Friday, 27 January 2012

Japanese Quilt Blocks - Australian Style

Helen Mutch came to my sashiko retreat in Maleny last March and sent me this photo of the quilt she's made. It's gorgeous! Helen has combined blocks from both 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' and 'Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks' with sashiko blocks she made on the retreat. I wonder if it is possible to spot some of her blocks in the post via the link :-) ?

Helen wrote -

thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially your enthusiasm for all things Japanese. It certainly opened my mind to wonderful Japanese fabrics and designs.

'As you can see from the attached photo that I made your sampler quilt. It’s not a particularly good photo and does look a lot better in “real life”. I love doing sashiko and have incorporated it in other projects. Some of the blocks from your book kept my mind buzzing but I also loved doing those as well.

'Now I need to put it together and was wondering how you quilted it. First of all what type of wadding did you use and secondly did you just ditch stitch the quilting or incorporate quilting inside each block?

'Looking forward to your reply so I can get on with the quilting, though the weather at this time of year isn’t at all conducive to sitting inside with a quilt over my knee!!'

:-) This isn't the first time I've been asked about the quilting on my sashiko kasuri & kamon sampler from 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match'. Here's the 'quilt' from the photo in the book. At that stage, it was only a top and wasn't quilted - there just wasn't enough time to get all the patchworks hand quilted before publication, and I really wanted to hand quilt them. So you can't see any quilting lines on the photo.

I need to revisit the quilting and add more, as so far it is only quilted in the ditch between the blocks, and in circles around the sashiko crests. I want to add extra quilting close to the main outlines in each crest and in the ditch on the other blocks, but nothing that will overpower the patchwork and sashiko designs really - just doing the job of holding the quilt layers together a bit better.

Helen's quilt has a lovely border fabric that we got from Bev Perel at Maleny Magic Patchwork, who organised the retreat. I think the whole bolt sold out in a few hours! I thought it would make the ideal border when I get around to making a version of the quilt using the easier patchwork blocks from both books with sashiko blocks from the first one (or maybe even using the applique designs from the second book as sashiko motifs). My remake won't be as long though, just 5 x 5 blocks not 7 x 5, as I want to get the weight of it down for baggage limits when I fly.

Thanks for the photo Helen - we could do with some warmer weather up here (although we already have the rain, thank you!)

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