Tips for Making the Liberty Sunset Strips Quilt

Here’s some tips to help you make the Liberty Sunset Strip Quilt! If you’ve never sewn with Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn, know it isn’t difficult at all but there are a few tricks that can make a big difference in the sewing process.

This quilt kit is perfect if you’re just starting out with Tana Lawn! Since it’s strip pieced and sewed together in rows, there’s no pesky bias edges or tricky seams. You pick your favorite combination of prints from the ones in the kit (or from your stash if you only have the pattern!) cut it into strips and get sewing! Here’s some tips to help you.

  1. Don’t cut more than two layers of Tana Lawn at once– this fabric is a touch thinner and more slippery than standard quilting cotton, so it is more likely to shift while rotary cutting.
  2. Use a light starch when you press Tana Lawn, such as Best Press or Flatter. This is maybe the most important thing from this list– the slight stiffening of the soft, flowy lawn makes it a lot easier to stitch.
  3. When sewing, reduce your stitch length slightly (1.6-2.00) since it better matches the finer weave of the fabric and prevents bunching.
  4. The most common challenge in sewing with Tana Lawn is that many people find their machine “sucking up” the fabric under the stitch plate when you begin stitching a row. There’s a few ways to combat this: use a square scrap of regular quilting cotton as a “leader” to your row, sewing down the scrap and straight onto the Tana Lawn as if you are chain piecing (some people actually use this technique to make an entire secondary project!) You could also start sewing your row in the middle of the piece out to the edge, snip your thread, and turn the piece and sew out from the center to the next edge. This is more time consuming, but depending on your machine might be the simplest fix. What I typically do it start sewing my row about 1/2″ from the top, back stitching to the top, then continuing on.

When you’ve finished your lovely quilt top, choose your favorite batting (we like Quilter’s Dream) either cotton or wool works beautifully with Tana Lawn. For a backing, we used another Tana Lawn print, Mono Gatsby Tana Lawn in B. You could also use a wideback print or a traditional quilting cotton; just be sure you have a 6″ more than the top if you wish to have it long arm quilted!

Next, you can either have it long-armed or quilt it yourself at home. Hand quilting looks lovely on Tana Lawn, adding extra texture and softness, while long-arm quilting will give it durability.

Enjoy your new quilt!