Quilting with Sashiko Thread and trying out other new things.

At QuiltCon, I picked up a few new things to try. Whether it was the options as they were presented or my mood, there was clearly a theme to what I bought. I grabbed up many different Sashiko threads to use in my hand quilting.

sashiko thread

To back up a smidge, Riane Elise planted the quilting-with-Sashiko-thread seed after recently reading her book. Her quilting is stunning, and I love how much the contrasting stitches add to a project. To start, I grabbed up some of her recommendations; this sashiko thread, Tulip needles and Bohin marking tools. (I am a sucker for trying new marking tools. It is always a challenge to find a good one!)

After doing some quilting, I’m happy to share a report on the experience.

Threads: Yes! Sashiko threads are glorious to quilt with. They come in an endless array of enticing shades that are a flat color instead of something more glossy like perle cotton. My spool of lemon yellow was first to go, and I immediately ordered more. (That is color #12 if you’re wondering.)

Needles: I have to admit, the Tulip Sashiko needles were a bust for me. I like the length and how they glide through the layers so easily, but the heads break off consistently for me. I’ve done a fair share of big stitch quilting with other needles, and I’ve never had this problem. I’ve since ordered more brands to try, and I’m eager to see how they do!

Thimbles: The Clover Protect And Grip thimble has been my hand-quilting favorite for years. The new thing I tried this time are their Flexible Thimbles that help grip the needle as you move it between the layers. Whereas the Protect And Grip is worn on your middle finger that is pushing the needle along, these grippers can be worn on your index finger and thumb to pull the needle through the fabric. I’ve actually had these sitting around for years, but I hadn’t tried them yet. They are GREAT, and I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a go.

Figuring out the most comfortable size on the Flexible Thimbles wasn’t super obvious to me. Luckily I have all of their sizes (S, M, L), and I swapped in and out of different sizes as I went. After a few hours of stitching, I seem to have it sorted out.

Marking Tool: Bohin Extra-Fine Pencil in chalk and grey leads are surprisingly discrete. I’ll continue experimenting with these. (Always test before using on your own project. No marking tool is perfect.)

Not new, but in use and much enjoyed: Sew Fine Thread Gloss, Kai scissors, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (pre-washed, very dreamy), Quilters Dream Blend batting and Collection CF backing.

Here are some places to find Sashiko threads, needles and supplies.

Riane Elise (her book describes how to work from a skein of thread too!)

Superbuzzy

Snuggly Monkey

Bunny’s Designs

Red Thread Studio

Brooklyn Haberdashery

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Hunt QAL #10 Check In.

Hunt QAL #9 Check In.

My blocks are sewn together! Yay!

This is an exciting step seeing it all come together. Since I’ve already decided that I want to put this quilt on my bed, I’m planning to add some borders around the edges to make it the right size. I’m thinking I’ll use lighter fabrics, I may or may not scrap-ify them…or I may do something totally different. We’ll see once I actually audition some options.

I need to figure out my backing, no clue what I’m feeling like for that, but I did order some batting yesterday. Generally, I’m not wow’d by batting options lately, and so I’ve been fairly inconsistent in what I’m using. For this quilt I’ll use Quilter’s Dream Poly in their lowest loft. I’m kind of liking their poly lately, and I think the thinner option is what I’m wanting for this one. With some weightier fabrics in the mix, I feel like the thinner batting could offer a nice balance. Plus, I know it will be a delight to hand quilt.

Some tips on sewing the blocks together!

You can definitely sew them together by machine, although I’ve ended up sewing this one and all of my other Hunts together by hand. I like a slow finish on a longer-term project, and since it isn’t a ton of seams, I don’t find it to be a huge deal. Plus, it can make lining everything up a little easier, especially the seams that share the neighboring appliqués. To do this, you’ll need to draw the 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of the blocks. Then you just follow the line to sew together!

By next check in, I’d like to have my top finished and the quilt basted. Fingers crossed!

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Alder Shirts in Jetty

In an effort to keep things upbeat and to continue sharing projects and inspiration, here’s a look at some recent favorites. An important garment go-to is the Grainline Alder. I love the Alder, because it is easy to wear and it works beautifully in quilting cotton. (Lawn is also a fantastic choice.) Usually garments get made last before a fabric release or quilting event, and so I tend to stick to something that I know will work. Here are two Alder shirts in Jetty.

I have to admit that this print is one I’ve used a LOT of from the collection. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I chose it to become a shirt. As a top, I like that it makes a crisp, white shirt, but with a bright and fun twist. The pale lemon color and the delicate-ness of the artwork makes me happy.

The second Alder top is made using the same design from Jetty but in a different colorway. Blue is a major comfort color for me. It goes with anything.

I guess I’m fairly predictable in what I make and wear. These tops are go-tos for me year round. Mix in a sweater when it’s cool or a pair of shorts when it’s warm. Easy does it.

Also, here’s a tip. When you’re crunched for time, but still want to wear the shirt, leave the armhole finishing for last and throw on a cardigan. I totally pulled this classy move at Quilt Market last October. Haha!

Pattern: Alder Shirtdress by Grainline (I chop off the length and made them tops.)

Fabric: Jetty

Want to see some other Alders? Obviously I can’t stop making this pattern. If you can believe it, there are still a few others that I don’t seem to have photos of.

In carkai (above and below)

Friedlander Lawn Alder Shirtdress . Carolyn Friedlander

In Friedlander Lawn

In a cute Japanese cat fabric

In a funky swatch fabric from Spoonflower

In lawn fabric by Liesl Gibson

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