Why did I decide to make a Sashiko quilt? There were three reasons:
1. I saw the lovely shiny Japanese fabrics stacked up my local quilt shop and thought, "aren't those lovely!".
2. We were about to have a Japanese exchange come and stay with us for three weeks, and later in the year my son would be going to Japan for three weeks.
3. I thought it would be fun to experiment with the hand stitching on the dark panels.
I didn't realise how mathematically challenging it would be, but I am an accountant, so I just pulled out my calculator and graph paper and managed just fine.
Here's how I went about making my sashiko quilt:
- I chose a simple pattern with quite big squares for the shiny Japanese fabrics, so I could still see them easily in the finished quilt. I chose a range of the dark indigo fabrics.
- I started to piece the quilt into sections of about 12 blocks. Each of the individual blocks measures 8.75" x 8.75" when finished. I knew I wanted to do the sashiko before the whole quilt was pieced together, but I also knew that the dark indigo blocks needed to be pieced before I did the sashiko so I could stitch to the very edges of them.
- I used library books and the internet to research sashiko patterns. I found lots of designs that I liked, but I had to scale them to fit my blocks.
|Some of the sashiko patterns I used in my quilt|
|Navy blocks are 8.75" x 8.75" finished|
- I used tailor's chalk to draw grids on the dark indigo squares to map out where the designs would sit.
- I went over the chalk marks with the sewing machine because they were rubbing off too easily.
- I hand stitched the Sashiko patterns between the grid lines with Ecru DMC Perle 8. (Sashiko thread is expensive in New Zealand and I knew I would need alot.)
- I pulled out all of the grid lines I'd made with machine stitching.
- Once all of the hand stitching was done, I joined all the sections together and formed the quilt.
- I had quilted simple grid lines and diagonal lines through the shiny blocks and left the sashiko blocks as they were. I didn't want to distract from the sashiko stitching.
|The quilt on our bed|
|The backing, and label of course!|
I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out. It has wool batting in it so is my warmest quilt and we use it in the winter.
Each of the navy blocks measures 8.75" x 8.75" finished.
I used ecru Perle 8 for the sashiko stitching.
I did all of the sashiko before I made the quilt sandwich.
The quilt has wool batting.
The finished quilt measures 62" x 80".