Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I shared my twins a couple of weeks ago.

I created two identical "Elegantly Amish" quilts (39"x39") to determine if silk dupioni quilts can be washed.  Up to this point I was telling my students that silk quilts needed to be dry cleaned.  Washing would ruin them.  Once a scientist, always a scientist, so I needed to do an experiment.  What would happen if I washed a silk quilt?  Would it lose its sheen? Would it get distorted?  Would it shrink?  Would it bleed?

But before I share the results of my experiment, I want to introduce Midnight Quilter aka Ashley Malinowski.  She quilted "The Twins".
Ashley is a young woman who recently graduated from college. She purchased a long arm at the end of her senior year of high school.  She put herself through college by quilting for others.  Although she graduated with a very employable degree, she decided she wanted to keep on longarming to keep in touch with her customers!  If you want to read more about her or get in touch to hire her, 
visit her website:

So what happened to The Twins when I gently washed one of the twins in a low suds detergent?

The quilt on the right was the one that was washed.  It shrunk 2.5%.  It did not lose its sheen, that is so important when sewing with silk dupioni.  It did not bleed.  What happened because of the shrinkage is that the colors became a bit more vibrant, which is hard to see in this photo.  I like the increase in vibrancy. Maybe I'll wash all of my silk quilts.  Maybe.

I have presented my newest lecture "Sensational Silk" a couple of times.  I am happy to share with other quilters my silk quilts and  my tips for  quilting with silk.  I can now tell them that the quilts can be washed. If you want to read my other tips, check out this LINK.

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  1. Great information, Cheryl! Thanks. I have a lot of silk dupioni in my stash, so this is good to know. Haven't made anything yet, but one of these days...

  2. It is amazing you can wash the silk and have it look more vibrant! Ashley did a great job on the machine quilting.

  3. Interesting! You didn't say anything about the temperature of the washing water. I wonder if that would have made a difference in the shrinkage?

  4. Have you tried washing silk before starting the project? My mom used to wash silk saris at home, always in cold water.


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