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November 9, 2018
Too many WIPs from Wendy's Quilts and More

I feel surrounded by WIPs at the moment.  I know I should prioritise and finish one or two, but I keep dipping in and out and nothing is getting finished. 

Here's a few of the things I'm working on at the moment:

1.  My Glitter quilt - pattern by Jen Kingwell from Amitie Textitles.  I'm aiming to have all 152 blocks finished by the end of November, and then I can hand sew them together over summer. I haven't looked at them together since about April, so I hope the colours are all fine.  I don't ...

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September 9, 2018
Sashiko and Double Gauze – the Ripple Effect from The Ardent Thread

Sashiko doesn’t have to involve a lot of fancy stitches. Sometimes you can achieve delightful visual and tactile effects with a simple straight stitch. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using double gauze cotton fabrics.

What is double gauze? It’s exactly what the name implies: two layers of cotton gauze fabric, lightly tacked together. Popular in Japan for making light, breathable clothes for humid summers, soft clothes and blankets for newborn babies, and lightweight scarves for winter, double gauze suits all seasons and ages.

Before double gauze, layers of plain homespun cotton were used ...

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August 24, 2018
hand stitching and visible mending from Sotak Handmade

You guys, of course I had to jump on the visible mending band wagon :). How could I possible not? As soon as I first saw the fabulous combination of distressed denim and chunky, prominent hand stitches I was in love.

And, as luck would have it, I had a pair of jeans in my closet that was perfect for giving this technique a try. Now, for a full disclosure, my jeans already had holes in them. But not from wear and tear, they came like that from the store :).

Pretty cool, right? I added a piece of denim to cover ...

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August 10, 2018
Quilting with Sashiko from The Ardent Thread

My mom was a hand quilter, which makes it logical that after watching her enjoy it for so many years,  I’d come to appreciate handwork, too. The slow pace, the gentle and rhythmic stitching, and the fabulous texture of it all.

There are some aspects of hand quilting I do not enjoy so much, especially how painful it can be. I went from hating thimbles to carrying an assortment of them in my shop, mainly because I use the little buggers now and I understand how necessary they are. Needle grippers are convenient to have around, and I have ...

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July 25, 2018
Sashiko Thread – Which type should I use? from The Ardent Thread

If you don’t live in Hawaii, California, Oregon, or Washington state it may be difficult to believe Sashiko has been in the US for decades. For those of us on the Pacific side of things, Sashiko has waxed and waned in popularity since the late 1970’s at least, with a big upswing in the 1980’s and again in the past ten years or so. I started selling Sashiko supplies online in 2005 and have seen demand grow exponentially since.

For years the only brand of Sashiko thread available in the US market was Olympus. If you were ...

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June 22, 2018
Quick Bites – News for June, 2018 from The Ardent Thread

Here is a list of our upcoming events:

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March 8, 2018
Where can you find Kimonomomo in March? from The Ardent Thread

Quick update (because I’m working on four other slow updates from my Japan trip and something needs to get posted, let’s be honest):

Upcoming Sashiko Class:

Upcoming Quilt Shows:

Sashiko Subscription Kit:

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February 24, 2018
My Sashiko Designs - Available Now from madebychrissied

My Sashiko Designs by

Yay, I've done it, I've sewn up my Sashiko designs.
read more » mbCD:

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January 31, 2018
visible mending from Sotak Handmade

Do you mend your clothes? I must admit, I used to see clothes mending as something only poor people had to do because they couldn't afford new clothes. I know, pretty bad attitude for sure, especially since this kind of thinking adds to all the unnecessary waste we produce.

Thankfully though over the last few months I started seeing mending as something not just useful and good for the environment, but also a way to make one's wardrobe more fun and unique. Have you heard of visible mending? I found it super, super inspiring and decided to try ...

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December 20, 2017
End of the Year Updates and News for 2018 from The Ardent Thread

There was a time when I could semi-hibernate through December and rest up over the winter to prepare for spring shows and events. THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED THIS YEAR. We’re pretty much working full throttle this month, and January looks like more of the same, which is a good thing. Here’s what we have going on. Click on the bold headlines below for more information. 

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December 12, 2017
Kogin Institute, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan from The Ardent Thread

I visited the Kogin Institute in Hirosaki on January 31, 2017 after visiting the Tokyo Quilt Festival, Takayama, and Osaka. It was a pleasant flight from Osaka to Hirosaki, with the view of snowy mountains most of the way, and many, many empty seats. My companion Toyo looked around the plane, counted the passengers, and said in a low voice, “We’re the Seven Samurai.” Five men in business suits and the two of us, plus a very cheerful and friendly flight crew, happy to practice their English on me. I shared fresh strawberries from Osaka with the crew, and ...

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December 5, 2017
An Anniversary, an Open House, and a Sashiko Subscription from The Ardent Thread

Wow. Ten years. When I started selling online in 2005 I had my own website and an eBay store. Both are gone now, I closed them after starting my Etsy shop. There have been a lot of changes to Etsy–they went corporate awhile back–but some changes have been helpful and we’ve seen my tiny business grow to something exciting and much bigger.

Our Open House will be on Saturday, December 9 in Alameda, CA. Details are on our Facebook Events page and Eventbrite. No need to print a ticket, just show up. All the inventory we can ...

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November 21, 2017
Sashiko Subscription Box Beta coming soon! from The Ardent Thread

What is the Sashiko Subscription Box (beta), you ask? The beta part refers to the first box being a limited release which will also come with a feedback questionnaire so you can tell me what you think needs to be improved or what works well. The goal is to have a presentable subscription box that will launch in January with a seasonally appropriate project and/or set of nifty items every month. Prototypes are in the works right now.

Over the past year a few magazines approached me to design projects for them, and I couldn’t do it. I ...

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November 7, 2017
Boro and Sashiko from Humble Quilts

These first few are pieces the teacher, Becky from Shibori Dragon brought to class this week.

I love everything about this vintage Boro bag!
Here is her sashiko sampler.

And here is the start of mine. The photo is completely washed out. The fabric is a lovely cotton linen blend.

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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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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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