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  1. #11
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    I did do a bit a research before I asked my question, and it appears that the crazy quilt patchwork style is what a preponderance of people did/do with silk (first with just the scraps they had, and then with people cutting up silk velvet into scraps pieces).

    While that look is pretty spectacular, I was hoping to create more unique (for silk) symmetry, in cuts as well as blocks, since I have whole yardages. Hmmm, I maybe didn't title my post properly. Maybe instead of "Best" I should have written "Innovative"? "Creative"?

    Thank you, jjkaiser, for your suggestion. And I think you're right, using a different fabric, other than velvet, for the window frame parts is a great idea.
    Last edited by Thayer Abaigael; October 7th, 2019 at 08:30 AM.

  2. #12
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    I saw a picture of one that was done in white velvet, some of the blocks were embroidered with seed pearls. Maybe some inspiration in that.
    TRUTH is seldom appreciated, unless you happen to agree with it. When you don't agree, you just call it rude.

  3. #13
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    Your posts have caused me to pause and wonder. Why were silks and velvet used in crazy quilts and not in the traditional pieced blocks like churn dash, etc.? Could it be that without modern stabilizers, velvet was not suitable for these blocks? Or was the nap in the velvet too challenging to piece properly, like a directional print? This is a fascinating discussion.

    Can't wait to hear what you decide!
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

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  5. #14
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    Pieced blocks like the churn dash need pressing with every seam, and I don't know how you could press all the seams if they are velvet, it is usually a little stretchy and the nap on it can be easily ruined wothout a pressing cloth, but then it is hard to see what you are doing. I see a few sample blocks in your future! I think you will just have to try a few things out and see what happens. I looked on Pinterest and 99% of the pics were crazy quilts but one was just patchwork squares sewed together and I actually liked that one better, but I tend to like very simple patterns.

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  7. #15
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    Hmmm, yes, the ironing and the directional piecing may, indeed, make silk overly complicated for general consumption. I'm not completely daunted, yet, though.

    I feel like if I underline everything, in a plain broadcloth, it would give it more stability. Yes, it would be kind of like doubling the workload, but the thought of a velvet quilt is soooo sumptuous.

  8. #16
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thayer Abaigael View Post
    I did do a bit a research before I asked my question, and it appears that the crazy quilt patchwork style is what a preponderance of people did/do with silk (first with just the scraps they had, and then with people cutting up silk velvet into scraps pieces).

    While that look is pretty spectacular, I was hoping to create more unique (for silk) symmetry, in cuts as well as blocks, since I have whole yardages. Hmmm, I maybe didn't title my post properly. Maybe instead of "Best" I should have written "Innovative"? "Creative"?

    Thank you, jjkaiser, for your suggestion. And I think you're right, using a different fabric, other than velvet, for the window frame parts is a great idea.
    I haven't made a silk velvet quilt, but I have sewn quite a few garments with silk and silk velvet, so speaking from experience, I salute your courage! A few tips I have are to use a very fine needle, like size 60 for stitching because the holes of a needle will show forever. Also, you can never wash a silk velvet. Ever. At a top quality dry cleaner only, silk velvets are steamed. You need to invest in a needle board or make a velvet pressing surface big enough to cover your ironing board. Test your pressing techniques to be sure you maintain the pile. Use only an ultra sharp rotary blade to cut pieces and handle them as little as possible. Also I use a strip of sturdy typing paper to slip beneath the seam you are pressing so no impression of the seam appears on the front of the velvet. That will be very hard if not impossible to remove. You probably need to use a 1/2" seam allowance throughout. See how your fabric feels. if it is just soft and luxurious, you can use it alone. But if there is any stretch you need a lightweight interfacing to stabilize it. If you don't want to risk a fusible you could try a light application of 505 to make the layers stick together, or you could do like the couturiers do and baste the pieces together by hand with a very fine hand needle and silk thread using a criss cross stitch. I would use the same thread I want to use for the seams. For the machine stitching part, I have used YLI silk thread on the top with very fine Aurifil in the bottom. Like the Aurifil 80 weight. With the 1/2" seam allowance you can avoid making marks. Or you could foundation piece the velvet onto a nice muslin which won't really affect the drape and shine, just beef it up a little. I have done both in garments with no problems. As to cutting, don't cut until you are ready to work with it. Avoid a fraying nightmare. Always inspect the fabric carefully and don't use a part where there is a flaw before you cut. Which you will find in silk. Be sure you know which way is the warp and which is the weft in your pieces because (I assume) you want them all facing the same direction. Otherwise the color of the pieces will appear very different. Don't turn them around, you will be sure to mess it up! I speak from experience.

    I agree that the simplest possible pattern will show off the gorgeousness the best. You might want to consider using silk dupioni if you want some sort of sashing. Working the velvet in strips would, I think, be a nightmare. Have you looked at the patterns of Janine Burke? She uses silk dupioni a lot for her quilts, and her patterns are simple to show off the fabrics and their sheen to the greatest advantage. Good luck, and I hope these tips help.

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  10. #17
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    Midge, you sound very experienced with silk velvet. I learned a lot from your post!
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

  11. #18
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Best Pattern for Silk Velvet?

    I am so impressed with Midge's very detailed response and she sure has experience working with these kinds of fabric. I would suggest you PM her for her phone number and get ready to put her on speed dial! Having said that, I was thinking how often these fabrics were used in the olden days to make crazy quilts. You know they did not have stabilizers or silk thread or special pins or any of the high end things that are available today and they heated their irons up on the stove, yet still were able to put together such beautiful quilts. It's possible you are over thinking this and maybe you should shoot for the most basic, simple solution? I hope you are not offended by this suggestion.I would be overwhelmed if I was you trying to decide which direction to go in. I admire your courage in attempting this project, and wish you lots of luck.

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