Monday 20 January 2014

My Sashiko Quilt

In 2012 I embarked on a mission to make a Sashiko Quilt and this was the result:

Sashiko Quilt
Sashiko detail

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.

Sashiko Quilt
I didn't realise how mathmatically 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.

The facts:
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".


Pepper Cory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pepper Cory said...

Thank you for writing about the process of making this sashiko quilt--it is a lovely example of the craft. With admiration-Pepper

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Love all your stitching! Thanks for sharing the details, and it is good to know that perle cotton can be used. I wondered if you use a hoop when stitching your sashiko? I have been trying big stitching and haven't decided whether I prefer using a hoop or not.

Anonymous said...

This is truly a work of art. I too am interested in sashiko but would never undertake such a project. You are to be congratulated on all the great work. It is just beautiful!

Marsha Cooper said...

Just this week I've been thinking of doing a quilt along these lines. Larger squares with embroidery and then 4 patches.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

It's looking stunning.... I have a UFO v. similar, you have prompted me to relook at this after such a long time!!! Linda

Taryn said...

Awesome work - you're very clever. :-)

Caryl @ cinnamon holiday workshop said...

This is so beautiful and the stitching is wonderful.

Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation said...

wow, this is so awesome! I love the different stitched patterns on the blocks!

Thanks for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Kathy@KayakQuilting said... amazing amount of beautiful work!

Patricia said...

Beautiful work! Thanks for sharing your method.

LA Paylor said...

that's outstanding! I like mixing the piecing and sashiko.
LeeAnna Paylor

liniecat said...

love the quilt, so striking!

Maryse said...

What a gorgeous quilt, looks great on your bed, such beautiful work!