Sunday, March 16, 2014

another simple baby quilt with tenugui

Our new friends Alex and Erica are having their first baby soon... an opportunity for me to make another very simple "one patch" baby quilt.  It is fast and satisfying work to cut 80 5-inch squares and arrange them randomly.  I love making simple scrappy quilts.  

In recent years Erica had spent two young-adult years living in Tokyo as a missionary for our church, so I knew that using lots of Japanese fabrics would be just the thing.  I surely brought back a lot of tenugui (traditional Japanese woven, hand dyed cotton hand towels) for use in such scrappy projects.

 Wait... what is wrong with this picture?.... Mount Fuji is upside down - that won't do! ...
 Here we go....

 The little pink and red carp, and the teal pigs, green flowers, and orange and yellow pastoral scenes - those are all cut from tenugui.  Filling in the gaps are random scraps from my stash including several 30's repros.  A little birdie told me that the new momma likes aqua, so I kept that in mind too.  I do find that teal/aqua is a terrific unifying color in scrap quilts.

I backed it with this adorable print, found at a local quilt shop: 

I quilted it diagonally, very simply in wavy lines, using a darning foot, with monofilament in the needle and cotton in the bobbin.  Like all the baby quilts I make, this one is simple and meant to withstand hard use and frequent washings.  I hope it will be used and enjoyed! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

More sashiko

Tachibana - orange blossom 

Oh how I enjoy stitching sashiko.... sitting by the fire, while watching TV... in dentist waiting rooms... at book group...

This way I'm slowly working on my sashiko sampler...

I wish the beautiful indigo showed better in these photos.  Perhaps it's time to upgrade to a "real" camera?  I'm using my old iphone - I love the convenience.

Mitsu Ichou three gingko leaves 
 Some of these patterns are from Susan Briscoe's book Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match.  Others I got from my sashiko teacher in Tokyo.

Here is one of my favorites, Tortoiseshell (looks like flowery hexies to me!). You can see where I mistakenly extended the pattern when I was tracing it.  Those lines will wash right out.  I may redo the block - the stitches aren't as uniform as I'd like.  But then again..... when it is pieced into a whole quilt... it won't really matter... and I'm not a perfectionist.

Tsu no kikko - tortoise shell
 I will alternate these blocks with pieced blocks like this:

Little by little.... I love working with this indigo!