Thursday, 23 March 2017

Exeter, Prague and other quilty things

Coming up at the end of the month is your last chance to see the Sashiko from Scotland samplers together (at least this selection), as it will be the last of the Spring Quilt Festivals in Exeter.  Isabel Patterson's lovely sampler, including some of the kamon blocks from 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' in applique is featured on the exhibition flyer! The colour coordination on Isabel's sampler is so subtle.

I won't be at Exeter this year (or the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles AGM at Torquay, which is the same weekend), because I'll be in Prague for the Prague Patchwork Meeting.  I taught there in 2010 and have been wanting to go back to visit ever since, but there's always been something else already booked in my diary for that weekend.  The city is so beautiful and inspiring.

My link to the Czech Republic came through some of my books being translated into Czech, and the exceptionally talented Jana Lálová who did the translation for the Czech edition of 'The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook'.  Jana is very involved with the Czech national quilt guild and, therefore, their annual quilt extravaganza.  One of her quilts, using the treasures blocks from 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' is shown above.  I love the Czech edition of the sashiko book, which was completely redesigned from the English language edition and is a handily sized hardback (all the other translated editions have used the same page layouts as the English one).

I am going to be teaching a sashiko workshop at this year's show, doing the single version of the koi carp I used in this wall hanging.  I'm taking a selection of coloured threads for the students to use, as well are more traditional white and cream, so we may have some wonderfully bright orange, golden yellow and red koi! 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

A Japanese Quilt Blocks sampler

Irene Shaw made a amazing sampler quilt from 'Japanese Quilt Blocks', posted these photos on Facebook yesterday, and said I could share them on my blog.  She wrote -

This quilt I made for my son as a wedding present using your Japanese Quilt Blocks book. They loved it!

The most difficult was choosing the blocks! I love that book.

This is the back. The Batik squares are the backs of the sashiko ones on the front. I did a simple quilt as you go.

I love the ways Irene has combined the blocks, including enlarging one of the kasuri blocks for the corners. Wow!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Super Strips x 2

Two very different versions of my Super Strips quilt appeared on my Facebook news feed earlier today, within a few minutes of each other.  Carol Fieldhouse started hers in one of my workshops a few years ago - I'll have to dig through my workshop photos and see if I can spot which one!  It shouldn't be too difficult (I hope) as Carol has done the centre of her quilt with narrower strips, and there haven't been as many of those as the 21/2in strip centre versions. The batik fabrics make it look like a watercolour. She writes -

Howzat! A Susan Briscoe workshop, **#!!! years ago, finally quilted and bound.... it's almost all batik strips and I'm keeping it!

Margaret Cull posted a photo of her Super Strips on the UK Quilters United Facebook page a few minutes before.  This one uses all the same strip width and I'm guessing it was made from my pattern which appeared in Today's Quilter last year.  There is a small but subtle difference between the pattern and the workshop version, because the pattern has an uneven number of strips in the initial piecing, which results in a tiny quarter square triangle effect in the middle, whereas the workshop version has an even number, so there's no mini QST in the centre.  Margaret says -

Took me almost a year to get round to quilting it but I am very pleased with it. Going to be a gift for a friend.

The rich gold and blue colourscheme and the scrolling quilting designs give Margaret's quilt a rather heraldic look.

Thanks very much for permission to show your work here.

Super Strips can be made in so many different fabrics and shading variations, which I think is the mark of a versatile quilt pattern.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Cinnabar and Nutmeg

Sue Webb posted these photos of her version of Cinnabar and Nutmeg on the UKQU Facebook page today and said it was OK for me to copy them here. She wrote -

Finished piecing my largest ever quilt last night. It is the Susan Briscoe pattern from the supplement in Today's Quilter some time ago. It's not perfect but I am pleased as it's certainly the best I have done. Now to see about having it long arm quilted.

It looks pretty much perfect to me.  It will really suit longarm quilting.  The V&A quilt that inspired it doesn't have very fancy quilting, just a pattern of circles, which the online catalogue describes as 'wineglass' i.e. interlocked circles, but looks more like circles that just touch.  Unfortunately the one time I saw the V&A quilt was at the quilt exhibition there in 2010 and there was total visual overload with so many quilts, so remembering the exact details of the quilting pattern is really difficult.

I had to do a bit of a double take when I saw the photos!  Sue's quilt is above and mine is below. She has done an amazing job of tracking down similar fabrics.  Can't wait to see how she has it quilted.  it looks better on her bed than it would look on either of ours, as we don't have any beds without footboards.


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Sashiko from Scotland - tour continues

We had an excellent weekend at Harrogate and now the sashiko samplers are hanging at the next Spring Quilt Festival at Duxford this weekend.  I won't be there, as I'm going to the SECC on Sunday to help my City & Guilds tutor Gillian Cooper on her stand/gallery space - say hello if you're there!  I keep saying I'll take a stand at SECC myself, but something seems to get in the way every year.  Maybe next year?

Glyn got to wear his infamous Japanese carpenter's trousers again at Harrogate... with his patchwork boots!

Here are some detail photos from the samplers.  I will post photos of the whole exhibition when it comes back.

My new stock of the amazing Tulip sashiko needles arrived with Glyn on Friday night, so we had them onsale on Saturday and Sunday.  On Friday, we used Olympus needles in the workshop, because I'd run out of Clover, and the difference between the Olympus and Tulip needles was incredible.  Stitching sashiko with Tulip's needles is like a knife going through butter.  I must get some of their other needles as well on my next order, as the combination of Tulip needles and a wool wadding for traditional British quilts is going to be amazing.

My Clover stock got mysteriously held up in the post, so much so I actually thought my order e mail had got lost in the ether!  But now I have the Clover sashiko needles, white marking pens and Chaco paper back in stock.  The order was sent out on February 21st and was only delivered today.  Very strange.

There was a lot of interest in my 'Sashiko in Stockton' course at the Harrogate show, and places are filling up fast.  I've got a few more e mails I need to reply to, which I'll try to get done asap.  We have postponed the course in Perth as we haven't had many bookings, so it looks like it will run later in the year instead.  I'm working on some projects for a couple of books Thames & Hudson are publishing for the V&A, so that is keeping me busy right now, but they have to stay under wraps at the moment...

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.