Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sewing with Silk and a Giveaway

A few years ago we published a book called Silk Unraveled: Experiments in Tearing, Fusing, Layering & Stitching by Lorna Moffat.


With Lorna living in South Africa with small children, she is not available to teach these techniques so I’ve been offering a few classes. This November at Quilt Festival in Houston, I’m teaching the Spiral and Flowers quilt top class


and the Silk Crystal pillow class.


Both are fun classes because we aren’t precise, we just tear up silk and let the loose threads be a part of the work.

Many people love the look and sheen of silk but are afraid to try it. Maybe it is the price of silk, although it is available for less than it used to be and cotton quilting fabric is getting more expensive.  We use silk that is stable (not slippery or shifting) such as dupioni, shantung and taffeta so it can be cut, sewn and treated as a substitute for cottons. I use the same threads and needles and don’t do anything special.

You don’t prewash it and after sewing, it could be hand washed or dry cleaned.  Many of the projects in the book use small scraps of silk. The base of this crystal pillow is half-inch strips of assorted varieties in different colors so you could even go to thrift shops and collect nice silk garments to cut up and use.

The flowers,as well as the crystal above, are just backed with Steam-A-Seam 2 by the Warm Company and then fused on and stitched! The cut edges won’t ravel anymore. But this book celebrates the raveling and shows you how to use even the loose threads from the warp.

GIVEAWAY SILK UNRAVELED BOOK! For a chance to win a copy, leave a comment below telling if you have sewn with silk and what you’ve sewn. We’ll pick a winner Oct. 23 and start a new giveaway then!

As I said in previous posts, I’m teaching the Silk and Spirals flowers quilt on our cruise to Panama Canal and the Caribbean in 2013. Sign up for the email newsletter to know when the contest to win a cruise is open!  Tell your friends to sign up too!

The winner of the set of Jane Sassaman notecards is Vivika! Congrats!

Enter the giveaway for beautiful mugs on Jane Sassaman’s blog too.


  1. I have never sewn with silk, would be great though.

  2. I have sewn a lot with silk. I have made various garments and I have also used silk in my art quilts. I love working with silk and the beauty that it brings to a project.

  3. I've been collecting silks for a future project....and will hopefully gather up the courage to cut into them soon (yikes!).

  4. The book "Silk Unraveled" is one of the best ones I've gotten from my local library, I would love to win a copy of it! I've dyed a few small pieces of silk, but haven't ever used them in an art quilt.

  5. I love the feel of silk and have only sewn small pieces with it. This book looks fantastic. Thanks for the chance.

  6. I own silk, but am still waiting to sew with it as I don't know how=) Silly I know...

  7. I love silk. I use it a lot in art quilts and collages. I love it's texture and it is a natural fibre, so dyes well. Mostly i use samples from fabric sample books I have collected from curtain and fabric shops. These are great because they are in book of related patterns and colour schemes

  8. I love silk - its shimmer and texture - it glows. I have always been hesitant due to past experiences with fraying. That said, my silk collection is gathering dust and needs to come out and play. Thanks for the chance to expand my horizons.

  9. Drat! A day late and a dollar short as the old saying goes. I'm too late to make the drawing for the free book. I will hop over to Amazon purchase the book, as I am intrigued by all the delightful ideas. I am working on a quilt using old silk ties and a friend tipped me off about this book.