Nani Iro Double Gauze

Finished: Nani Iro sister quilts

carla Finished in 2014, Finished Projects, Quilting 1 Comment

My cousin got married in a beautiful wedding last spring. At the time I had only been quilting about six months and I wanted to make a quilt but I didn’t want to step on anyone else’s toes if someone more experienced than I had already offered. I pulled my cousin aside during the reception and nervously asked if she was interested. She agreed enthusiastically. A few sporadic emails later and a conversation at our family reunion in the fall at Cape May, NJ gave me a direction. She loves Japanese fabrics, especially Nani Iro.

Now, Nani Iro and Japanese fabric in general is not cheap. I was lucky enough to find a shop on etsy that was selling preorders of the latest Nani Iro line. They wouldn’t order a bolt until they had an order for that fabric. It certainly lowered costs – I got a great deal on the fabric – but I had to wait a really long time. The fabric didn’t come until late November or early December. Once the fabric was in my hands I realized I wanted a little bit more variety so I reached out to my friend Nicole who runs Finch Sewing Studio. She usually has a few in stock. I was able to get some more pieces to round out my selection, as well as backing and binding fabrics.

Once I had it, a lot of pre washing and pretreating were in order. I zigzagged all the raw edges on both the double gauze and the backing / binding fabrics, and then washed and pressed the fabric. I designed the pattern based on a 20″ square to take advantage of the large scale prints. I didn’t want to chop anything up too small – the smallest pieces are 5″x5″ finished.

I’ve made this quilt twice now. When I was collecting fabric for this design I ended with with 19 yards of double gauze in order to get the variety I wanted. I am determined not to waste a scrap of it.

The first version was for my cousin – 85″ square with a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Watermelon for the backing and binding. I love how the coral contrasts with the patchwork on the front.

Nani iro #1


The second version is a little bit bigger – 100″ x 100″ to fit my bed the way I like it (oversized). It is bound in the same watermelon, but backed using the teal color way of Social Climber from the recent reprint of Hand Drawn Garden. I bought 12 yards when it was first reprinted with the intention of using most of it for a back. It works beautifully on this piece.

Nani iro #2

Nani iro #2


For both I did very organic quilting. I used a walking foot and let the weight of the quilt really guide how the lines went down. I didn’t want anything too rigid or perpendicular because the fabrics have such a beautiful ethereal quality, even when cut into rectangles. The lines are spaced approximately every 5″ on the outside edge of the quilt but the path they take across the quilt is random. On the quilt for my cousin I thought the lines ended up looking like a map so I subtitled it Nani Iro Patchwork Map. It has a deeper meaning as well since they are still just starting their lives together and who knows where their lives will take them.

I gave the quilt to my cousin and her husband in early March. They really liked it so I’m glad it went over well. I love my version as well – in fact it is on my bed currently!

I will make one note about working with Double Gauze. While beautiful, it is really tricky to work with for something like a whole quilt. It is exactly what it sounds like – two layers of gauze that have been tacked together and then printed. This means it is somewhat shifty, and stretches easily with handling. Also the texture of the fabric is quite soft but it is very clingy. The fabric has a lot of friction – probably on the level of flannel-to-flannel. You can’t shake pieces out to line them up because the fabric sticks and then it stretches. It is also difficult to seam rip on it due to the delicate nature of the fabric. While beautiful I don’t think I’ll be working with double gauze in large quantities again anytime soon.


Quilt Stats
name: Nani Iro #1 (Nani Iro Patchwork Map)
size: Double / Queen – 85″ x 85″
pattern: Based on 20″ grid designed by me.
fabrics: Nani Iro Double Gauze
quilting: Random quilting using a walking foot and letting the weight of the quilt do much of the work. Lines start approximately every 5″ along each side of the quilt and take a wandering path to the other side.


Quilt Stats
name: Nani Iro #2
size: King – 100″ x 100″
pattern: Based on 20″ grid designed by me.
fabrics: Nani Iro Double Gauze
quilting: Random quilting using a walking foot and letting the weight of the quilt do much of the work. Lines start approximately every 5″ along each side of the quilt and take a wandering path to the other side.

carlaFinished: Nani Iro sister quilts