Wednesday, 24 August 2011

'Japanese Quilt Inspirations' - quilts on tour and for sale

I had a fun day with Bent Needles quilt group at Leyland, near Preston, yesterday (workshop photos to come later) and gave the new talk, ' My Japanese Quilt Inspirations', for the first time. There were a LOT of quilts in that talk. I wish I'd asked one of the quilters to count just how many were shown. I thought (before the talk) there would be around 30, but I think 40 or more would be more accurate. Anyway, so many that, once I've added the sampler quilts from 'Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks' and a few other works in progress to the talk, I won't be able to fit them all in the car.

In addition, there is the idea that I really could do with my own longarm machine, and I met and fell in love with the APQS Lenni at Festival of Quilts, where Linzi Upton was demoing on her machine. The two issues seem to have come up at the same time so, with the quilts from the new book touring this autumn with Grosvenor Shows, I have decided to kickstart my longarm fund by selling the quilts from the book which were professionally longarm quilted. They are very reasonably priced IMHO, covering the cost of the longarm quilting, the fabrics and a little for my work time. Here's the list - photos appear after the quilt description. If you would like to see the quilts in person, they will be shown at both Autumn Quilt Festivals and the Scottish Quilt Championships in late September.

Furoshiki (Wrapping Cloth)

69 x 68 in

This piece was designed to showcase a furoshiki panel, a very popular souvenir from Japan - if you ask someone to bring you fabric from Japan, you are most likely to get one of these!

Longarm quilted by Ferret


Kunimoto (Hometown)

66in square

Japanese architecture is a great inspiration and I love circular ‘moon windows’. The quilt top is 100% silk, made from vintage kimono fabrics. The fabrics almost glow in real life.

Longarm quilted by Ferret


Shimacho (Fabric Scrapbook)

68in square

Antique weavers’ scrapbooks, where tiny fragments of all different sizes were collected, suggested this lively arrangement of scrap fabrics. The freehand longarm quilting is very dense and beautifully done.

Longarm quilted by Maria Laza.


Matsuri (Festival)

77in square

The black and red colour scheme, inspired by festival costumes, made the joins between the plains and the prints even more subtle. The pantographed longarm quilting design swirls across the quilt.

Longarm quilted by Linda Paris


Irori (Sunken Hearth)

69in square

The sunken hearth in old Japanese houses and the surrounding tatami mat arrangement suggested this block. In this version, the ‘hearth’ is accented in red, like Log Cabin. Longarm quilted by Linda Paris, with a design of scrolls and Oriental clouds.


Sensu (Fan)

64 x 58

Kimono fabrics are traditionally woven around 14½” wide, ideal for display in a stripy quilt – this one uses yukata (summer kimono) cotton, with freezer paper appliqué fans. Freehand longarm quilted by Maria Laza, with the quilting picking out the fans and the motifs in the long strips.


Masu (Measuring Boxes)

70in square

Stacking masu were used to measure rice and seemed the perfect design for a strip cut. The colours of this Moda Jelly Roll (‘Arcadia’) echo summer – earth, sky, vivid green rice fields and dragonflies.

Longarm quilted by Linda Paris, with a pantographed design of scrolls and dragonflies, echoing the dragonfly motifs in the fabrics.


Tsuyu (Summer)

62in square

The rainy season at the beginning of summer sees hydrangeas and Chinese bellflowers in bloom, in lilacs and blues, with metallic shimmer hinting at the raindrops.

Longarm quilted by Linda Paris


Sakiori (Rag Weave)

66 x 58in

The ultimate in fabric recycling, sakiori is usually striped. Pretty pastels echo the decorations for the Tanabata Matsuri (Festival of the Weaver Maid) in July. The geometric pattern on the strip blocks was inspired by the sakiori weave and was designed specially for this quilt, while the circles have marumon designs (similar to Japanese kamon crests) - each one is different.

Longarm Quilted by Lesley Carol Taylor at North Sea Quilters


Kimono (Japanese Robes)

80 x 64in

The kimono outline is an instantly recognisable Japanese design and freezer paper appliqué makes the blocks much easier than patchwork piecing – twelve blocks, one for each month of the year. Freehand longarm quilted in various patterns, including pebbles in the block backgrounds, a small scale feather along each sashing strip, and clamshells in the border. Stunning quilting.

Longarm quilted by Karen Florey at the Running Chicken


I really pushed the boat out on this quilt - it is heirloom quilted to a very high standard - and is a lovely example of Karen's work. It is the quilt on the book's front cover.

If you are interested in any of these quilts, please e mail me using the contact form on my website.

1 comment:

Lis said...

Looking forward to hearing you speak in Lincolnshire later in the year and seeing those lovely quilts.