Friday, 5 February 2016

Sashiko courses in Scotland

The students from the two sashiko courses I have been running this year have been producing some great work.  I have been a bit too good at forgetting to take my camera, so I don't have many photos yet.  Here are just a few.  I'm sure Maureen from the group that meets at Kaleidoscope's shop at Milngavie won't mind me using a pic of her gorgeous samples first - I love that circles block! 

This is a view of the large workroom at Kaleidoscope.

At our most recent session, I started the group on some slightly different sashiko - pictorial designs (everyone is making a noshi design in sashiko) and fans.  Previous sessions have focussed on hitomezashi (one stitch sashiko) and we will be returning to that later on the course.

These pieces will be made into samplers later.

Just so the group I teach at Edinburgh Patchwork don't feel left out, here are a few photos from one of our earlier sessions.

I am thinking about running courses at both shops again next year.  If you are interested, please let me know - I can be contacted via my website

Monday, 1 February 2016

Super Strips quilt pattern in Today's Quilter

Super Strips, my jelly roll quilt loosely based on the Hearts and Crosses Coverlet, is in Today's Quilter issue 6, which will be in the shops shortly (the subscription copies should have arrived by now).  I've taught a slightly different version of this design as a workshop since about 2009, having made the original 11/2in strip version in 2008.  The one in the magazine has an uneven number of strips in the centre square, which makes the design slightly different to the workshop one, which has an even number, removing the tiny 'diamond' feature in the centre, which can be a bit tricky to line up if your jelly roll isn't accurately cut.

The fabric range I used for this, 'Katy Jump Rope' by Denise Schmidt for Free Spirit, has been reprinted, with some extra prints in the range, so you can get almost the same fabrics once again.   But, if you have a look at some of the workshop versions of Super Strips that have been made over the years, you will see that this is a pattern that works in just about any fabrics you like.

Have fun with the pattern - and I would love to see any more Super Strips quilts that are made from the magazine instructions.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Sarah's Triangles quilt in Today's Quilter magazine

'Sarah's Triangles', my quilt inspired by the Sarah Wyatt quilt at the V & A, is in the current issue of Today's Quilter magazine.  TQ posted these lovely detail photos on their Facebook page today.  The design is relatively simple, and I like the way the original has three slightly different sizes of half square triangle, instead of them all being the same size.

There's a link to the V & A's online catalogue via this blog post from 2011.  I quilted my version differently from the original, as I gave it a much wider border so it needed a little more.  The Hobbs wool wadding was so nice to hand quilt, I didn't want to stop!

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

2015 was another busy year.  We started off with a trip to Tokyo and Hakone in January, including the quilt show at the Tokyo Dome.

In July, I had an unexpected trip to China, to teach patchwork - more here.


We got a few more projects finished, including a new cutting table in my workroom and finishing off the outside of the summerhouse.

We went to several World Textile Shows and other quilt shows.


Mum & dad came up to Perthshire.

The summerhouse now has electrics.

I added a few 1:16 scale dolls houses to my collection - 

I finished quite a few UFOs, which have been featured in Today's Quilter magazine.

Happy New Year 2016!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry miniature Christmas!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Exciting news for me

Yesterday, I heard that I have been awarded the Quilters' Guild's Travel and Education Bursary for teachers. I will be using the funds to help me visit Japan again and study some of the more difficult (for me!) Yuza Sashiko patterns, as shown here in one of Reiko Domon's quilts.


Reiko has been stitching sashiko for over thirty years now and is a master of these hitomezashi patterns.  I've been stitching for fifteen years, but I still find diamond and moth patterns some of the hardest to do. Plus, some of these are her own variations.

Here's a detail of another of her quilts, where she has distorted the patterns and stitched them in circles, giving a modern interpretation to traditional designs.

Reiko and other members of Yuza Sashiko Guild are keeping their traditional patterns alive, while finding new uses for them and also inventing new pattern variations.  I will visit Japan during 2016 and take some lessons with her and the group, so I can come back and teach these patterns in the UK.  Now I just have to plan my trip...They will be coming to Quilts UK at Malvern in May, where they will be teaching a one hour sashiko workshop every day and they will also be at World Textile Day at Frodsham, near Chester, on 14th May.

The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles has various bursaries that can be awarded to Guild members - another of the opportunities open to the membership, including student bursaries and awards for beginner quilters, as well as a travel and education bursary for those who don't teach.  Click here for more information.