I visited China in December 2007--a great trip all around. In addition to the usual sites, I went to fabric markets in Beijing and Shanghai. I came away with a small suitcase full of Chinese silk brocade. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, I would sometimes to go Marshall Field's and browse in some departments just to see beautiful things, and one of the displays I liked to look at was a table full of bolts of Chinese silk brocade. Some 20 years later, I went back to visit them again, but alas, the fabric department was gone. I think I carried that image of the fabrics with me still, and when I saw stalls filled with these silks, at extremely low prices (especially after the expected bargaining), I found myself buying one piece after another. But then what to do with them? I had visions of making wall hangings of some sort, but started out with smaller things. The silk was very difficult to work with. I put it aside. I tried something else. Still didn't work out. I made an occasional small gift (bookmarks, needle case), but kept thinking about what else I might do on a larger scale. Finally, I got the idea to make a scarf, and this worked out well. The photo above is a pile of several I've made. Here they are hanging next to each other:
And then another idea occurred to me--a way of using large pieces of the fabric. I could piece very large rectangles into a quilt top. (My first thought was to cut the fabrics into blocks about 9x12", but decided I'd rather keep a large expanse of individual fabrics.) I played today with the lengths of fabric that I have, and so far I like this layout (just pinned up roughly, selvages not yet cut off). This is about 60x80":
I will ponder it some more, but I think this might work. I'm thinking of using a somewhat puffy batting (Dream Puff), cordoroy on the back, and quilting it in large (10") squares. Your thoughts much appreciated!
Here's the fabric I'll still have left: