Thursday, 24 September 2009
Sashiko inspired cushion
A few weeks ago I finally finished the Hot Air Balloon Cot Quilt after a long haul of embroidering rigging and lines. I was desperate to spend a day just indulging my creativity in the sewing room. I had really enjoyed using the embroidery silks and wanted to have a go at some Japanese sashiko quilting. This is usually done with special sashiko threads in white on an indigo background but I just liked the idea of using large brightly coloured quilting stitches.
I chose these four different Kaffe Fassett fabrics from my hoard and gave them a border of denim scraps (off-cuts from old jeans). I then treated each square as if it was a mini quilt by adding wadding and a backing cotton behind.
I took a while to get the hang of the sashiko stitches, as unlike quilting, where you aim for your stitch to be the same length on the back as the front, with sashiko you use very small back stitches and large front ones.
There is a very good Sashiko tutorial on The Purl Bee blog
I was really pleased with the effect, it really accentuates the beauty of the fabrics.
I love the Kaffe Fassett fabric range. Jonathan and I have been huge fans of his since our 'Cleopatra's Needle' tapestry kit days. He started off with knitting, went on to needlepoint and now specialises in patchwork. Each time he has helped to promote the chosen craft and inspire people to take it up. Everything he does is infused with a love of colour and pattern, which I wholeheartedly share. If you want a real feast for the eyes check out his website and invest in one of his books
For a finishing touch I added some of my 'Duttons' buttons along with a few I bought in Stockholm earlier in the year.
Jonathan took this photo of the cushion in dappled autumn sunlight. I'd have liked a bit of a close-up too but I have to take what I can get when the photographer agrees to help!
The cushion has pride of place on my bed sitting on my 'grandmother's flower garden' quilt. And considering that my next job was making a dozen cushions for the shop, it was nice to do something just for me!
Here are some close-ups taken on my phone so you can see the stitches and buttons in more detail