Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Workshop photos from last week - Cotton Scatterers & Ash Valley Quilters

I taught the first workshop of the week for Cotton Scatterers (below) and the last for Ash Valley Quilters on Saturday. Both groups chose the Sashiko Furoshiki workshop. While some quilters choose to make the furoshiki (a Japanese wrapping cloth approx. 1 metre square which also makes a nice small tablecloth or quilt centre), many make table runners, cushion panels, bag panels or block centres instead. The patterns included in the workshop - a corner fan/chrysanthemum, shippo (seven treasures), fundo (scale weights) and a kamon crest - can be arranged in different ways to suit the quilter.

Ash Valley Quilters on Saturday - Karina (left) whizzed along with her stitching, making cushion panels. The quilter on the right is going to coordinate the plain burdgundy Japanese cotton with striped tsumugi for more cushions (I have reordered this striped tsumugi as it has been very popular).

Fans in progress - the fabric on the right was one of the recent batch of my hand-dyed Osnaburg in reddish purple (sorry, this colour sold out straight away - I will be dyeing more soon).

There's often something new invented in a sashiko workshop, in this case arranging two fans in the centre of a table runner (left).

A member of Cambridge Quilters (where I did a talk on Friday morning) joined us for the day. You can see the start of the sashiko kamon crest in the centre.

Fan and shippo patterns being stitched -

Cotton Club opted for the Sashiko Kinchaku bag (sorry, I didn't take any photos - hopefully they will send some of their completed work). This workshop focuses on learning how to mark & stitch various moyouzashi patterns - we look at shippo, fundo, nowaki (grasses) and seigaiha (ocean wave) in the morning and progress to asanoha (hemp leaf) and ganzezashi (sea urchin) in the afternoon, with a demonstration on how to make your panels into various styles of kinchaku (drawstring) bags or little bags with handles if you prefer.

Of course, both workshops are a way of introducing stitchers to sashiko and giving them the knowledge to mark several patterns on fabrics of their choice, so they can take away the information from the workshop and use it in their own work later.

Being able to look for other suitable sashiko fabrics and mark your own pattern really is the way to go! Although there are pre-printed sashiko panels which are great for complete beginners, being able to mark fabric of your choice makes the work so much more individual. While I was away, I was introduced to a wonderful fabrics & hobby shop called The Cheap Shop (don't be put off by the name) in Tiptree (locate Tesco and walk from there). They had a very good range of 140cm wide 50% linen/50% cotton mixes in some unusual colours that are just the right weave and thread count for sashiko. There was a very good dark blue but also some wild colours that you just don't see in sashiko fabrics - including purples and vivid pinks. I bought some in blood red (with a matching silk that was in the sale), deep rose pink and lilac grey. I know what the red will be used for (something inspired by these bowls, which have shippo as part of their designs!), but the other colours aren't allocated yet. It would be interesting to use the pink with some of the pink sashiko threads from the Olympus range, although I don't usually do much pink!

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