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TOPIC: Using silk in a quilt

Re: 24 Aug 2010 11:11 #49366

  • Lorchen
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AlexAnderson wrote:
my dupiani silk is calling to me.........

I wonder if Alex has answered that call???
From the edge of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood
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Re: Using silk in a quilt 16 Aug 2010 12:50 #49097

  • cleta
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I love using silk in a quilt - my first quilt was a wholecloth silk. I didn't know any better. I learned a lot - really fast. Like - you really need machingers gloves to grab onto the freakishly slippery stuff. And do NOT iron it....press it gently because it will warp. eek. And yes - always pre-wash. I was in-setting (is that the word??) many colors of silk dupioni, silk velvet, silk taffeta etc...I didn't want these colors to run all over the cream colored background. So I washed them till the cows came home. I also used 23karat gold leaf (which I adhered to muslin) and washed that. (I am a decorative and fine artist and use gold-leaf a lot in my panels and finishes..I put the stuff wherever I can.) And then I layered silk organza over the colorways to soften them back a bit. The binding was silk satin ribbon. Do you think I used enough silk?? :D It was for a friend who was in the hospital with leukemia. I wanted it to be lightweight but warm and full of shades of her favorite colors.

Anyway - for all the hair-pulling and do-overs I was very happy with how it turned out - and I would do it again. I was inspired by a design of Yoshiko Jenzenji's. Never-mind the fact that she does her work on a long-arm...I figured "well, I paint 10 foot murals on canvas - how hard can it be?" doh. sewing a 7 ft. by 7ft. wholecloth on a domestic machine was um...challenging. I finally figured that if I stacked every book in the house on the dining room table around my sewing machine to make a level surface it was so much easier - it wasn't sliding off the sides of the table all the time. And I learned how to throw it over my shoulder, etc. All the things you gals already know how to do!

Silk is worth the extra work.
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Re: Using silk in a quilt 03 Jul 2010 08:07 #47396

  • Sewdreamy
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I love working with silk and have for many years going way back to my fashion design days when I made a lot of wedding clothes. The ideas here are really right on topic. The only thing, though, is that it is possible to overpress silk. If you do this over a folded back area (like a seam or turned edge applique), overpressing can make it show the edge line. To avoid this, use a fabric pressing cloth or press primarily on the back. Not to worry, though, if you do. A little light steam held closely above the overpressed area and not touching the fabric will usually fix it. If you prewash it, make sure you wash like colors together. Some silks have a tendency to run colors, so it's really a good idea to prewash. Gosh, this makes me want to go pull out my silks I've been squirreling away. :D Have fun! Cheers, BJ

"Neglect not the gift that is within you..." -1 Timothy 4:14
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Re: Using silk in a quilt 03 Jul 2010 02:54 #47380

I use primarily silk in my art quilts. I wash it all, and usually dye my own. Silk is very washable and is ironed with a hot iron. Depending on the brand I use cotton or linen setting. I would only use heavy silk in a bed quilt. I do not like the look of my work stiffened by interfacing so I put a piece of white flannel behind any piece that the seams might show through. Sharon Shamblers glue method works well but the glue will show if you are not careful.. Have fun, silk is a pleasure to work with and is not a fragile fabric. Oh yes, be sure to use a new needle and change it often. If you hear a slight ticking sound when you are sewing the needle has a bur on it and needs to be changed.
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Re: Using silk in a quilt 01 Jul 2010 06:12 #47233

  • cjbeg
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I put a photo of the memory quilt using ties in my profile. I was pretty easy to use the ties once they were stabilized. I used the walking foot and was careful to not let the layers slip while sewing. My only challenge is the bias edges and getting the tips all lined up. But the ties themselves were vary easy. I have to make two more quilts identical and think I will try to use Sharon Schamber method using glue. Making notes as i go so I won't have to think so much next time.
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Re: Using silk in a quilt 30 Jun 2010 21:15 #47221

I've been collecting silk pieces for several years now, various sizes, and can't wait to work with them. Thanks for all these tips. I'm sure I'll need them when I start. Have a great week everybody!
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12 May 2010 06:47 #45700

  • cjbeg
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This came at a perfect time. A lady wants me to make a memory quilt using her late husbands ties. The man liked his ties, 63 to be exact.
Last Edit: by cjbeg.
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10 May 2010 20:12 #45661

Thank you all for the advice. I am more encouraged now than I was before. I am starting to collect silk pieces - old scarves, kimono scraps, small pieces of dupioni.
I have a good friend who makes most of her quilts from silk ties (see her article in current issue of NQA magazine) and while I don't want to work with ties unless I can' find enough other silk that I like, she has been encouraging about how easy it really is to use.

A couple of other quilts to finish first and then I can start experimenting with the silk. I will post progress on my blog.
Last Edit: by RobinQuilts.
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10 May 2010 16:47 #45637

my dupiani silk is calling to me.........
Last Edit: by AlexAnderson.
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09 May 2010 20:30 #45610

  • NancyinSTL
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Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish the right and wrong sides of silk and some silks may have a different sheen depending on the direction you turn it. These features can work to your advantage or not.

Also, because it will be interfaced, the seams can be quite thick. So, again, this can be used to your advantage or not. I made a wallhanging and had planned originally to hand quilt it, but that was not possible because of all of the seams--I used 1" square pieces.

Good Luck!
Last Edit: by NancyinSTL.
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09 May 2010 16:27 #45604

  • EditorAnne
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I've never actually quilted with silk, but I did attend a lecture about it once, and the lecturer said all you need to do is prewash the silk. This shrinks it and tightens the weave, so you shouldn't have to back it with anything.

Anne in Vancouver, Canada

in Vancouver, Canada
Last Edit: by EditorAnne.
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06 May 2010 06:46 #45512

Do you need to use a smaller needle for piecing/quilting the silk? Sandi in FL
Last Edit: by sanann.
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06 May 2010 05:33 #45508

For the piecing, you're right the light weight stabilizer will keep the silk from fraying.
If you're having any trouble being accurate try using either a teflon foot or your walking foot.
When you get to the quilting part just remember what Amo said about silk not closing up like cotton, plan your quilting carefully and have at it!
The one I machine quilted for a friend we used 80/20 batting and silk thread (only because I wanted to). It turned out well.

Happy quilting!
Teri
Teri

Quilting is a Beautiful & Complicated Art!
Last Edit: by littleflower.
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06 May 2010 01:47 #45506

Silk is usually another fabric you can only stitch once. It doesn't like closing up holes if you take out a seam which you can often get away with in cotton.

You'll love the end result! :D
Amo

Ye olde Dorsetshire
England

viewfromourhill.blogspot.com/
Last Edit: by Amoret.
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