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Silk quilt?

Silk quilt?

Old 05-10-2008, 07:26 PM
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A friend of my in-laws was over tonight and he asked me if I could make him a quilt, but he wants to have one done in silks. He wants some gold and platinum coloured fabric, shimmery or irridescent, I was thinking satin, but he wants silk. Anyway, I'm assuming it will be much much more difficult to work with these fabrics, do any of you have any experience working with silks for a quilt?
Also, what kind of pattern or block do you think would be good?

I would really appreciate your input ,comments or suggestions :)
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:43 PM
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Seems to me that these fabrics are likely to be pretty slippery to work with. I'd keep it as simple as possible--maybe just a nine patch alternating with a plain block. I hope he intends to pay you well!
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:41 PM
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ask him to take a look at Michael Miller's Fairy Frost line. There are nearly 100 different shades and colors of it. It's 100% cotton, but might provide the shimmer he likes. shop around, though. it's quite pricey unless you stumble across a sale. it's very hard to find for under $8.50 per yard.

this is the only site i know of that sells all the colors. you can't see the shimmer in the online pics but it's there. they even sell sets of samples.
http://www.webfabrics.net/servlet/Categories?category=Special+11%3AMichael+Miller+Fa iry+Frost

genuine silks aren't always soft and slick. you can find some that are as easy to work with as cotton. they are always expensive. i think (but don't place bets) you can even find some that are machine washable now.

if you decide to use the soft and/or slippery silks, fuse them to very lightweight innerfacing before you cut the patches. makes them very easy to work with and won't make the quilt stiff.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Harmony
Seems to me that these fabrics are likely to be pretty slippery to work with. I'd keep it as simple as possible--maybe just a nine patch alternating with a plain block. I hope he intends to pay you well!
We didn't discuss money, but I'm not worried. This guy is LOADED. Plus he offered to let me have a vintage les-paul style ibanez electric, just because he doesn't use it anymore. -This was before we talked quilts...

And thanks Patrice, I'm checking the site out right now!

Hey, do you guys know if the Michael Miller line is carried in large stores like Fabric Land or whatever?
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:08 AM
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I don't know anything about making silk quilts, but I have read a little on thread selection. The big deal about thread is if you use silk material, use silk thread. The thread needs to be similar in what it's made of to the fabric.

Robbi
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Loretta
Wow, that is some guitar. Does he know what it is worth? Remember silk is not usually washable so that is another consideration. Anyway, good luck with the projectI I think Patrice had the best advice.
Ya he does, he has 17 others.. lol!

He had more, but he traded a couple of them for a gretch...
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:25 AM
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I used to love silks for office work, but they do deteriorate fast if not hand washed, Be sure you use a very fine needle, and silk pins. I would actually make a sample first, because I have a feeling machine quilting would not work . In the sample, you will aso learn whether seams need reinforcing.

Also, the heavier silks may be your best bet. Before you buy online, get samples or visit a fabric shop and see what weight you want - write down everything on the bolt end if you are going to compare aples to apples, not online oranges.

It will be a real challenge.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:29 AM
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Actually, silk IS washable, but only if you wash and dry it several times BEFORE you sew.

Silk begins its life as a cocoon. The process of unwinding the L-O-N-G silk thread from the cocoon begins by dropping the cocoon in boiling water, then spinning it (in China they do this with an UNPROTECTED hand) until a thread comes loose. The thread is attached to and wound on a spool. Eventually, it is woven into cloth. The cloth may be left in its natural state (raw silk) or dyed and printed.

After it is woven, it WILL shrink, and it WILL water spot. If you want to use it in a quilt, prewash and dry it several times so it shrinks. I do this in a washer and dryer, because I give quilts away, and I want to be sure the giftee won't be able to ruin it. It may shrink a little or a lot, depending on the weaving process. Soaking the entire piece of fabric all at once prevents spotting. Spritzing would make water spots - which could be an interesting texture, if that's what you want. In either case, be sure to serge or pink the non-selvedge edges, or you'll have a LOT of raveling.

Cut template pieces from lightweight fusible, fuse them to the wrong side of the silk, then cut the silk. This solves the ravel problem while you are piecing.

Good luck. I'm sure the quilt will be gorgeous.

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:35 PM
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I've done some quilting with silk dupion using fusible batting - it comes in a ton of colours and although it doesn't have the same sheen it can be quite nice. except for the fraying when cutting I didn't find it too bad. The fusible batting stabilises it - so a quilt as you go may be good. Also I think I saw a simply quilts episode where one of the projects was all different thai silk or silk dupion.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:00 PM
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I have found that if you use a light fusible stablizer on the fabrics it works well. You need to wash the silk but before you do, you need to surge or zig zag the edges to keep them from fraying. This not only shrinks the fabric but will take care of the bleeding of the dye. Yes you can wash silk, it is a natural fiber.

Be sure to fuse after the washing. You may iron the silk wet. I hope this helps. RuthAnn
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