2 hours ago
Friday, 21 November 2014
Pieceful Days quilt group spent a busy but relaxing day on Thursday learning how to mark and stitch several sashiko designs on panels for kinchaku (drawstring) bags - shippo (seven treasures), nowaki ('grasses'), asanoha (hemp leaf) and ganzezashi (sea urchin stitch). We were at Egglescliffe near Stockton for the workshop and at Worsall village hall for the talk the night before, so I met up with a lot of quilters I know - I'm originally from Stockton.
As well as working hard on their sashiko, especially Brenda Cupryna who turned out to be a super quick stitcher on her nowaki panel, some of the quilters brought projects they had made from my patterns. Here is a version of my first Sensu quilt, from the pattern that appeared in Popular Patchwork, by Margaret Hughes. This quilt was the predecessor to the Sensu design from 'Japanese Quilt Inspirations' which had larger blocks and fewer strips.
Margaret chose some fabulous fabrics for this, including a great batik for the strips, with a grape vine design.
Jane Neal has been making bags as a charity fundraiser and adapted this block from the Retro chapter in '130 Little Quilt Blocks'. Very effective.
Maybe they'll have their kinchaku bags finished soon too?
Monday, 17 November 2014
The Eternal Maker blog has got an excellent article today which you must read if you use print fabrics - Spotting the difference - on copying in fabric design.
I had no idea that fabric designers were being ripped off to this extent by cheap copies. Make sure you use the best in your quilt and don't be tempted by cheap knock offs! You'll be helping to keep your fabric designer in business as well.
Sunday, 16 November 2014
We had an excellent Japanese Circles and Squares workshop at Edinburgh Patchwork yesterday. This new shop only opened in August, so you may not know about it yet. Alison has a lovely selection of fabrics and other goodies, and the shop is easy to find if you are driving into Edinburgh - you don't have to go right into the city centre - but is less than a mile from Waverly Station if you are arriving by train.
Dorothy made this lovely version of the Japanese Circles and Squares, with very subtle repetition of motifs (circles on the darkest print, the mid grey and the green), a wonderful stripe that picks up on all the colours in the patchwork and colourful florals, one with a directional design. I hope she sends me a photo of her finished patchwork.
The bright and well lit workroom is at the back of the shop, with the benefit of a tall window and good daylight. There are flannel design walls down each side, so I could display the workshop samples as we worked.
Views of the shop.
We got on a bit of a roll with this and, after the shop closed, Alison pushed on with finishing her blocks for a version of my 'stone' quilt. The first photo shows the blocks set square....
The second photo shows the blocks moved across by half a block per row, the same as the 'stone' patchwork, but I'm not sure whether with this design it actually works better with the blocks lined up. Which do you think is better - top or bottom?
I am planning to be back at the shop in the spring with the 'Sakiori' workshop, where we will begin the three blocks used in the quilts below - an easy strip pieced block, a square in a square block and a freezer paper applique circle. For this workshop, you need to precut 1 1/2in strips for the patchwork and it is suitable for relative beginners as well as more experienced patchworkers. Alison has the latest Moda range by designer Momo in stock at the moment, so if you want yours to look like the first quilt below, you can get a very similar look - this one was made with Momo's 'Wonderland' range. The second quilt was made from my scrap bag and it is an ideal scrap project. Contact Alison if you would like to take part. We haven't fixed a date yet but the last weekend in March is a possibility for me.
The second year of the Loch Lomond sashiko course started in October, with a new group of students. Everyone seems even more enthusiastic and hard working than last year, if that is possible, and some excellent collections of sashiko samples are well underway. Francoise, Susan and Janet joined us after the first session, but at this stage it is still possible to catch up, so if you are interested, please contact Ruth or Isabel at The Studio. Our next session is on December 11th and I am also teaching a one day sashiko furoshiki session at the Peacock and the Tortoise in Perth on December 5th.
Ruth has started two boromono inspired pieces recently, one using her hand dyed threads and fabrics and the other including fabrics she was given by Yuza Sashiko Guild when they visited in May and pieces of Harris tweed. She describes the second piece as a 'memory cloth', where each piece of fabric is special.
Each piece is tacked onto wadding - black wadding for the Japanese fabric/tweed piece - and will have a separate back bagged out later.
Ruth plans to add simple sashiko stitching using these gorgeous coloured threads. These will bring out some of the rich colours mixed into the Harris tweeds.
The fabrics include indigo and other hand dyes made by Ruth. This will look lovely when the colourful sashiko is added!
Friday, 14 November 2014
Izumi Sato of Yuza Sashiko Guild has posted a lovely video giving a tour around their exhibition at the Sanno Club in Sakata last September. Just click the link below to get started.
Here are some photos from the Japan Handcrafts Teachers' Assocation's exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, which finishes tomorrow. Our Loch Lomond Sashiko Guild sampler quilts from the 2013 - 2014 class are on show there. Thanks to Yasuko Ishii, Japanese thread thimble maker/designer/teacher/artist for sending these.
The museum is in Ueno park, which is full of autumn leaf colour at the moment.
Some general views around the exhibition spaces. The galleries look very elegant, spacious and well lit.
This is our part of the exhibition.
I think Reiko Domon has used a part of my blog for this information panel.
The quilt in the centre and below right are from Yuza Sashiko Guild.
Keiko Abe's lovely 'Itomaki' (bobbins) sashiko sampler has won an award.
Here it is in progress last May.
I'm not sure of the maker's name for this quilt, but we saw it in progress in September.
Reiko Domon arranged for our quilts to be shown in this exhibition. Thank you very much Domon-sensei! It has been very exciting for us to have our work shown in Tokyo as well as in Sakata. Our work will also be shown at Otsuma Women's University's New Gallery on the Chiyoda Campus in Tokyo, but I'm not sure when that exhibition will open. I'll post information when I know.