Japanese Sampler – Treasure purse sashiko block (Post 21)

One of the really pretty sashiko patterns in Susan Briscoe’s book is the treasure purse. It was a complicated pattern to transfer onto the fabric. Which sewing it I had to think a lot about the various junctions where lines of stitching touched each other.

It was fund to so though, and I like the final effect. I also like how the top of bag echos the shape of the ginkgo leaf. It helps to add some coherence to the quilt.

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I’m really enjoying making a sampler quilt. It’s nice to have something without a deadline, where I can just concentrating on getting each piece exactly as I want it. I think it’s also really helping my develop my skills. I’ve tried so many new techniques of the past few months.

I can’t wait to see the finished version now though. I want to be able to check I haven’t accidentally made something that doesn’t hang together well. Just those inevitable nerves I’m sure we all get once we’re committed to a large project and know the end is still a long way off.

Japanese Sampler – Sashiko edge blocks (post 19)

My Japanese quilt is starting to take shape now. I’m beginning to get a feel for the layout and the balance between the pieced and sashiko blocks. This meant I know I would need a lot of triangle pieces around the edges to square of the quilt.

These were fun, quick little designs to play with now that I’ve done enough sashiko for this quilt to just enjoy getting on with it.

It was nice to have some quick and easy hand sewing to do in the evenings.

They’re coming along quite nicely now…

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I repeated the teapot pattern (on a slightly smaller scale in one of the sashiko edges.

There is a mountain above a lake, which was a really fun one to do.

The moon and clouds is a little abstract, but I’m hoping a crescent shape in the quilting might help bring it out more.

I did a cluster of five bamboo leaves, again just picking out of the central blocks and using it to frame the quilt.

The fan motif is another repeated pattern in the triangle blocks. It looks so different in outline form. It interesting how different styles can change the same motif.

There are a couple of blossom motifs around the edge to. An orange blossom flower with a couple of leaves is pretty. I also like the plum blossom, which normally appears as a circle of three, but I just did one for the edge block.

Japanese Sampler – Cherry Blossom Sashiko (Post 11)

I was on a sashiko role so I decided to press ahead with another blossom block. This time I used Susan Briscoe’s Cherry blossom pattern

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This was a funny block. I wasn’t particularly excited by the pattern before I started. It felt a little flat and boring to me. However, once it was stitched I just completely fell in love with it. I’m not sure why but this is one of the blocks that keeps drawing my attention when I lay them all out. I think the pale colour really helps to make it zingy.

Japanese Sampler – Sashiko Wave (Post 6)

My Japanese sample quilt is all about learning new techniques. Although I have done a fair bit of embroidery over the years I’ve never tried sashiko. Susan Briscoe‘s book has some lovely patterns for sashiko blocks. She also includes some helpful advice on techniques.

I didn’t use proper sashiko thread. I just used three strands of embroidery floss. It seemed to work fine. I haven’t seen any other sashiko work ‘in the flesh’ to compare it with so I might be way off, but I like my take on sashiko.

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I’ve decided there will be quite a few sashiko blocks in my sampler quilt. I’m going to alternate them with pieced blocks. I’ll vary the colour of my thread between yellow, cream, orange and red to try the quilt a little coherence that might it lacking with so many fabrics being thrown in.

I don’t know about you but I’ve always struggled with how to transfer patterns from paper to my fabric. In the course of making this quilt I hit upon a technique that seems to work well for me. I made a full size paper pattern and pinned it in place on top of the fabric. Then I put a really fat denim needle in my machine and followed the template lines, sewing without any thread. This left a great trail of puncture marks I could then connect with tailor’s chalk and use as my sewing lines. I discovered that if I didn’t go over the puncture lines with chalk before I started stitching the fabric would slowly relax and my puncture marks would disappear. The chalk has enough staying power to wait until I’d finished stitching the sashiko blocks.