Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Kimono silk challenge

It's been over a decade since i first saw the most gorgeous piece of kimono silk i've ever seen. It was one of those situations where i knew i must buy it, and work out what to do with it later (bet i'm not the only one to have hand one of those moments!). It was special too, because it reminded me on my Nana and the colours that she liked.

At the time, there wasn't much kimono silk being used in quilting, and i ignorantly thought id be able to get my hands on similar coloured and patterned silks. In the last 10 years, I've certainly found some stash additions of pretty silks and certainly some to co-ordinate a quilt with, but nothing quite so pretty to me.

So far, this is what I've been able to get my hands on. While i wish i had some more turquoises and pretty pastel blues, i'm thinking it's time i should plan and commence my 'kimono silk challenge'......And it certainly will be a challenge for me because;

  1. I've never sewed using silks before and know they can be slippery and hard to work with.
  2. Some of the pieces are so precious, i don't want to ruin them.
  3. I'm not really that into some of the more typical Japanese style quilts, but do want to make something in keeping with the kimono silks and where they've come from.
  4. I'm unsure of what type of backing and wadding to use....for example should i use a cotton backing to try to stabilise the quilt a bit more or something softer to keep the quilt all soft and silky?

If you have any tips from your experience working with silks or similar, or ideas to share, please let me know and i'd sure love to hear from you.

I recently saw an inspirational quilt by Cassandra Ellis called 'Because You Love The Fabric Quilt' (p.62 of her book 'Quilt Love') and i like it so much i think i'll attempt something along those lines for my own silk quilt.

It's kinda improv piecing and i believe it will let me keep the silks fairly intact (i don't want to go cutting them up too much!), especially the piece that started this silk journey which i reckon i'll try keep cutting to a minimum with!

Please, if you have any tips or can point me in the direction of some tutorials, please let me know, i'd sure love to hear from you!

Linking up with Lorna for Lets Bee Social, Gemma for I Quilt: Thursday at Pretty Bobbins and Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash


  1. I never worked with silk so no advice on that, sorry. Good luck with your project! BTW Do you know you have the word verification on?

  2. This might not be quite what you're looking for, but I made a Sashiko quilt with Japanese fabrics and kept the square of fabric quite large. You could perhaps modify this type of pattern to suit. I did a post on my blog: http://wendysquiltsandmore.blogspot.co.nz/p/sashiko.html
    I know what you mean that you want to make something beautiful and worthy, and yet you don't want to cut into the fabric Good luck with the decision making..

  3. I have never made anything with silks, but your collection is beautiful. I can see why you are hesitant to cut into it. Hope you can get some good advice and decide on a pattern. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

  4. Here is a UTube video sewing with silks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDADCZ20ce4
    Here is info about sewing with silks: http://www.denverfabrics.com/pages/silk/silk-fabric-care-sewing.aspx
    And here: http://www.thaisilks.com/images/sales/SewingSilk.pdf
    Quilting with silk: http://www.hgtv.com/video/machine-quilting-with-silk-video/index.html
    Here: http://www.mccallsquilting.com/content_downloads/Silk_tabletop_Web_new.pdf

    Good luck!

  5. The blue silk is gorgeous and I can understand your hesitation in cutting it. I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

  6. Beautiful silks, You are braver than me, not sure I could do silks myself. Love the pattern you showed from the book.


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Wishing you many happy quilting hours!