Quilting Cherish

Next in my quilting pile was Cherish, an Esther Aliu pattern. I made it earlier this year, but put it aside until after my cataract surgery, and Scottie’s jacket. Now it was time to finish.

You may remember that this is a silk on silk project, with a vintage piece of embroidered silk as the background and Silk Dupioni applique. The background was a gift from a family friend at least 25 years ago and I decided that I was tempting fate to wait any longer to use it. The Dupioni fat quarters were won in a drawing about 10 years ago, so also time to get busy and use it!

The vase and bird bodies are made using Jason Yenter fabrics.

I considered cutting into the embroidered silk, but simply could not bring myself to do so. By default, it became the background. The piece was squared and two binding strips cut for the sides. I sized the pattern for the center motifs to fit comfortably and went to work.

The vintage silk…
Doing the applique and using some fun deco stitches.

MonoPoly was used to quilt around all the applique elements and for the quilting on the vase.

Superior Thread’s MicroQuilter, 100wt thread is used for the main quilting. This was chosen to blend into the background and allow the lovely embroidered silk background to be the star of the piece. I decided not to bind the top and bottom, an unconventional choice, but this was a border print and I wanted to preserve the embroidery tendrils on the top and bottom of the fabric. Did I mention that I couldn’t bear to cut into it?

Bobbin thread is 60 wt prewound Super Bobs from Superior Threads.

Not once, but twice I managed to get my backing folded into the quilting…ooops!

Close McTavishing was done throughout to quell the tendency of silk to pouf and result in folds in the stitching. I counted on heavy quilting to keep the fabric relatively flat and used pebbling occasionally when I saw a pool of silk forming. The dense quilting is really helpful in taking in excess fabric.

Quilting in progress. You can see some pebbles between the main flower and flower border…

A high loft cotton batting is used to give the piece more structure and help it to hang well.

Adding some fronds in brighter thread
The bindings and top and bottom turned under sections are all hand stitched.

You might be wondering exactly what color the background silk is! It changes with the light. I would call it a soft sage color, but it can appear greener or grayer depending on the time of day, how much natural light there is and viewing angle.

I really enjoyed quilting up this vintage material using Esther’s wonderful pattern. I hope one of my girls will want this one as a family keepsake.

Happy quilting to all!



  1. Hi Lennea! OH, that background fabric is just gorgeous. I’m so glad you used it as that – it really enhanced the project and took it to another level, don’t you think? WOW. Esther would be proud of you and your hard work. Thanks for linking up this week. ~smile~ Roseanne

    Liked by 1 person

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