Julia McLeod and Sue Fox
(Supply List at bottom of page)
Foundation Piecing for Silk:
Taming an Unruly Fabric

(PLUS Precision and “Piecing” the Impossible)

Though their early years were spent on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Julia McLeod and Sue Fox have long possessed a shared passion for all sorts of reclaimed textiles. As lovers of thrift stores, yard sales and scrap bins everywhere, how could they not bond as quilt-makers?

Sue’s background in theatrical costume design and construction is the perfect foil to Julia’s origins in the menswear textile industry. Coming together as partners in
Silk & Salvage, their purpose was to work collaboratively, inspiring and motivating each other by sharing ideas, materials and projects.

In their lectures and teaching, Sue and Julia bring to the table different skill-sets and perspectives on quilt-making with silks and salvaged fabrics. They encourage and learn from one another - and from their students!

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About the Class

Foundation piecing silk directly onto a muslin backing will address a lot of the problems that people tend to have when working with silk. Unlike paper piecing, in which the paper is torn away after stitching, foundation piecing locks your silk onto a fabric base which then stays in place, thus protecting the silk edges from unraveling. This foundation layer also helps to stabilize the looser and more fluid qualities inherent in many silks.

Julia McLeod’s expertise with precision piecing on foundation fabric goes beyond accurate sewing—she’ll share how she develops color stories for her own quilts and demonstrate some simple methods for “not messing up” during color placement. You’ll also see how foundation piecing can “up your game” when used in combination with other techniques in creating a quilt.

In this class, we’ll spend the day working with commercially printed foundation fabric, learning the basic procedure using the Flying Geese motif and practicing variations on the technique throughout the day.

Demonstrations will also include: How to design & make your own foundation fabrics; Changing scale to create dynamic effect; and Using this technique to create more abstract and/or complex designs.

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Overview of Foundation Piecing with Silk & Salvage

Do you have a stash of Grandpa's ties? Leftovers from making silk pillows or garment making? Old silk scarves? Join us as we demonstrate a great way to tame silk's challenging qualities and guide you in your project of choice.

In this workshop you can combine an array of fabrics from silk ties and garments to cottons from your stash to create a beautiful pillow cover, wall-hanging or the beginnings of a quilt.

Julia McLeod and Sue Fox will share the successful technique of foundation piecing, using Foundation By The Yard (a Benartex product) as a base for working with silk fabrics and more. We will also show you how to draft your own fabric foundations.

Piecing onto a fabric foundation adds stability to your quilt, results in accurate piecing, and locks in those fraying edges. We'll demonstrate how to piece two designs: Flying Geese and New York Beauty. We'll provide you with a small sample piece to practice the technique.

You can then purchase 44” panels for $10, or draft your own foundation onto plain muslin. We will also have small bundles of silk fabrics for you to purchase.

Supply List
  • Your silk and salvaged fabrics - bring what you have: Neckties, furnishing silks, dress-maker's scraps, any interesting treasures

  • Sewing machine, pedal and power cord
  • Iron and portable ironing surface
  • Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
  • Scissors, seam ripper
  • Ball-point pen and notebook or paper
  • Thread and bobbins
  • Plain muslin or light colored cotton fabric
  • Light weight Pellon 906F fusible interfacing – a yard or less. Some very light weight fabrics benefit from being stabilized. We will also bring some of this to sell.
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