Monday, February 27, 2012

Breaking the Rules: Sashiko Quilting pt 1

When I weary of one project I hop to another.  I have sewed on enough buttons for a time and am now laying out my log cabin lap robe. I pieced this classic pattern together using recycled wool I had collected from clothing.

I first lay out the rich, dark brown, wool backing on the floor and add the quilt top. Once I have centered the top on the backing, I pin it together from the middle out, pinning the edges last.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep a quilt on the table and finish my projects that have waited too long to be completed.  I remember my mother and how she used to always have a quilt spread out on this same table in her dining room, and hope it will call to me as it called to her, “Come and quilt me!”

Traditional Sashiko quilting is usually done with a special long and large-eyed quilting needle with a coarse decorative thread. This type of quilting not only attaches the quilt back to the front and through a batting, but it makes a bold design statement that sometimes regular quilting doesn’t make.

I have chosen the heavy thread and big stitches as my felted wool is coarse and heavy and I want to emphasize its primitive style.

I wonder how to bury my thread as I do in hand quilting and must pause. Sashiko quilting not only uses a coarse thread but it is stitched with a double threaded needle. My resources indicate that knots are usually left on the back side of the quilt. I want to hide my knots as I do in regular hand-quilting.

Studying the top of my quilt,  I can bury my knot just as I normally would. And it works! I pull my knot through a looser weave and anchor it right in a corner of the quilt block against a tighter woven wool.

I decide to start my running stitch going diagonally, corner to corner in each square, starting in the middle just as I would if I were basting a quilt back to its front and smoothing out any wrinkles along the way.