Sashiko Minis


By Judith on April 30, 2020
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Once upon a time, in the days before lockdown, I visited an Irish linen factory and purchased some small offcuts of charcoal blue medium weight linen (among other things, ahem!).

 

Sashiko minis

 

I immediately fell in love with the muted tones of this linen and thought a striking white thread would contrast beautifully with it!

 

And that started my pursuit of a series of small sashiko designs which I could stitch and frame as a set.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

I found a few free designs I liked on Pinterest and played around printing out various sizes.  I settled for 6″ designs and cut out my linens at 7.5″.

 

Then came the problems!!

 

Sashiko Minis

 

Trying to transfer the designs onto this medium weight linen proved tricky!  First I tried my lightbox, but the linen was too dense to allow the design to show through enough to trace!

 

My pattern transfer pen is dark purple and wouldn’t show up on the linen.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So after watching a few YouTube tutorials I ordered some yellow carbon paper.  I traced the design through the carbon paper onto the right side of the linen. But the yellow pigment barely left a mark!

Aarrgghh!

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So the only option I felt I had left was to trace the design onto baking paper, sew through the paper, and then tear the paper away at the end.  I wasn’t too keen on this idea because hand sewn stitches are much less secure than machine sewn stitches and could get pulled out of shape.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

So I fused some woven interlining onto the back of the linen and tried one design to see if I could get away with it, and bar one or two stitches that needed ‘settled down’ again after removing the paper, it worked relatively well.

 

Sashiko Minis

 

I didn’t have sashiko thread so used an old spool of fine crochet cotton instead!!

 

And the 7.5″ box frames came from Hobbycraft today, so I wasted no time getting them framed and photographed (I took out the glass for the photoshoot!).

 

Sashiko Minis

 

All I need to do now is decide where to hang them!!

 

Happy sewing!

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Patchwork Denim Pouch


By Judith on May 17, 2019
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My youngest daughter requested a handmade gift for her friend’s 18th birthday.

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch
Front
Boro QAYG Denim Pouch
Back

 

So last bank holiday Monday, I had a happy afternoon ‘playing’ in my sewing room with my first love, denim!

 

 

Using only my smallest denim pieces, I used the ‘quilt as you go’ method to quilt the pieces directly onto some Pellon flex foam, leaving sections here and there for a little Boro style stitching!

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

I’m not a great hand stitcher, but I’m loving the current boro/kantha/sashiko stitching trend that is influencing the quilting community at the moment.

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

Originating from the Japanese ethos of ‘visible mending’ these stitches are meant to be seen, functional, and not necessarily perfect! Yes!  My kind of hand stitching.

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

I always love working with denim, and completely fell in love with this little pouch as I discovered interesting seams, shades and textures among my scraps.

 

Boro QAYG Denim Pouch

 

It was a sad and sweet moment handing over this pouch! Needless to say I didn’t even make a dent in my pile of scraps!

 

My appetite for making more ‘quilt as you go’ boro style denim projects is unabated, so I’ve decided to design a bag in the same style! #lovemyjob

 

 

Watch this space!

 

Happy upcycling!

 

 

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