Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fabric Nuances

I have been busily quilting away on a client quilt, but I sneak time to work on the binding of my next show quilt which will debut next spring. I have envisioned a binding similar to the one on the above quilt, with quilted scallops, though I want it a little bit different than this one too. The scallops (100 of them to be exact!) are made from cottons and silks and are piped with dark purple silk Radiance fabric. They are quilted on the longarm before getting the backing and piping on my domestic. Fast forward about 25 hours or more, and these are the result. Some call me patient. Some just use the word "crazy". Take your pick. Depending on the day, I use either.
The scallops are stitched to a mounting fabric which will have a facing used to secure to the backside of the quilt.

Last week, while playing with the almost finished quilt, I decided that the addition of the crisp white to the "binding" would look really awesome. My plan is to make a leaf shape from white to put between the lavender scallops. The original quilt at the top has quilted scallops with prairie points (constructed the traditional way). 

The only problem with this plan is that I don't have enough of the pure white silk Radiance, and my favorite fabric in the world has been discontinued. White batik could have been substituted, know how it is when you get a thought into your head. I just HAD to have the shiny fabric. I love silk that much!

I went to the internet and scoured it for dark, hidden sources for Radiance. They are still available, but they are getting harder and harder to find, and the numbers of colors available lessen daily. I located a silk-cotton satin on Etsy, and ordered a couple yards. When it arrived, I was ecstatic because the hand and appearance of it was that of Radiance. But...and there is always a but...when I compared it to the white Radiance, it was most definitely a slight ivory and not pure white (sure wish I'd done this before ordering another 5 yards, but that is exuberance for you!). The ivory is not acceptable for this quilt. Perfect perhaps for a whole cloth quilt, someday.

(new mystery silk-cotton satin on left and pure white Radiance on right)

My first thought was to somehow bleach this to white. Those who dye knew better, but I tried anyway. I did not just throw the 2-yd cut into bleachy water, mind you, I only used a small swatch. I also used a colored piece too as a control -- curious to see what my bleach would do. The results below are counter-intuitive. While the taupe silk blend did lighten slightly, the "white" actually darkened to a more cream color.  It did not get lighter whatsoever.
I was going to be on to Plan B.

Plan B means going to a fabric that I am unfamiliar with, but that I think will probably work acceptably. What say you?...Bridal satin.

I went to Joann's today and got a yard of good quality bridal satin. There were many colors and weights to compare to my swatch. I have only quilted on polyester satin a couple times, but I have no reason to think it won't work fine. I do know others who have used it.  In the end, the color is the best choice. See below...

 (bridal satin)

(white bridal satin on left, not-so-white silk blend on right)

The sheen will be nice and the color is perfect. When I finish off a client quilt mid-week, I will load this up and make some quilted "leaves" so that the binding can be finished. I am so anxious to get this quilt finished -- I love it THAT much! "Value of Violet" will debut at its first show early in 2019.


Kathy Molatch said...

Hi Martha, I have some Radiance PFD that I bought a while ago. I'd be happy to share what I have with you. Let me know.

Margaret Solomon Gunn said...

Kathy Molatch...I cannot email you because your account is not linked to an email. I'd love to purchase the PFD from you. Can you please email me at

Barb Neiwert said...

Can a person be in love with a quilt if they only see one small corner of it? The answer is a definite "Yes!" Brings a huge smile to my face!

Diane said...

I would call you amazing. Those scallops will be a perfect finish for what I can see of the quilt. Thanks for the sneak peek.

bidtl said...

I saw your quilt, 'Taking the Unmapped road' yesterday at PIQF and took a picture of it with its ribbon, would you like me to send it to you? It's always a treat to get to see your work in person.

Patsy said...

I have some as well if you need a little bit. I use it to dye, so if it's not white enough for you, I'm happy to take back a cut piece as long as you pay the shipping. It's a very bright white to my eyes.