Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quilting with Silk: Whole Cloth Sampler

Choosing and Prepping Materials

Although I have quilted on silk in the past, never has it been on a scale like the 100" x 100" whole cloth quilt I am currently working on.

There are  so many things to consider when quilting with less familiar materials like dupioni silk. 

There's the question of  prewashing or not?
Some say yes, others say never.
Underline? When is it necessary?
How will it affect the loft?

Markers react differently on silk. Blue wash-outs can spread and must be washed out after the quilt is made, (you are then committed to pre-washing the silk).  Chalk marks easily and is fairly visible initially, but will rub off long before the large quilt is completed. What will show up the best on a dark fabric?

Battings. Wool? High loft polyester? 80/20?
Combinations of two?
Partial combination, like trapunto style (see below).

Which threads to use? Colour? Weight?
Will it highlight the main motifs?
Which thread disappears into the background but gives the best relief to the design?

As I experiment with all of these variables in the next few weeks, I will document my findings and share the results.

I am enjoying this journey a great deal and am looking forward to the next stage.

I'll be back soon with some early results.


  1. You do so much pre-work on your projects! I can't wait to hear the results of your endeavours. You give lessons to all of us beginners when you share your work! Thank you!

  2. When I started researching whole cloth silk quilting, the information that I found was scattered, scant and doesn't always agree. So, I decided that the only way to know what I would be comfortable with, would be to do some of my own samples. This quilt is becoming a much larger project than had been the initial intent, but so it goes. Sigh... .