Thursday 2 March 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 128 - More Experiments With Silk

More fun with silk...

When I first tried free motion quilting on silk my main problem was getting a grip on the material because my gloves kept slipping.  I asked for suggestions, and Dagmar very kindly emailed me to say that thin rubber shelf lining works for her.  She cuts two pieces, one to fit under each hand, and now prefers this method to gloves for all her free motion quilting.

I had already decided that rubber was the answer, and got myself a packet of rubber thimbles in assorted sizes.  With a rubber thimble on each index finger and thumb, I have found I have enough grip to quilt away to my heart's content.

Next I needed to test a different weight of wadding.  The section on the left is my first sample, for which I used leftover pieces of the wadding I use for cradle quilts.  The result seemed a little too thick, so for the section on the right I used ultra thin wadding designed for clothing.  It was perfect, especially when it came to joining the two panels.  An ordinary straight seam, with stitching on either side of the seam line to keep it flat, is a tempting alternative to my usual quilt as you go method.

Finally I tested how easy it is to iron down and topstitch an edge and stitch buttonholes.  The backing is calico, so it can be ironed from the back with a warm (not hot) iron.  When I made the fold on the edge I was ironing on the silk on the inside of the fold, and was able to get a nice clean crease.  After that putting in the buttonholes was a doddle.

Posh cushion covers are now a distinct possibility.

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

Here goes for Week 128...

The project that caught my eye in Week 127 was Karen's appliqué holly quilt with googly eyes hidden under the berries.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.


  1. What a great idea with the rubber thimbles! I was about to replace my worn out gloves, but I'll go that route instead. Thanks for sharing.

  2. The rubbery thimbles seem like a good idea. I might give that a try!

  3. Ohhh I'm trying rubber thimbles too - I've using gloves and they are fine except when I'm changing thread a ton and I have to constantly take them on and off - UGH! thanks for the tip!

  4. I never would have thought about using rubber thimbles! It's amazing what we learn from each other...thank you for the tip!

  5. I love the idea of the rubber thimbles! I FMQ with gloves but I hate having to take them on and off every time I stop/start. Do you have trouble with the thimbles falling off when you stop to change threads or do you just remove them?

    1. I take them off every time I have to stop and sort out the threads, but I am not sure if that is out of habit because I would always take off my gloves. Next time I am going to see whether I can just leave them on.

  6. Thanks for sharing more details on your silk experimenting. I've got another batch of silk scraps waiting for me to do something with them. Pillow covers would be a great use for them!

  7. You are so talented when it comes to free motion quilting. I'm in the planning stages of the quilt I'm going to make on my new treadle and that was a great idea about using rubber shelf lining. I really want to give this free motion quilting a go.

    1. Congratulations on the new treadle, Joe! I hope it runs well and gives you hours of pleasure. When it comes to free motion work, however, you need a Singer 15, or another manufacturer's copy - see this post:-

  8. Hi Mauve, those would make beautiful cushion covers. I've used silk in art quilts, but I've never used silk to quilt on. I also use rubber shelf lining since I can't stand using gloves (I'm not enough)!



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