Community Quilts from Ray

Ray has some mail and a he’d like us all to help answer a question…first Ray’s mail.

Ray writes:

I received a BIG box via FedEx today from Lou Ann in IL. She is an avid blog reader of yours and makes quilts for her local Hospice. She also receives donations from people assisting her in finishing quilts. Sometimes she gets more than she can use as well as tops that Hospoice will not accept.

I want to start with a show of 2 large groups of backing fabrics that I received. SOme of it is regular yardage and some of it is very nice sheets. All of it will work and be put to great use. Her timing is great as I need to pull a bunch of tops and select some coordinating fabrics to use for backing. I do better making one big mess than looking and procrastinating and looking one top at a time.

Next are 4 quilts that are totally hand-pieced. That is why Hospice will not accept them as they will not hold up under the use of large commercial laundry equipment.

The first two are Flower Garden Hexi quilts. One is made with an oblong type of flower and measures 65 x 81.

The other is a round flower and measures 69 x 78.

The next quilt appears to be made of shirts in a 9 patch pattern variation. However, from the color of the quilt, I am guessing that they are from women’s shirts instead of men’s shirts. An equal opportunity quilt. I like it. It measures 55 x 78.

The next quilt is primarily, red, white, and blue . It definitely needs a good pressing. However, I think it is best to leave that task until I am ready to longarm it. It will be much less wear and tear on the hand-stitched seams. It measures 50 x 78.

The last quilt Lou Ann says she pieced from blocks that were given to her. It is a large Dresden plate quilt that measures 97 x 97. She included coordinating backing fabric with it.

Thank you Lou Ann for your generous sharing of community quilting items.

My turn to pose a question to you and/or your blog readers. A lady dropped off a silk duvet that she had purchased on a trip to China and no longer wanted. She hoped I could use it in a quilt. Part of me said yes as there is no stretch to the fabric. Another part of me says no way as the fabric is so very, very slick and likely would be impossible to keep aligned for piecing. I have asked a couple of quilt shops locally and nobody seems to really know. The duvet measures 76 x 84. One option was to deconstruct it and then longarm it as if it was a whole cloth quilt with regular backing and binding. The fabric is beautiful but totally NOT my taste. Any suggestions and or ideas would be most appreciated.

Pictures are attached. There is also a liner which appears to also be silk.

First off Ray…WOWZA. Those hand pieced Flower Garden quilts are AMAZING. What a wonderful donation!! Lou Ann. Thank you so much. Now for the silk…if it was me, I would pass the silk along. I’m not too brave when it comes to testing the waters and using silk. I’m a little afraid the long arm needles are too heavy and might create too big of holes in the beautiful fabrics.

Now readers…it’s your turn to chime in on the silk…please leave a comment. Ray and I would love to know your opinion. THANKS!!

21 thoughts on “Community Quilts from Ray”

  1. Cynthia from SWMN

    I would not use the silk duvet. Donate it to a thrift shop. It is not cotton fabric and is not meant for washing, I think it is too delicate and will not hold up like cotton. Let someone else enjoy it as a duvet cover.

  2. Personally, I’d pass it on. I hate silk! It is too fussy. It wrinkles and has to be ironed. Has to be cleaned so carefully,

  3. That silk would make beautiful clothing. I’d reach out to local seamstresses. I would not quilt it especially LA with the large needles we use.

    Lovely handmade quilt tops. What a wonderful gift someone will receive.

  4. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Use the silk as backing fabric – it would feel wonderful against the skin!! On the longarm, it would be easier to keep it from slip-sliding away! Use a 14 needle and a fine thread like So Fine from Superior Threads and there shouldn’t be a problem. I’d happily use it for a backing…maybe especially for baby quilts or a nursing home.

  5. I’m not a lomgaarmer but I’ll chime in on the subject.
    I’d pass it along. I’d be afraid it would not hold up to the wear that a quilt gets going thru the washer and dryer.

  6. Kathleen in Mississippi

    The silk would likely make a couple of beautiful garments. Silk will not stay on a bed except for display like in a guest room. It slips and slides off the bed when you’re trying to sleep. Hard pass from me due to personal experience.

  7. Beautiful quilt tops! I would pass the silk to someone else. Is there a group in the area that makes Angel gowns? I hope Ray can find someone that can use the silk.

  8. The silk fabric would make some beautiful wraps for still births at hospitals. I believe they are called Angel Wraps.

  9. Silk shreds as it ages. It’s not a fabric to quilt ever. It used to be used in old crazy quilts, but definitely doesn’t hold up to heavy wear.

  10. You cannot wash silk. I would not waste the time it would take to deconstruct and try to make something else from it.

  11. Well, first, there are over 35 types of silk fabric. The decision depends on what type of silk it is. Since it’s already a duvet it’s obviously meant for bedding. Many silks can be washed, they do just fine in a machine. If the duvet is washed and dried prior to use then it can be washed and dried after. Us it for 2 backings or as a wholecloth. Lovely for someone who has sensitive skin as most silks feel lovely and breath well and don’t pill. Just be sure to use a natural fiber batting, not poly. I say wash and dry it, just handle it without pulling while it’s wet, see how it behaves. I think it will work out just fine and be a lovely quilt. If nothing else it will be a learning experience. You could always make yards of lovely binding from the silk.

  12. All those quilts are just stunning! The one you mentioned needing ironed would be great for your Veterans’ Day quilt giveaway. Thanks for sharing all these beauties with us.
    I’m torn on the silk but I’m thinking it’s probably not washable so I think I’d pass on working on it. Donate it instead.

  13. As someone who makes bags, but not silk bags, I would say someone might like the silk to make evening bags out of it. Not for a quilt.

  14. Consider using the hand piece quilts in your auctions to raise funds. They most likely are antique or close to it. I vote no on the silk. You have no idea how a recipient will be able to deal with it. Cotton is pretty much a go to for easy care.

  15. Is the manufacturer’s care label for the silk duvet still attached? There would be helpful information there. Though I think silk isn’t the best choice for the wear that quilts receive.

  16. I agree with one of the other commenters that the hand pieced quilts should be auctioned off to someone who would appreciate them for their vintage appeal.

  17. When I saw the quilts, my first thought was of the quilter who created the lovely tops. Imagining all the tiny stitches it took her to complete each top, imagining her sitting night after night working on each top and was grateful for the stitches of love and generosity.

  18. Personally, I don’t think I’d use the silk duvet for a quilt.
    I have to use silk pillowcases due to a skin issue and they have to be hand washed and line dried. They are very pricey. If you want to part with it, please contact me Ray. Perhaps I could make myself some pillowcases. I live in Florida as well but nowhere near you unfortunately. Thanks!

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