20 January 2019

But is it Boro?

I keep seeing images popping up on Instagram, where random squares and rectangles are stitched in place using running stitches and a thick thread. I have done a little Sashiko before (a type of Japanese embroidery) but this was different. I have since discovered that it is a form of Japanese stitching known as Boro.  There is an interesting article in this book about it.

It appears to have originally been some kind of utility repair stitching. Stitches are normally straight lines to hold new patches in place on work garments, or if you want to be fancy you can use Sashiko motifs.

While at a quilt show a few months back I picked up this kit for a very good price, it has lots of squares of Indigo Shibori fabrics which have been dyed using a beancurd as a resist for the design.

The fabrics are quite coarse in quality and not very useful for regular quilting, however...
I turned 50 in November (how did that happen?!!?) and treated myself to a very special birthday present.

My old machine cover doesn't fit, so I decided to have a go at making a new one, using this technique.  I have to say that instructions seem to be very thin on the ground! It is described in the V & A book as a type of freeform patchwork and as such there seems to be very little in the way of rules!  The basic idea is to cover a foundation fabric with squares or rectangles of your chosen patches and then hold them in place with running stitches.

The kit came with a very thin white cotton intended for sashing so I am using that as my base.  I have cut the foundations a few inches bigger than I need, one piece for the main cover and two side panels.  I cut the squares into random pieces and pinned them on.

Err now what? I didn't want pins in my way as I hand stitch and I didn't really want to use glue as I don't intend to wash this, so I machine basted with the longest stitch I could to hold them temporarily in place.  I have no idea if this is how you are supposed to do it!  I will stitch mainly straight lines, but I couldn't resist adding in a couple of repeats of this stencil to break it up.

I don't have any Sashiko thread and I don't really want to have to buy any, so I am using what I have, some Perle Cotton and Aurifil 12wt and a spool of unknown cotton.

I will start with the side panels to get the hang of the stitching.  I am sure this is not the right way to do this technique but I don't really mind.  If you look at finished pieces they are all bit utilitarian and rough and ready.  Wish me luck!

If anyone has done this before and knows the 'correct' way to do it, I would love to know!

06 January 2019

2019 Carried Forward

I have been reading all the posts on quilting blogs with everyone's goals and lists of quilts they want to make this year with keen interest; I have decided not to make a list of my own, I find that when I do, I feel pressured to complete tasks and work on projects just for the sake of ticking them off my list, it doesn't really work for me.

I do intend however, to continue with a few things which worked well for me last year:

1. Have one or two focus projects to work on each month, too many half completed projects just make me stressed! This is meant to be my fun hobby when all the work is done :)

2. If I don't have an empty project box (I purchased 5) then I can't start a new project! I can think about it, and collect fabrics and plan it....

3. Any projects which are not holding my interest go in time out, sometimes for several months, I then re-evaluate and either finish them, or abandon/donate the completed parts and put the remaining fabrics back in stash.

4. Only buy fabric if  I need it for a current project, or it is on sale and I know I will actually use it!

I have a couple of projects carried forward from 2018, these will be my focus for the next couple of months, I also have a few more that I would like to start!

Golden Days

This is a 2018/9 Template of the Month from Jen Kingwell, I am hand piecing/hand appliquéing this one and am several months behind, but I am happy to slowly progress.

This is Jen's quilt

 I decided to restrict my colours :)

I am Enough QAL

This is a current free pattern from Melanie at Southern Charm Quilts, here is her sketch

There are only 3 more parts and I am currently up to date, I am really enjoying machine piecing this and plan to hand quilt it when I'm done.  I need a more up to date photo, there is less empty space now :)


This is one of the 2018 BOM patterns from Sarah Fielke, I have signed up for her 2019 pattern starting on 31st Jan, I would really like this one to be a competed top by then!  I have a few more pieces to add, most of this is just glue basted.

I plan to concentrate on Grasshopper and The I am enough QAL, once they are completed tops then I would like to start this.

Welcome Home

This is Sarah Fielke's 2019 BOM pattern only which starts on 31st January, here is her initial sketch

I still haven't decided on a colour scheme yet, I did buy these two 2yard cuts in the sales for some of the background and I would really like to source most of the appliqué/piecing fabrics from my stash.

I have several more quilts in the planning stage :)