Helen Benninger
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Shawls and Scarves

Scrappy Scarves

This is the first scarf style that I made.  I took a course about using water soluble stabilizers from Olga Walters at Quilt Canada many years ago.  Instead of cutting up chunks of fabric I tore long strips and added ribbons and rayon seam binding and then stitched all over.  The unstitched ends became the fringe.  Sometimes I added beads to the fringe.  I used soft fabrics - polyesters, nylon, rayon, acetates.   They were a big hit so I kept on making them...

Scrappy Shawl

I made a couple of shawls using the same technique as the scarves, sometimes adding a little collage.  They turned out to be much harder to sew because they were so much wider.

The red shawl appeared in the Ontario Craft Council's show HAND AND SPIRIT in 2007.  It received the award for Best Use of Colour.    No photo can really capture the true colours.


Ribbon Scarves

I had been buying ribbon yarns, which were popular a few years ago, to use in the scrappy scarves.  One day a roll of rayon seam binding landed beside the ribbon yarn and I wondered if I could sew them together.  I could.  

Originally I just alternated seam binding and knitting yarn and zigged them together.

Then I used water soluble stabilizer to hold them in place and stitched free motion circles all over.

This one is just seam binding with patches of free-motion stitching.


Ribbon Shawl

Rayon Seam Binding with glass beads, scribble stitch

(Yes, I used water soluble stabilizers)


Silk Loop Scarves

I like the soft edge that bias cut silk dupioni has when it is washed.  I wanted lots of texture so I cut 1-1/8 inch strips and overlapped them and stitched them together to make 2 layers in a closed loop.  I hand-washed the  loop and then threw it in the dryer with a load of clothes.  Yes - I got lots of a texture! 


 Silk Squares Shawl

One day I got tired of cutting 1-1/8 inch bias strips so I decided to cut wider strips and cut those up into squares for scarves and shawls.  The squares are stitched together with 12 weight cotton thread.

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Silk Triangles Scarf

When you cut bias strips from lengths of fabric they have a point on each end.  To cut the squares from the strips, the point must be cut off.  This gives you a triangle.  I hate to throw away fabric so I saved up the triangles.  After a couple of years I had a lot of triangles and one day I finally had an idea about how to sew them all together.

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Here they are with the straight edges overlapping and the points all sticking out.  It makes a very dramatic scarf!

This one has selvages on the outside edges and is held together with straight stitches - a lot of them.  (and w.s.s. again)


Silk  Scraps Boa

There are lots of little bits left over from the silk loops.                    Waste nothing!

Silk Scraps Shawl

More left overs from silk loops.  If you leave spaces (holes) in the layout you do not have to do as much free-motion stitching ;)


Woven Silk

A Spring experiment.  Bias strips finger woven and stitched together.  


Organza Silk Patches Scarf

I seem to have so many funny little scraps of silk.  This uses organza and dupioni layered with some small open spaces.  I straight stitched a grid pattern for a change from free-motion.


More Silk Scarves