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It only looks like wool...

It only looks like wool...

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Cotton Works Wovens - a new collection from Polly Minick & Laurie Simpson - Minick & Simpson.


As accomplished artists, Polly and Laurie have established themselves through distinctive work that breaks all the conventional ideas of what quilts and hooked rugs should look like.  They love to experiment with colors and textures as part of their creative process so they jumped at the chance to work with this new "cotton laine" fabrication.

"Cotton laine?"  The names mixes the cotton content and wool appearance of the fabric - "laine" is the French word for "wool".

The catalog describes the fabrics as... Reminiscent of classic woolens from famous mills, Cotton Works Wovens are pure-cotton fabrics woven to look and feel like their pure-wool counterparts.  These “cotton laines” have the thickness of wool but as cottons, they don’t require extra care or expense to maintain.  As woven plaids, stripes and textures – not printed - Cotton Works can be used for quilts, home-décor, stitchery and rug-hooking.  It makes a beautiful foundation for wool appliqué!

I describe it as YUM-MY!


This is Flower Day - it measures 16" x 40".  Laurie made this using raw-edge appliqué applied with fusible web.  The finished table-topper has the appearance of wool appliqué on a wool background.  While I haven't seen it in person, I have been all over this fabric since it first arrived in the sample room.


The two sides of the fabric have a subtle difference - the right-side is a bit softer with a brushed-quality.  But unlike the Brushed Homespuns of the past, this new fabrication is woven with threads-yarns that are slightly thicker than those used for regular quilting-weight cottons.  It's completely crazy but it really does look like wool... and it feels like it too.

Sewing with Cotton Works will require a few small adjustments, the sort we make for sewing with cotton lawn, double-gauze, rayon and knit.  It's not difficult, it's just different.


Grand Haven - it also measures 16" x 40" and mixes piecing with appliqué.

In making our projects, we found that a larger-than-usual seam allowance worked best – 3/8” to ½”. It did affect the size of our finished patchwork but the adjustments weren't difficult.  For a 3/8” seam allowance, add 1/8” to the cut size of the pieces.  And for a ½” seam allowance, add 1/4” to the cutting sizes.

Before cutting, we also found that prepping the fabric with sizing or starch made a difference.  We "prep" by spraying the fabric generously on the wrong side and allowing it to air-dry.


This pillow was prepped, cut, pieced, machine-quilted and then machine-washed and dried.  Shrinkage was minimal - less than 3 percent - and the results are quite yummy.  The Cotton Works fabrics look and feel like wool - except much, much softer.

The bolts will include hangtags with the following information:

  • Do not pre-wash this fabric unless you’re making a garment.  This is especially important when using Layer Cakes or Fat Quarters.
  • Before cutting, we recommend prepping the fabric with sizing or starch.  Spray the fabric generously on the wrong side and allow it to air-dry.
  • A larger-than-usual seam allowance is also recommended – 3/8” to ½”. This will affect the size of your finished patchwork unless you adjust accordingly.
    • For 3/8” seam allowance, add 1/8” to the cut size of the pieces.  And for 1/2” seam allowance, add 1/4” to the cutting sizes.
  • Press the seams open to reduce bulk.
  • A single-fold binding is recommended. If a double-fold binding is desired, substitute a regular quilting cotton.


If you don't dawdle, you'll still have time to make something wonderful for the holidays or a lovely winter evening spent tucked under a quilt.

But stay away from this Fat Quarter bundle.  It's mine.









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