Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Spring Quilt Festival, Harrogate

I will be at the Spring Quilt Festival at Harrogate every day from Friday to Sunday, and the Sashiko from Scotland samplers will be on display once again.  This time, I'm hoping to get a chance to see the rest of the quilt exhibition, as there were some stunning quilts on show last weekend.  The Spring Quilt Festivals have the same selection of guest quilts, so you will have more chances to see these further south in the UK before the quilts return to their makers.  Maureen's quilt (bottom left in photo above) joined the others on Saturday, now home from a trip to Japan, where it was shown at Yuza Sashiko's exhibition in September.

Fiona is working on her 'official' class sampler now, but if you like the green fabric from Nukomori Koubou, I've managed to get it in stock again.

Also coming in time for the show are Tulip sashiko needles.  I tried these excellent needles at the quilt show in Tokyo last month, and have decided to stock them, as well as the Clover needles.  They are great value with six needles in the pack, and the packaging is just gorgeous, with a little corked 'glass' (actually plastic) tube inside the cardboard box, so you can store your sashiko needles safely.  If you open the box from the bottom, you don't need to break the pretty Tulip seal on the red cord either. They will be £7 per pack.

I will be getting Clover needles back in stock soon, but I have had to find a new stockist for them, as EQS have stopped stocking all Clover products!  So we will be using Tulip needles in the one hour sashiko class this time.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Spring Quilt Festivals - Edinburgh and Harrogate

I am going to be at the Spring Quilt Festivals at Edinburgh next weekend and Harrogate the following weekend.

At Edinburgh, I've got a trading stand rather than a demo stand, as I can't be there all day on Saturday and Sunday, as it clashes with my City & Guilds course.  At Harrogate, I have a demo stand and a small sales stand linked together.   I have a lot of lovely new sashiko fabrics, stripes and sashiko threads I brought back from Japan.  There are some gorgeous silk haori kimono jackets for sale that I managed to hunt down on my trip (they were much harder to find this time) and a great selection of other Japanese fabrics.

I am teaching the same workshop at both shows - Marking and Stitching Rice Stitch Sashiko - for one hour at 1.00p.m. at Edinburgh and 2.00p.m. at Harrogate, £4 per person.  You can learn how to mark and stitch the hitomezashi (one stitch sashiko) pattern known as komesashi (rice stitch) with ideas for many variations. Workshop kits include fabric, thread, needle and worksheet, with extra thread and fabric so you can try out one of the variations at home.  On Saturday and Sunday at Edinburgh, my friend and top sashiko student Fiona Fitheridge will take the class for me, as I can't be in two places at once!

A selection of my students' samplers from the Scottish sashiko courses is touring to all the Spring Quilt Festivals this year and I will be taking bookings for the next course at Edinburgh and the new course at Stockton-on-Tees, which both start in the autumn.  My next course starting in Scotland will be at the Peacock and the Tortoise in Perth - please contact them direct if you would like to book for that course.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival - Part 4

'Framed Quilt' is a category we no longer have at any of the UK shows, although there used to be a framed category at the Great Northern Quilt Show.  It would be a good category to reintroduce, as there are often quilts entered into the 'Miniatures' category at UK shows which are just small quilts and really not miniatures at all.  'Framed' could be a more appropriate category.  I'll start with the winners, in order of which I liked most first.

There is a mixture of abstract and more representational works in this category.  I like both.

This picture of bamboo shoots made interesting use of fabric and the applique stitches were absolutely invisible.

I liked the minimalist feeling of the picture below - 

There are many different styles of framing as well.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival - Part 3

'Flowers of the Four Seasons' - ' Japan’s top quilt artists express their sentiment for flowers in their new pieces.'

This was an invited exhibit and not part of the competition.  As in 2015, some of my favourite quilts in the whole show were in this section. 

I love the way Yoko Sekita has used vintage kimono fabrics, mainly chirimen, to make an array of applique blocks featuring asagao or morning glories in every imaginable colour combination.  This was the quilt I would most like to have taken home.

'Bloom over Time' by Kyoko Yoshida used old fabrics in tiny pieces to creat the illusion of curves.

Emiko Toda Loeb's two sided quilt was Glyn's favourite.  

The fabrics used for this are so subtle.

More exquisite vintage fabric, this time including a lot of shibori, giving a dappled effect to the surface.

I love modern fabrics with words used by a lot of Japanese quilters.

More vintage chirimen (crepe) silk.

From traditionally interpreted wisteria to modern abstract flowers...