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October 9, 2017
Pardon the long absence, it’s been a busy year from The Ardent Thread

Hello, dear readers. It’s been a while.

  • In January & February I traveled Japan. More about that coming soon
  • In March we launched our wholesale import business and showed at the San Francisco Quilt Guild Show
  • In April I wrote a bunch, then stopped because there was so much more work to do with the wholesale business
  • In May we showed at the wholesale Quilt Market in St. Louis, MO
  • In June I did a guild lecture and sashiko class at River City Quilt Guild in Sacramento, CA
  • In July… I visited my son who is working in Europe!
  • In ...

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minimalist patchwork pillow from Sotak Handmade


I am a huge fan of Louise Gray's beautifully modern quilts and home decor. So, when I was trying to come up with an idea for a new pillow cover for our living room I decided a Louise Gray inspired pillow was finally in order :)



Super simple, isn't it? That's what I love about it.

I turned the pillow top into a small quilt sandwich by adding thin cotton batting and backing fabric, and did a bit of hand quilting using sashiko thread.


And then I used this lovely striped fabric from my stash for the pillow ...

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July 15, 2017
Quilting a BIG quilt! from Janet Ann Creations

Trying to get two big quilts ready for my guild's September show...
may have taken on a bit much
 as I also have two smaller quilts and a table runner to quilt,
all of them to bind and make 
hanging sleeves and labels!

The show is not for two months ....
that's enough time...
Right???

Things were going along smoothly
quilting up my 2015 BOM "Snapshots" 
from the Fat Quarter shop...

Using utensils and a trusty blue wash out marker
worked on my boarder design using a walking foot.
Lots of stops and starts...
Lots of burying threads!!

But ...

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May 9, 2017
nine patch pillow from Sotak Handmade


Yesterday afternoon I came across this lovely photo of a beautifully styled bed. I think it was made mostly to showcase that fantastic quilt. What caught my eye though, was the black and gray pillow in the background. I love that it's simple, yet bold at the same time and I decided to make a similar pillow for our family room.


I wasted no time, of course, and got to work right away. I decided to go with yard dyed Essex linen for the main cross, and I used Kona cotton (probably Snow) for the corners.

I was very ...

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April 13, 2017
Textile Trading in Osaka from The Ardent Thread

Tokyo has the biggest quilt show in Japan, but many of the fabrics in those quilts start out somewhere else. Home to the bulk of the Japanese cotton trade for the past 300 years, Osaka is where next year’s trends are designed and next season’s designs are sold.

In 2016 my husband and I decided to take the plunge and move into the wholesale business. Our retail shop online is chugging along nicely and growing at a steady pace, but it felt like time to expand. This has opened up opportunities for me to visit companies where some ...

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April 6, 2017
Spring Brings Lofty Goals - 2017 Finish-A-Long 2nd Quarter from Mountain Quiltworks

Our snow is melting! Our snow is melting! Such a great sight to see for our valley, but with the amount of snowpack that remains on the mountains, people are gearing up for some serious flood potential over the next two months. Sashiko Pillow Top So what better time than to set some quilting goals. And to help me do that, I'm joining the 2017 Finish-A-Long. That way, I'll have my goals

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April 3, 2017
sashiko pillow from Sotak Handmade


I've long been admiring these absolutely stunning Atelier + S patchwork linen and sashiko tote bags . So beautiful, aren't they? I love how they are sort of rustic looking, yet pretty and stylish at the same time.

So, the other day when I found myself with a bit of spare time and no project to work on, I decided to make a pillow cover inspired by these totes. 


I thought I'd work on patchwork base first, but I really wanted to get stitching, so I decided simple square of Essex linen will do. I drew the lines using ...

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April 1, 2017
Upcoming Sashiko Classes for April 2017 from The Ardent Thread

Quick update – Two Sashiko for Beginners classes are coming up in April in Alameda, CA. Click through to see descriptions of the classes and order tickets online.

 Sashiko Boro – Japanese Traditional Patching with Scraps
Sunday, April 9 from 1pm to 4pm
at The ReCrafting Co.

Simply Sashiko – Japanese Traditional Stitching for Beginners
Sunday, April 23 from 1pm to 4pm
at The ReCrafting Co.

Saturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2 we will be at the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association show The Heart and Art of Quilts at the Santa Clara Convention Center. We hope you can join us.

I’ll be ...

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March 10, 2017
Sashiko Snowflake Designs from madebychrissied

read more » mbCD:

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February 10, 2017
Blousy Blooms Pillow Cushion [Hidden Zipper + Pointy Corner Removal Tutes] from madebychrissied

Blousy Blooms Pillow Cushion tute by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Haven't done any #selfishsewing in quite a while so took a day off from the computer (writing blog posts, tutorials, newsletter and sewing patterns) at the end of last week to have an afternoon at the sewing machine.
read more » mbCD:

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February 5, 2017
Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival 2017 Part 2 from The Ardent Thread

I’m writing this while sitting in a Tokyo hotel, but I have so much more to tell you about this trip. Since leaving Tokyo Dome I took a train up to Takayama, another train down to Osaka, flew to Hirosaki in Aomori prefecture, then back to Tokyo again. Three weeks on the road and I’m almost ready to head back to California.

For the first two days of the Quilt Festival I kept my hands busy demonstrating the kit I designed for Tulip Co. and didn’t really get out of the booth much except during lunch breaks ...

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January 30, 2017
Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival 2017 from The Ardent Thread

tokyo_dome_17-2
After 20 hours of travel (two planes and a bus) I was rewarded with this view from my hotel room window.

The Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival is big. So big they hold it in a baseball stadium. So big it goes on for DAYS AND DAYS, even longer than the Houston Quilt Festival, which seems like forever when I’m working that show. This time I only had to work two days, and I got to sit and sew. On day three I walked the floor with tens of thousands of other crafty folks from all over Japan and ...

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January 22, 2017
New year, new quilt from Stitch and Yarn

Introducing the Blue Giant! This quilt has been quietly plodding along in the background for well over a year now – but just as 2017 was getting underway I stitched the last stitch into the binding. Let's face it, a quilt top with pieces that big took no time at all to construct. It was the decision to hand quilt that dragged it out by months and months. I'm so glad I did it though, the larger stitches created with indigo-dyed sashiko thread really suit the aged and worn jeans. I just can't imagine that machine-quilting would have ...

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December 28, 2016
Using Eleganza thread for Sashiko embroidery from Quilt Social

 

Yesterday on QUILTsocial we talked about 4 ways to transfer embroidery designs to fabric. When I’m doing punchneedle embroidery I often just place my design under the fabric and trace it using a fine marker since the weaver’s cloth that I use is fairly easy to see through. Today I’m going to use Eleganza thread for Sashiko embroidery on a darker fabric, so I’ll have to use one a different technique such as one of the four that we discussed yesterday.

What is Sashiko?

Sashiko is a traditional form of embroidery from Japan. Most of the ...

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November 21, 2016
Sashiko sampler from Espritpatch

It seems that the evenings disappear before I manage to switch on my sewing machine at the moment, so sadly I haven't got much to show since I finished the quilt top last week. However, I had to go into London on Friday. And of course, no train trip can be complete without some sort of hand-stitching.
Sara had just released the last 2 patterns for the sashiko sampler that she started in the summer so this was an ideal companion for the journey.

Square 8 was called Fundo (scale weights)



Square 9 was another curve design: Seven Treasures ...

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November 2, 2016
Postcard from Houston International Quilt Market 2016 from The Ardent Thread

Wow! What a busy show this year. I’ll keep this short because I’m off to build my booth for Quilt Festival and the preview night is tonight… and I need more coffee. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this little window into the show. Some of the quilts in the video are from Japanese artists. If you can, be sure to see their exhibit.

Come visit me and see the new goodies at booth #1316!


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October 17, 2016
Sashiko quilts and edge to edge quilting from Koolkat Quilting

The sashiko quilt below is being quilted with the leaf meander edge to edge machine quilting pattern. By choosing a thread colour to match the background fabric, the pattern has negligible effect on the sashiko stitching.   The king size quilt below is being quilted with the bush berries edge to edge pattern in a beige thread and comes from Lee at Geham.
 



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September 23, 2016
Sew Preeti Fabrics and Questions from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

A few days ago I was reading Preeti's blog (which I love) and discovered that I'd won a pretty fat quarter bundle. 




Okay, so you can't see the print but trust me, I won. On Monday the box arrived! Oh my! These are pretty and modern and luscious! I was working pretty long hours so I didn't have time to take pictures or play. 


I did, though, set the fabrics on the kitchen counters so that I could pet them anytime I walked by.




Today I managed a few minutes to find some coordinating fabrics. I ...

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September 2, 2016
Hiroshima 広島 – Home of Tulip Needles from The Ardent Thread

Riding the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Hiroshima I had plenty of time to relax notice the smaller details which usually go by the wayside.

For example, the formality with which every member of the train crew interacts with passengers. As a crew member exits a car, he or she will pause and bow to the passengers before crossing the threshold. Staff in department stores do this too as they exit the hall, which really surprised me. It’s so culturally ingrained that no one acknowledges it or seems to care.

shinkansen_cart
Fancy a snack, drink, or souvenir? Ice cream? Pencil case ...

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August 19, 2016
Sashi.co – Interview with Keiko Futatsuya from The Ardent Thread

I first stumbled onto Keiko Futatsuya’s work two years ago while searching for botanically-dyed sashiko thread. She was working with Hida Sashiko at the time, but has since moved on to produce her own work as an independent artist and designer.

The quality of her work is amazing, and has developed over time to reflect her passion and joy in handwork. Keiko’s boundless energy knocked me off my feet when I visited her earlier this year. She is in constant motion, darting from idea to to idea, rarely sitting still. While we sat in her tiny kitchen one ...

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  • sashiko
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