Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Silkie Talk

I was recently asked a question about "silkies" and thought that I would blog my knowledge about them as limited as it is. This post is for all the new to the Crazy Quilting world.

Cigarette silks or silkies started out being sold in packs of cigarettes. That was the then marketing ploy for the women to get their husbands to buy certain brands of cigarettes. (You know when it was a bad thing for women to smoke.) The manufacturers would make silk prints in series, like flowers, butterflies, birds, to name a few, just for the women. The women would then "hen peck" their husbands into buying "that" brand for the series they wanted for their crazy quilts.

These days we have all sorts of sources to buy silkies. Or you can even print them yourself with fabric printer paper. You can buy the vintage silkies, or original silks in antique stores. Be ready to pay a little bit of money for them. I have found them ranging from $3.00 to $20.00, of course any price in between. You can also buy them off of ebay or any other online auction, or antique store.

The replicas are much better for the budget, they range from $2.50 to $5.00. I have mainly bought my replica silkies from Keepsake Fabrics and Needle Arts. (;jsessionid=1600B6DDB9C9D503B120B072E00664C7.qscstrfrnt02 )
The quality is wonderful and she has a great selection.
I have also bought them from Ribbonsmythe. ( ) The quality at Ribbonsmythe is also real good. Ribbonsmythe is a GREAT source for anything crazy quilt.

Why limit yourself to what other people produce, in replica silkies. Make them yourself! You can buy silk or cotton printer fabric, at any craft or fabric store. You can also buy it on line, it is up to you. Once you start making your own silkies you are able to print the pictures you want. Family pictures, come to mind first off! The door is open so to speak. You are limitless in sources you can use to print your own silkies. Vintage greeting cards, vintage trading cards, family pictures(Of course!), pictures of interest, I could go on and on. You are limited to your own imagination when it comes to printing up your own silkies!

This is a vintage picture that was cut out of a magazine. I bought this at my favorite antique mall.
This is a vintage trading card that I bought from that same mall.
These are vintage cigarette silks.

As you can see there is quite a few series out there in the vintage cigarette silks, these are just a few. These are just a few out of what I have collected!
When you use vintage silks in your crazy quilting you will need to have special care. I have had the privilege of having made the acquittance of a lady who restores antique dolls. She gave me a lesson on her method of using vintage silks and restoring them. I will post a tutorial when I am ready to start "Catch My Star" on her method. So keep looking for it!
I hope that this answers any questions that you may have on silkies. For all the seasoned crazy quilters out there who read this. If I have missed anything or need correcting on anything please post a comment so that everyone can read the information, and thank you for your help! Knowledge is power!

1 comment:

Chris said...

What great information! I love the idea of making my own with family photos, too. I've printed on fabric, just never thought about making my own silkies. Ok, I didn't know what silkies were until I started reading your blog. I'll be watching for more of your generous info and inspiration. Thank you!
Chris at MadCreek