using Bonnie and Camille scraps.  I really liked it and it made me curious to see an entire scrappy quilt.    So being the very visual person I am, I promptly made one so I could see it ;)

ombre gems quilt

This was a great way to use up a lot of my Bonnie and Camille scraps and even break into some new fat quarters.    I kept the color gradient going like the original version.  ombre gems quilt ombre gems quilt ombre gems quilt This quilt is pretty large at 62in x 78in and ends up being pretty heavy with all the seams but being the ambitious quilter that I am, I went ahead and tackled it on my small domestic machine.

I went with 3/4in spaced multi stitch zig zags.   I was super happy with how flat and taut the fabric all stayed with this one!   That doesn’t always happen!   Maybe it was the bottle of starch on it that helped ;) ombre gems quilt ombre gems quilt ombre gems quilt ombre gems quilt I went with a white and navy polka dot for the backing.   These polka dots are from the new Bonnie and Camille basics line.   It is finished with a bias navy striped binding. ombre gems quilt So much pretty color in this one!  ombre gems quilt ombre gems quilt ombre gems quilt

Here’s a few tips if you want to tackle your own scrappy Ombre Gems Quilt:
  • Ombre Gems Quilt Pattern found here
  • Pull from your 2.5in wide scraps.
  • Use starch.   Lots of starch.   And then use more starch.   (I use this starch but buy locally)
  • Let the imperfections go!   There are plenty of them in this quilt.   Quite a few lost corners but no one cares when it’s all put together and looking pretty!
  • Be sure to baste it well since the top is a bit heavier with all the seams.


Materials Used:
Bonnie and Camille Fabrics
Backing:   Bliss Dot in Navy
Batting:   Warm and White
Starch:  Faultless Premium Starch
Spray Baste: 505

Pieced and quilted on a Janome 4120 QDC


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  • Vicki Papin - Just beautiful out of your Bonnie and Camille scraps!!! Love your quilts and photos!!! Great Job. VickiReplyCancel

  • Penne - So pretty!! Everything you do is beautiful!! I love all your work!!ReplyCancel

  • Kay - Simply gorgeous. Bonnie and Camille are my favourite fabric designers. I love their happy colours, and also how all of their ranges work so well together. xReplyCancel

  • Cheryl - Your quilt is stunning. I love the idea of a scrappy look for this pattern. Also, congratulations and best wishes for success on your new venture.ReplyCancel

This is the final week of the Ombre Gems Quilt Along!

I really can’t believe how quickly those 10 weeks went by!   I hope you enjoyed this quilt along as much as I enjoyed hosting it. :)

This week we will finish up the quilt along and sew together our quilt blocks!   And give yourself a high five if you have made it this far!

There are a lot of points to match up in this one.   I took the extra time to pin each and every point as I put my quilt top together and it was worth it.

I can’t wait to see all of your colorful quilt tops show up on Instagram and I hope you all enjoy your Ombre Gems Quilts :)

Week 10 / 10

This week we will:

  • Sew together our quilt tops!



Be sure to browse through the hashtag and show some love :)


Grab a copy of the Ombre Gems Quilt pattern and join along!

Ombre Gems Official Post
Ombre Gems Week One
Ombre Gems Week Two
Ombre Gems Week Three
Ombre Gems Week Four
Ombre Gems Week Five
Ombre Gems Week Six
Ombre Gems Week Seven
Ombre Gems Week Eight
Ombre Gems Week Nine
Ombre Gems Week Ten


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