Sunday, June 24, 2007

Spirit Cloth

I have gotten totally swept up in the blog Spirit Cloth by Jude Hill. It's not your typical blog, but rather an ongoing poem about fabric, thread and stitching. I've been reading bits and pieces for awhile, but I've gone back to the beginning and I'm working my way to now. The main focus of the blog is Jude's work on the quilt Listen to the River but there are all sorts of diversions and playing with techniques along the way. She mixes velvets and linens, quilting and embroidery stitches. Amazing, truly amazing.

Some of Jude's play pieces remind me of Janet Bolton. (Holy cow, glad I bought her book years ago, it's now way expensive.) I love the look of different fabrics together, although I've never gone so far myself.

Jude inspired me to get out all the non-cotton play fabric that I've been buying for years just to have. No project in mind, just like/love them. I used the excuse of cleaning up my sewing room (still not organized - but better) to play.

My silks and some linens I bought in 2003.

Some odd sparkly fabric and a few scraps of something like damask.

These are my prized scarves from Egypt. Plus a curious Lily cat. I have been told these are made of flax and that they wash up beautifully and hold their shimmer, but I havent tried it out yet. A woman I knew in Cairo stabilized these and used them for patchwork. I was really taken with the look of it, thus this collection.

A close-up of my favorite. These are loosely woven and I do worry what will happen when I cut into them.

I also have some black wool suiting that I bought for making Halloween cats and gorgeous velvets that didn't photograph well. I do have quite a bit to play with when I gather them all together.

But I need stabilizer for the Egyptian scarves and the silk. Anyone had any experience with Sulky Cut Away Soft n Sheer? That is what I'm thinking of using. Maybe silk doesn't have to be fused, I could just Fray Check the edges? All I know is that I have silk threads all over the place. I would hate to see the silks all unravel.

And yes, I'm playing with fabric even though I have another (okay, many other) projects going on. In fact, here's my long languishing One Patch sitting by the sewing machine waiting for its binding. I'm hoping Pokey doesn't get stuck by a pin. I can tell my babies aren't kittens any longer. Used to be I couldn't leave something like this out or else Lily would be running off with the pins - a favorite game of hers.

21 comments:

Karen said...

Tonya, from his pose, it looks like Pokey is remembering her Egyptian days.

Karen said...

oops her pose I meant

StegArt said...

Gorgeous scarves. Your Pokey has such beautiful markings. I still have to kitty proof my work space as I have a cat who still likes to play with my pins and other things. Oh so scary!

Sassenach said...

I don't have any experience with the Sulky Soft and Sheer. You might give Fine Fuse a try -- it's what I use when I need to stabilize a fragile piece of silk. It doesn't bulk up or stiffen the fabric the way that many other stabilizers do. (Standard disclaimer about the effects of adhesive, etc, etc).

Gypsy Quilter said...

Tonya, would spraying the fabric with starch help stabilize it enough?

Anonymous said...

Sulky soft and sheer isn't a fusible and is used as a stabilizer in machine embroidery on t-shirt. to stablilize soft or ravelly fabrics I have used the fusible that looks like tricot knit because it stays soft and it comes in black and white and isn't bulky.
Wanda
P.S. thanks for the tours of Paris. I'll never get there in person

kristin L said...

In my limited use of silk I have used WonderUnder (Vliesofix if you buy it in Europe) to fuse one piece to another, and then to the batting. That worked great, although I lost a little of the soft "hand." I also used a very lightweight fusible on another project. It stopped the ravels and made it easier to sew the silk patches to my wool and cotton ones. If I were pieceing silk to silk, I'm not sure what I'd use.

YankeeQuilter said...

The colors of the silks are wonderful. Working with those are a big step!

Quilting Pirate said...

how fun to explore different ideas and techniques with fabrics!

And I just so enjoy seeing pictures of your kitties!

candyschultz said...

Silk is just a pain in the you know. I would definitely stabilize it. I have a collection of unusual fabrics to play with also. There are iron on stabilizers that are not too stiff. I know silk will not last like other fabrics. It is beautiful. I have been collecting silk ties for years in hopes of making a quilt one day. Good luck.

The Dutchlady said...

Your silk scarves are beautiful as are your cats!I sent you an email but realized too late that it was sent with a different email account(meikina)you might not recognize. Sorry.

meggie said...

Love silk! I love to sew with it, but have not used it for quilts. Just to dress my porcelain dolls, & I love the feel of it, & didnt find it hard to work with.
Your kitties are so gorgeous.

Tanya said...

I'll be interested to see how you use your Egyptian scarves in your creations. The look just gorgeous! I've never heard of the stabilizer so I'm making a note about it and I'll see if I can find some in the States to use with kimono fabric that I've been afraid to cut into.

Gillian said...

Hi! I'm a great fan of Jude's 'Spirit Cloth' blog too... it's a beautiful journey to share...

jovaliquilts said...

Thanks for the link to Spirit Cloth -- looks like another one I'll want to read. I recently started collecting Indian fabrics of various fibers and weaves to make a quilt, but at this point I have no idea how to use them. I'll be learning from you as you work with your silks and so on. Love your Egyptian scarves!

Cheri

jude said...

i am new to silk, but just started to focus on learning how to use it. i am very excited by the feel of it an it has such dimensions when quilted. another journey for sure. thanks for all your support.

margaret said...

The loosely woven silk looks like a good candidate for fusing a la Sue Benner - or else some iron-on interfacing (lightweight) will also stabilise it. They look absolutely scrummy - hard to cut into!

Bonnie said...

OOOOOOOOoooohhhhhhhhhhhh POKEY BELLIES!!!!! Even cuter with "tucked in" (or tucky) feet!

Just popping over to see what you have been up to over there! I miss you!

I want to ask you if anyone is using the condo the week before Christmas? DH and I are thinking of a getaway ;c)

Bonnie

Sue in western WA said...

I don't know if you'll have access to it but there's a book you might find helpful: Silk quilts: from the silk road to the quilter's studio by Hanne Vibeke de Koning-Stapel, Quilt Digest Press, 1999.

She recommends a lightweight fusible interfacing for working with silks. Sorry I don't know the brand name; it's probably what Sassenach recommended.

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