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Looking for feedback/suggestions

Ok. So, I have an old friend (since high school) whose Mama passed away in mid-November. Amber, this is my friend that you helped me find some information for a couple of years ago. She lived with her Mama her entire life, certainly most of it. Her last 10+ years have been spent taking care of her. Her Mama was her everything, and her #1 priority. I asked her recently if she would like some sort of memorial quilt. Like maybe using some of her clothes, if she had kept any. She was really touched, and was thrilled at the idea. My goal is a throw that she could wrap around her when she feels like she needs a hug from her Mama. Originally I was thinking I could piece a scrappy heart and scrappy letters spelling “Mama” from the clothes and then piece that into the quilt top.

Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for the recipients) she generously gave all her Mama’s clothes away. I mean it’s been 6 months after all. All she can find is her Mama’s pashmina scarf. It seems to be maybe some sort of rayon or silk type fabric with fringe. I offered to print some photos on printable fabric and do a memorial quilt that way, or find some sort of way to do a quilt that includes the scarf, her choice. I didn’t want to cut up the scarf without her permission. She says she would be thrilled with either idea, and she’s ok with cutting up the scarf.  Here’s a photo of the scarf:

Mama's scarf

Her Mama’s favorite color was sort of a Hello Kitty pink, which I think would go with this sort of teal scarf pretty well. I was thinking it would be awesome if I could incorporate it somehow while keeping the fringe.

I might include a photo or two also, and I think I have the perfect pink in a solid cotton. It’s hard to say what this is like without having it in my hands. She lives in Dallas. If I can’t think of a way to use it I don’t want to have her send it here.

I was thinking I would need to stabilize the scarf somehow before cutting and/or piecing into any kind of block(s). I don’t think my original plan for letters will work, though. Although it might be kind of fun to do a heart and have the fringe along the edge of the heart somehow.

Have any of you worked with a sort of slippery, non-cotton fabric like this in a quilt before?

Suggestions? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

12 thoughts on “Looking for feedback/suggestions

  1. Crazy quilts used to combine all kinds of fabrics with no problems, though you need to add some decorative stitching. I know I’ve seen a crazy quilt paper pieced pattern somewhere. Or maybe a photo in the middle of a log cabin block; square in a square block; a photo with snowball corners with the shawl fabric? Depending on how light the material is maybe you might need to use a very lightweight interfacing to stabilize it? I’ve sewn with handwovens and have used a light fusible tricot interfacing to keep them from shifting without making them too stiff. Just throwing out some ideas here that you’ve probably already thought of. 🙂 I’m sure whatever you come up with will be great, you’re an expert at making things work.

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    1. I don’t think a crazy quilt is something I want to do, but that’s true, they did incorporate all kinds of fabric. I like the idea of a photo in the middle of some sort of block though. Maybe I could put a photo in the center of a log cabin heart, and utilize the edge of the scarf with the fringe around the edges of the heart somehow. I think I might have her go ahead and send me the scarf so I can at least get a feel for the fabric and how much of it there is.

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      1. Somebody just told me that you need a larger seam allowance for silk or rayon than 1/4″ because they tend to fray a lot. Didn’t know that myself, thought I’d pass it along. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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  2. There are fusible interfacings of different thicknesses for thin and slippery fabric for clothes making. It would give stability to the fabric. It’s not heavy like fusible you would use for appliqué. This might help.

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  3. I think I would reach out to quilters that use dupioni silk and see what they use for stablizer. Also you could make a bag out of the scarf that will hold the quilt you make.

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    1. Good idea. I think duponi silk is less slippery than what this looks. My guess is this is synthetic. I’ll know soon enough, she’s mailing tomorrow I think. Once I have it in my hands I’ll have a better idea just how slippery it is!

      I like the idea of a bag. She’s also apparently sending some costume jewelry that her mama loved. I’ve never put embellishments like that on a quilt, but I’m certainly willing to try!

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  4. When I was making the memory quilt for Courtney’s parents, I had some of her grandmother’s nightgowns. I ended up using French Fuse Interfacing to stabilize it. It’s softer interfacing that I also use for t-shirt fabrics. Whatever you do with the scarf, I’d go with big blocks so you’re not working with tiny pieces of scarf. You potentially piece some fringe into some of the blocks. I did something similar with the fringe from a shirt on the same memory quilt. It wasn’t fun to quilt around, but it was a really nice effect.

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      1. I’ve bought it at Joann before, but they don’t always have it. It’s pretty hit or miss. I bought a ton of it when I made Miss E’s graduation quilt and have been using those leftovers ever since.

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