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Anyone know anything about sewing - esp quilting - with silk?

(9 Posts)
LRDtheFeministDude Sun 16-Dec-12 20:58:24

I've made a couple of quilts in cotton - handsewn as I don't have a machine. But the choice of colours you can find it cotton is getting me down a bit - and believe me, I've looked, and I am happy with the effects I'm getting, but I find it really difficult to find colours that are both bright and subtle - it seems always to be one or the other. And cotton doesn't get much depth of colour.

So, I was wondering about trying quilting in silk. I was looking on etsy and finding some amazing bundles of fabric, like these:


It is for a special project - some friends are getting married in 2014 and I would love to make them something a bit different. I was wondering about doing a quilt mostly in cotton but with a few flashes of silk.

Is that just too difficult, do you think? And do you know about the iron-on stuff you can get to help fabric stop fraying - does it work on silk and is it easy to use?

If you made it this far, thank you!

sashh Mon 17-Dec-12 07:08:22

Not sure about silk. Would you need to sew with silk thread?

Have you had a look in an Indian material shop - lots of colours and fabrics.

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 17-Dec-12 09:21:15

I think not - I've heard you sew silk with cotton thread as it's stronger. But I'll probably try both and see which works best.

An Indian shop would be a good bet - I'll probably have a look when I go up to my mum's (Leicester, so plenty of choice).

DH thinks I'm nuts ... but it'd be so pretty!

GetOutMyPub Fri 04-Jan-13 18:15:50

Oakshott Fabrics do beautiful shot-cotton fabrics that I think will give you the effect that you are after.

This Bloggerhas used the rubies bundle for her beautiful paper-pieced wall hanging.

And here is a little review about another one of their bundles.

GetOutMyPub Fri 04-Jan-13 18:29:21

i just saw that they have a sale on, so have treated myself to the trees kit! (being helpful has ended up costing me money haha)

LatteLady Sat 05-Jan-13 17:51:57

Silk is a b*gger to sew, either by hand or by machine... but if you insist, here goes.

You will need a bigger seam allowance than 1/4" as silk frays like b*ggery. You may wish to use a lightweight fusible interfacing to stabilise it (ie, you are on the path to crying and gnashing of teeth if you don't). Don't use the fray sprays as they stain silk (bitter voice of experience). When you are pinning it together, pin inside the seam allowance as the pins may leave holes. When making your sandwich pin in the actual seam edge.

As to pins and needles, use fresh /new of both, you need them to be sharp when you work.

In truth, I think I would only use it in a crazy quilting environment, like Shirley Conran says, "life is too short to stuff a mushroom," and frankly I would really think twice about making a silk quilt.

coldcomfortHeart Sun 06-Jan-13 21:22:56

Damn you GetOut that fabric site is beautiful and that blogger's wall hanging is amazing. More hours of my life (during which I should be quilting) lost!

I used the odd square of silk in this quilt which was my second ever. It was indeed very liable to fraying but quilted nicely with a beautiful sheen. But I had to leave big seam allowance and used tiny, strong stitches to try and keep it together. I wouldn't attempt an entire quilt in it tbh.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 11-Jan-13 11:41:51

Oops! I'm so sorry, this had fallen off my ThreadsI'mOn.

Thank you so much for the link to those shot cottons - they are gorgeous! I think I will take latte's advice about life being too short! grin

cold - your quilt is beautiful.

But I take your point ... I was getting over enthusiastic.

Thanks all.

mapleleef Mon 21-Jan-13 19:27:30

GetOutMyPub: I bought some Oakshott cottons from a stall at the Veldhoven competition (Holland) and with lots of help from friends made a Tree Quilt for my husband. I personally found the kit instructions useless(so did my more experienced friends) so I drew my own trees, traced them onto vilene and paper pieced 9 of them (all different.) Then bordered them and quilted in the ditch to keep the straight lines. I'm pretty chuffed with the result. Good luck!

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