Friday, November 11, 2011

New Work

Quilt Market (a trade show held every year in Houston, Texas) and its adjunct event, the International Quilt Festival, usually wears me out. It stretches into ten solid days of talking, exhibiting, selling, teaching, looking at the quilts, and meeting people from all over the world. I get home totally knackered and need a week to get right. But somehow this year, I came back strangely energized. Among the trends I noticed was the use of textured fabric in quilts, especially linen, and I was eager to try it myself.

Sashiko, the traditional quilting of Japan, looks especially appropriate on linen. And this year I had new sashiko stencils with Quilting Creations International as well and couldn't wait to try those in stitches.Here's the link to that page-- Quilting Creations

  Among the new stencils is a Sashiko Valentine (PCW113). When I drew the Valentine, I'd been careful to use traditional sashiko patterns that convey good wishes. In the heart, the waves represent eternity, the hexagons (tortoiseshell) long life, and the asanoha (the six-point star shape) stands for good health.  The rabbit is a traditional symbol for love and the heart is, well, a heart.

I got some lovely oatmeal-color textured linen from my friend Patti Brown who owns ALB Fabrics and the Quilted Butterfly
then marked the Valentine stencil with a white Roxanne pencil and sat down to stitch. The needle was the largest needle from the middle of the Sashiko Needle Sampler from Colonial Needle Colonial Needle and the two threads both #8 perle cotton by Presencia. The red is #1166 Bright Red and the blue is #3327 Dark Navy.

After stitching, the piece was trimmed and I machine-basted a line of large stitches about 5" out from the perimeter of the design. Cutting a 10 x 14 piece of thin batting, I glued it to a ready-made canvas, positioned the sashiko piece, and stapled it around to the back of the canvas. Somebody very special is going to get a stitched Valentine this year.

I signed it lower right with an X and O for hug and kiss--that's not on the stencil--you'll have to add your own!