I took a few minor diversions from my original '12 blocks a day' plan on these silk blocks. However, I find that having a goal in mind really helps me stay somewhat on track. If I hadn't given myself some sort of deadline, these blocks would still be in the contemplative stage.
As I finish them up, I am wanting to share some things we have found helpful when working with silks...
1. Start your project with a fresh rotary blade. Seriously, just change your blade! Your cutting will be easier and more accurate (which means your sewing will be more accurate).
2. Change your needle before you start to sew. A new needle will make for smooth sewing on dupioni silks. I was sewing for several years before it even registered that I should be changing my needle on a very regular basis. Once I started, I made sure I was never without extra needles.
3. IGNORE THE FRAY! This is hard, especially if you are at all persnickety about your personal space and its cleanliness. The silks will fray...and you will find it all over your house. Just this past week I found some stray silk in our egg carton, on our Christmas tree, and on my kitchen floor. It's a by-product of working with these amazing fabrics. Get a good lint roller and move on.
4. Do not pre-wash your silks. The resulting fray will leave you with not a lot of room for cutting your pieces.
We really have come to love working with silks and the richness they add to a quilt. Since they can't really be laundered, they are great for small projects like throws, wall hangings and table runners.