Quilting with silk has been popular since the 1880s, when silk fabric was very costly. Quilters made crazy quilts to use up scraps of this expensive fabric. Its deep jewel tones made for beautiful patterns that often resembled stained glass blocks. Because silk is a natural fibre, it is quite breathable, making it warm in winter and cool in summer. You can hand-wash most of today's silk with a biodegradable detergent. To keep a silk quilt in top condition, air it out frequently and beat it lightly to retain its fluffiness.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Silk scraps
- 12-by-12-inch muslin blocks
- Sewing machine and thread
- Embroidery floss
- Pearl cotton
- Silk or silk velvet backing fabric
Baste or pin a piece of scrap silk onto a muslin square without turning under the edges.
Place another piece of silk on top of the first piece, right sides together. Align one edge of it to the first piece and sew by hand or machine. Flip the piece over and finger-press it down. This technique is called "Sew and Flip."
Continue to align raw edges of pieces and sew and flip the pieces until the 12-inch block is full.
Make as many 12-inch blocks as you need to create the size of quilt you want. Sew the blocks together by hand or machine.
Embellish the top with hand-embroidery at each seam. Add beads, metallic threads, buttons or ribbon.
Place backing fabric and the quilt top right sides together and stitch around the edge. Leave an opening to turn the quilt right side out.
Turn the raw edges in at the opening. Press into place and close with a hand stitch.
Tie the quilt top to the backing fabric, if it is heavy. Use a needle and pearl cotton. Working from the back side, pierce the fabric with a needle and, taking a small stitch, bring the pearl cotton to the back and tie it off.
Tips and warnings
- Never store quilts in plastic containers. If you must store them away, place them in a pillow case for protection.
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