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May 24, 2015
Hand-stitching this week from The Cozy Quilter

I was the passenger on a couple of car trips in the past week. I often fall asleep in the car when my husband drives so I try to bring along a hand-sewing project to keep myself awake and make good use of the time we are in the car.  Last weekend, I finished off my sashiko stitching which I started on our recent vacation. Some of the stitches are a bit uneven because some of the roads were a bit bumpy! I plan on making this into a small wall hanging. 

I also worked on the curly quilting of ...

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May 6, 2015
Hand Stitching in the Car from The Cozy Quilter

Last week, my husband and I went on a car trip through Great Smokey Mountains National Park, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then through Shenandoah National Park.  I took along some hand stitching to do on the trip there and back.  I bought a kit to make a Sashiko block at our last London Friendship Quilters' Guild meeting and decided this would be a good project to bring in the car--not a lot of supplies and easy to tuck into my bag. I started by outlining the block, as suggested by the pictures in the instructions (which were in ...

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April 30, 2015
Sashaying in from Banora Point from Koolkat Quilting

 This colourful sashiko quilt from Trish at Banora Point, NSW is being quilted with the dragonflies e2e machine quilting pattern.  KoolKat Quilting chose a charcoal thread to blend with the background of the sashiko panels and this has minimal impact as the photos above demonstrate.  We also use this technique for applique, candle-wicking, red-work or any similar quilting where there are feature blocks.

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April 21, 2015
Sashiko Needles – Which to buy? from The Ardent Thread

In Japan one may have an abundance of sashiko needles to choose from, but outside of Japan our choices tend to be more limited. For the past decade or so we were really limited, generally to whatever Olympus had to offer, and that was about it. Times have changed, much to our benefit.

Which brand to start with?


Olympus 2 needle pack, one long and one short

Olympus, the company providing non-Japanese stitchers with sashiko supplies for a very long time (decades? I really have no idea) offers a wide variety of thread, needles, thimbles, and kits and has continued ...

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April 14, 2015
Sashiko Classes for Beginners – May 2015 from The Ardent Thread

I have two basic sashiko classes coming up in May in Alameda, California. Here are the details:

  • Date: Monday, May 18 or Sunday, May 24 (Same class, pick which one day works best for you.)
  • Time: 1-4 pm
  • Location: The ReCrafting Co., Santa Clara Ave. at Everett in Alameda.
  • Cost: $50 Includes full class kit. Just bring scissors and a ruler!


We’ll cover basic stitch technique, how to transfer a design onto fabric, and the little details such as turning corners, backstitching instead of tying knots, stitch length, and all the nitty gritty you may have been wondering about ...

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March 30, 2015
Sashiko Coasters from Ants to Sugar

Even though I thought I’d never finish these sashiko coasters, I thoroughly enjoyed stitching them.

Sashiko Coasters for Handstitched Class at Stitched in Color

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I’m learning a lot in Stitched in Color’s Handstitched Class.


This kind of stitching is teaching me to slow down.

It’s teaching me patience.


This kind of stitching has given me a way to create with fabric while I’m away from my sewing machine.

I usually retreat to my sewing room when I need to make something, but these Handstitched Class projects have been portable enough to carry with me and put in ...

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March 27, 2015
Amazing ‘kasuri’ quilts by Shigeko Asada from RobynsPatch

Japanese quilting

Close up of sashiko stitching by Shikego Asada.

‘Yes, you are allowed to touch them, and yes, you are allowed to photograph them’, said the Red Cross ladies.

Japanese quilting

‘Memories of Childhood’ by Shikedo Asada.

How gobsmacked were the hundreds of visitors at the exhibition to be able to handle the worn and battered indigo ‘kasuri’ quilts. Usually ‘Quilt Angels’ in white gloves  monitor the movement of the public to prevent any ‘touching’. There were no ‘Please do not touch’ signs at this event – it was heartwarming to be encouraged to feel this tactile art form. After all, that’s what ...

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March 25, 2015
Thimbles thimbles thimbles! And more thimbles. from The Ardent Thread

As an avowed thimble-hater in my youth, I never expected to carry so many in my shop that I would actually use.
metal_palm_thimbleYou may have heard me evangelize the merits of a sashiko palm thimble, either leather or metal, and seen me wearing both at a quilt show or teaching event. I do use these regularly and find they take the stress out of sashiko and allow me to sew for longer than I would without a thimble. They may seem awkward to start with if you are unaccustomed to them, but once you find the right balance and rhythm ...

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March 7, 2015
More finished Sashiko pieces! from Alderwood Quilts

I'm working on 2 different Sashiko projects.  I do that with most of my hand work (knitting, Sashiko, quilting, etc).  I like to keep from getting bored. :-)

One of my projects is Sylvia Pippen's Chinese Bird Series.  I did the owls last month and just recently finished the albatross.  This series is pre-printed on the fabric so it's super easy to stitch over it.  A very relaxing project.  I'm not sure yet how I will use them.  When I'm finished stitching the whole series, they will most likely become the focus blocks of a quilt ...

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March 4, 2015
Into the Quilting Giveaway from Inside Quilters Newsletter


The first DVDs giveaway we did was called “Out of the Heat” because it was the middle of summer here in the northern hemisphere, and the second was called “Out of the Cold” because it was the middle of winter. If the reader’s comments on yesterday’s B.C. comic strip by John Hart Studios were any indication, the weather can’t make up its mind this week no matter where you are, so we’ll just call this, our third ...

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March 3, 2015
New in the shop: Sashiko Southwest from The Ardent Thread

"Protecting Beauty" from Sashiko Southwest

“Protecting Beauty” from Sashiko Southwest

Joyce Perz of Sashiko Southwest is an artist with a vision. She enjoys the classic style of Japanese sashiko, but living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she is exposed to Southwest Native American tribal art in all its beautiful geometry. In combining the two she has created a collection of beautiful hybrid designs.

I had the pleasure of meeting Joyce while I was working at AQS Quilt Week Albuquerque in January of this year. Her personality and energy were inspiring, and I was excited to see her kits fly off the display in my booth during ...

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February 28, 2015
Schedule for March 2015 from The Ardent Thread

Busy busy! Local local! No airplanes for me this month. Here’s where you can find Kimonomomo this March:

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January 18, 2015
Learn Sashiko with Upcycle Alameda! from The Ardent Thread

I’ll be teaching a six-week course with sashiko and other hand sewing skills using upcycled fabrics at the Recrafting Co. in beautiful Alameda, CA. You can join in on Upcycle Alameda’s Meetup event page and/or contact Joan at 510-913-2732 for more information and to sign up. There are a limited number of seats available and we would love to have you in one of them.

Here are the details: 

Join an experienced Alameda sewing coach and seven fellow Islanders to make upcycle couture! Develop your signature style. Rethink how you clothe yourself and your family. Have creative ...

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Surprise in the border and a new start …. from Janet Ann Creations

with the top of my Sashiko / Applique quilt done
(Sylvia Pippen design)
I struggled with what to do for the border…
really wanted something different.

decided on a Sashiko border!

 with and applique surprise every once in a while!

really like how it's turning out…

New project…

Using 2" pentagon paper piece papers
and fabrics from my stash of Bonnie and Camilla.

 This is what I've come up with so far - 
a 16" red polka dot background square,
blue/white hounds tooth fabric in the center,
sashing in a blue/grey fabric, 
cornerstones in a blue/white fabric ...

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January 2, 2015
Sashiko.... I think I have a new addiction! from Alderwood Quilts

Oh, MY!  I think I have a new addiction!  I started a couple of new Sashiko projects and I can't stop!

The first is my Two Owls piece.  Sylvia Pippen has a series of panels to make Chinese Birds.  This owl piece is my first one.  I'm starting on the doves next.  I don't know how many different birds she'll have in the series.  I'll just keep making them and figure out what to do with them when they're all done.

The owls are done on Moda Marble fabric with  traditional Sashiko thread.  I ...

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December 31, 2014
It's starting to come together! from Janet Ann Creations

My Sashiko and Applique Quilt
is starting to come together!!

The center is done!
quilting ideas are running around in my head…
but next up borders … hmmm…what to do?
Maybe a sashiko border?!?….

we shall see what the new year brings!

Happy New Year to all!

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December 29, 2014
Updates for Late December 2014 from The Ardent Thread

I really left you hanging there, didn’t I? Sorry about that. After all the buzz of shopping Houston Quilt Market followed by teaching and selling at Quilt Festival I’m always in desperate need of a month or two to crawl back into my shell and not talk to humans very much. This tends to upset people who are JUST FINE working all year round, and they can never quite understand why I don’t reply to emails, return calls, or answer texts for a few weeks.

Winter is my sanity-rebuilding time. That’s all I can say.

Moving ...

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October 26, 2014
Houston International Quilt Market #1! from The Ardent Thread

Ok, a few pics from my first two days. More to come.





The big red and white display is in celebration of the Festival’s 40 year Ruby Jubilee, and it is amazing. The other photos are from my shopping spree at Birch Fabrics, and the most excellent Tyson who helped me out.





Dee Dee at Seven Islands talked me into way more fabric than I can handle right now… Good thing Thomas and I are working on our new shop space so we can fit it all!





Two gorgeous photo-realistic, hand painted quilts I love.

More to come! So ...

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  • sashiko
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