Sunday, 5 October 2008

International cross culturalisation in quilts

There has been some interesting swapping of ideas going on over the last few years between my designs and those of my sashiko teacher Chie Ikeda and leader of Peaceful Heart Quilt Group, Reiko Domon - and things in Yuza-machi generally!

My "New Year's Eve in Yamagata City" quilt included fabrics bought from Obiya, Yuza-machi, my neighbour's kimono shop, and others sent from friends in Japan, plus a souvenir handkerchief of Yamagata Prefecture's map. I made it in 1998. Obiya means "obi shop", and that is the family's name too - rather nice, like having a tailor's in the UK run by the Tailor family... :-)

A couple of years later, I made a small version with the same block layout, using kasuri fabrics - Chie and Reiko gave me some of these, others came from a wonderful fabric shop in Yuza, Yuza Kasuriya (Kasuriya literally means "kasuri shop"). Of course, I had to call it "Kasuri-ya". It sent it to Japan for one of Peaceful Heart Quilt Group's Exhibitions (2004?).

Chie sent me a photo showing her version of it - I was surprised when I looked closer and realised she had made her quilt from sashiko sample squares! Here are two more made for the exhibition at Shonai Airport in June/July 2008. So from a quilt I designed to use fabrics from Yuza, then remade in kasuri, it becomes a neat design for a sashiko sampler.

It is the ideal thing to make from the small sashiko samples quilters make in my "Introduction to Shonai Sashiko" workshop, especially if they continue their samples to make all the extra stitches on their worksheets. Here are some made by quilters at the Bramble Patch a few years ago.

The other design is my Rice Sack Bag, from "21 Terrific Patchwork Bags". I also teach this as a one day workshop, called "The Rice Sack Bag Revisited". Here are two lovely bags made by members of Swansea Quilters in 2005 -

My original design for this bag was influenced by some lovely patchwork bags I saw for sale on my trip to Japan in 2001. I really regretted not buying one, so set out to design my own, based on what I could remember of them. By the time I'd got my holiday photos back (35mm prints then) I found a photo of the original bags, and mine wasn't very like them at all. However, I decided to make one up and "road test" it and the mk2 version ended up in the book.

When Reiko, Chie and Izumi published their sashiko book in 2006, Reiko asked if she could include a version of the bag in the projects section (which she was writing). She further adapted it so the strap is a bit different.

And now - a third version, using blocks from "Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match", at the Shonai Airport quilt show! Ideas just keep going back and forth between us all.


Yvonne Morgan said...

Susan, was the pattern for the first picture used in a magazine about 4 or 5 years ago? I made a quilt using the exact same pattern as my first bed quilt! It still gets used in winter as my "second extra" quilt on top of the duvet for when it's really cold

Susan Briscoe said...

Hi Yvonne,

Yes, "New Year's Eve" was a new year's project in Popular Patchwork - I think about 2003? Great to hear you made it as your first bed quilt. It is a nice, easy and quick design - as usual, I wanted to show off some lovely fabrics without chopping them up too much! I'm tempted to remake it myself, when I have time, as the original can't be washed (I used some vintage Japanese wool muslin - the bright orange fabrics). I'd love to see a photo of your version.