Thursday, April 17, 2014

Working with Silk

I have always loved working with silk and especially love the colors you get when dyeing it. I have lots of silk scraps but never think to use them in a quilt.  While cleaning out, I came across some larger pieces and decided to give it a try.
 I have some multi-colored and fortunately the right solids to go with them. This is the first one I'm working on.
 This is another I've pieced together and will tackle at another time.
 You can see how pretty and multi-colored some of the areas are, but also very busy so I'll have to choose wisely with what I put on top.
 I'm using several different kinds of silk -  China, charmeuse and crepe du Chine. All are slippery and a challenge to work with.  I find by treating the back with a fusible knit interfacing such as French Fuse, the fabric is more stable and easier to work with.
 I'm using a design which has lots of little pieces so I'm using a black tulle to work on top of.
 I've drawn the design on paper and laid the tulle over it.  As I cut out each little piece, I lay it down in its corresponding area.  I use a touch of glue from a glue stick to hold it in place.
 I can now pick up the tulle with the design on top and move it to my silk for placement. The tulle is hardly noticeable so you get a good feel of where to place the design.
I wanted something that would showcase the fabric underneath and not overpower the top. This "cut out" design allows me to see the background fabric which I like and also gives a little personality to the surface. I'm now in the process of stitching it in place. Check back soon to see my progess. I leave for Atlanta tomorrow to spend Easter with my daughter and sweet little granddaughter...
Have a Happy Easter....Til next time....Judy


  1. Judy this is stunning! The yellow really sings with the blues and purples and somehow makes the green come forward too. An inspired colour choice. Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.

  2. Judy! I like the way you are working! The silks glow but the appliques allow you to focus on something then enjoy the silks in the background. LeeAnna Paylor

  3. The tulle is a Great idea Judy. Thanks for sharing

  4. I love silk, but I've been too afraid to try to quilt on it. Your fabrics are beautiful. Looking forward to seeing how your piece comes along.

  5. Thank you everyone for such positive feedback...Regina mentioned quilting on silk and I, too am wondering how this will all play out. The stitching around the edge of flowers went fine with a Schmetz # 11 embroidery needle (used so I could sew with a rayon thread). I'm thinking of trying a Schmetz Microtex #60 needle for quilting which makes a very small hole and will limit the thread choices but might make a better stitch.