If you’ve seen me at a show or come to the Kimonomomo studio in the last few months, you’ve probably seen the quilt I’ve been working on. Pieced from Alexander Henry, Moda, Olympus, and Kona Bay prints, plus a few 19th century katazome cottons, it’s coming together nicely.
Piecing took two days using a 1959 Singer sewing machine. The batting is bamboo, which is thin, light, and amazing. Sashiko through two layers of fabric and batting? Not with anything other than bamboo. It’s held together well with just a bit of basting, hasn’t shifted at all, and is smooth to sew through with my thick sashiko needles and thread.
Several of the fabrics in the quilt have since sold out, but I do have a few of them left in stock, and a few that are similar but not the exact same colors used. This simple blue and off-white Moda print is the backing, which is great for hiding any odd stitches because the design is so visually distracting, yet at the same time very subtle.
I’ve incorporated a few antique katazome pieces as well. They are mostly homespun and naturally dyed with indigo in the 19th century. You might think such antiques would be delicate things, but no. They hold up like iron.
The thin turquoise threads are the basting threads. I was in a hurry when I put them in and they are pretty sloppy. At the time I didn’t know how well the bamboo batting was going to work out, and that it wouldn’t slip around at all, so that was a fortunate discovery!
Much of the time I’m following along a design, not giving it too much fuss. I do a lot of the sashiko while I’m in my booth at a quilt show, in my hotel room in the evenings after a show day, or sitting on my living room sofa with the dogs. I didn’t want to plot out complicated designs that would involve counting, but I did want to go for an interesting texture. Working through one square at a time, I’ve found a look for each fabric that I’m happy with. Some are rows of straight lines and nothing else, but some have some real character.
This set of straight lines evolved on the last day of a 4-day show in Phoenix, Arizona this February. I was tired and looking forward to my flight home, but facing a full afternoon of packing up the booth. The straight lines were a sign of frustration, but I love them. They feel wonderful, and they inspired me to include more simple lines into the quilt. I have switched it up a bit by using different shades of blue, from darkest indigo to lighter sky blues, and some Hida variegated blue here and there. I’ve got a mix of Olympus and Hida threads in this quilt, and I find both easy and pleasant to use.
Want to make a quilt like this one? Here are links to the items I have in stock:
Batting – Winline organic bamboo
Fabrics – search for Moda “Kasuri”, Alexander Henry “Hamada Stripe” and “Genmai Teacup”, Olympus “Family Crests” is here. I will have more antique katazome in stock soon.
Sashiko needles and thimbles