Jump to content

Calico, Muslin, 1930's fabrics

Busy Quilting

Recommended Posts

2009 Block Exchange

I realise that in the US you have a wide choice of fabrics, a LOT LOT cheaper than we do in Australia.

The problem now becomes apparent for this exchange. We want to participate but please be aware some of our fabrics ARE different to yours.

Australian calico is a plain fabric and does not have any print on it. It comes in various widths, with seeds, without seeds, bleached and unbleached.

Here a muslin refers to a cloth that has a very loose weave similar to a cheesecloth. I use it for straining the juice through when making apple jelly!

Looking on the internet for pictures of antique quilts, a lot of them are in darker colours, so not all 1930's fabric were pastel.

I am sure we will get a completely different mix of fabrics and colours for each block we receive. That is half the excitement of participating in an exchange. We then get to experience other peoples interpretation of "the rules". Our skill becomes apparent when we incorporate ALL of them into a finished product.

I am looking forward to receiving my blocks from around the world. I already have some patterns in mind. Just need to get the "fabric rules" clarified then I'm off stitching......... on a white featherweight........


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lyn.

Below is a site that has the 30's or Aunt Gracie fabrics on it.

One of the other nice Quilter's on this site posted it. It will give you an idea as what this type of fabric looks like.


If you send me an U2U and let me know your address, I will send you a sample of unbleached muslin that is being used. As long as the back ground matches, I would think that even if your materials are a little different it would be alright . Just ask one of the gal's that are particapating and they can come up with an answer.

I am sure you will have a lot of fun making and getting all of these wonderful blocks.;)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll jump in here and say that the muslin we use is not the same as cheesecloth, or jelly straining cloth. The muslin we use is closer to quilter's fabrics. What you call calico sounds like what we use. Some fabric wholesalers list their muslins by thread count. The more threads per square inch the better.

Example: EESCO has a muslin listed with thread count 64x56, width is 38-40 inches, and wholesales for $1.20 per yard. This is probably appropriate for straining jelly.

Another muslin is listed with a thread count 78x78, width 45 inches and wholesales for $1.75 per yard--this is more appropriate for quilting.

Some muslins are treated with a CRF finish--Crease Resistant Finish.

I would spend a little more for a finer weave and natural finish.

How exciting to have an international exchange. Hopefully we'll get some from other countries.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your explanation works, for me at least.

Yes our calico does come in different grades. You can by cheaper ones ($ 3-5 a metre at Spotlight (our equivalent to Joanns - almost).

Most of our LQS shops have a better quality quilters calico about $ 10 a metre. It doesn't crease as easily as the cheaper fabric.

This is what many of us do our embroideries on.

I'll check out Hancocks and see if they look similar.

Again thanks


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...