For several years I have been planning to make a silk quilt, using all the bits and pieces of fabric I had gathered over the years. Some were pieces of clothing, others scraps of sari silk or just pretty fabrics that had taken my fancy and most were acquired during the years when I was doing the City & Guilds Creative Embroidery courses.
The original idea was for an exotic, voluptuous bed quilt made from quite large squares. In the event it turned out quite a bit smaller. Cutting silk is a tricky, inexact process - even with a ruler and a rotary cutter. The flimsier fabrics needed to be mounted on fine iron-on interfacing, partly to stabilise them and partly to render them opaque; the prospect of being able to see the details of the quilt wadding through the top fabric was not attractive. In the end the squares were much smaller than originally envisaged because when it came to cutting up old skirts and finding large enough areas on pieces of fabric that had already been cut for other uses that was what was practical.
By the time I’d cut and assembled enough for this modest 135cm x 66cm quilt I’d had quite enough and just decided to go for it. The finished squares are 9cm x 9cm. It was pieced together by machine and I quilted it by hand with a slightly sparkly machine embroidery thread.
Being a slightly eccentric size means that I have no immediate use or function for it; something that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. I imagine it could be used as a decorative runner at the end of a bed (though it doesn’t fit my decorative style) or as a wall hanging. Maybe the colours will appeal to one of our magpie grand-daughters.
While I was planning and making this I thought of it as my “silk quilt”, but while it was in progress the people who saw it unfailingly used the words “jewel colours” so the “jewel quilt” is what it has become.
NOTE: the colours of my photographs are quite annoyingly inaccurate, particularly for the fabric of the outer border and backing, which is in reality a deep purple colour, rather than navy blue.