Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Furin quilt

This morning the ASIJ Gala quilting group enjoyed the satisfying task of tacking back the binding on our  "Summer Breezes" quilt.  

The design was inspired by a Suzuko Koseki quilt that knocked the socks off one of our group leaders last year.  Suzuko is the force behind La Clochette, and is an influential quilter and teacher here in Japan whose books look wonderful.

The quilt features hand-appliqued "furin" -  Japanese wind chimes -  in a variety of cottons and silks.  Boy were those silks tough to applique, but the result is both soft and stunning.  The quilting design is meant to evoke the raked gravel in a traditional Japanese rock garden.

The quilt will be auctioned off at a benefit Gala dinner next week.  I can't wait to hear how it goes!

I had to leave for something else just as the hanging sleeve was being attached to the back of the quilt, and so I missed getting a good photo of the finished quilt - but please check out Tokyo Jinja's excellent post about the quilt and its creation.

I feel lucky to have so immediately stumbled upon a quilting group after moving to Tokyo - and it meets just a short walk from my apartment - what were the chances of that in a city this big?

Several women (including Jacqueline of Tokyo Jinja, and Julie of My Quilt Diary) spearheaded the project and did lots of work behind the scenes between group sessions - from design decisions, organizing the group, selecting fabric, making borders and binding.  It felt like a luxury to be among those who just showed up on Tuesdays with needle in hand, to sew and chat for a few hours.  Many people popped in and out of the group off and on through the months - many hands making light work.  It was a thrill to see it come together and I hope it's well received at the auction!

I wish I'd taken more photos along the way, but here are a few:

Pieced - entirely by hand, by many hands - and ready for the border

Hand quilting... almost there!

The rock garden quilting design was so interesting. 
I am linking up with QuiltStory's Fabric Tuesday - see the link on my sidebar, and check out the many creative projects there!