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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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Making Fauna and a giveaway.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

I have another project in the latest issue of Making Magazine, by Madder. The theme for this issue is Fauna, which is pretty fun.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

My project explores a fairly simple idea–embroidered fish. But there’s all kinds of fun detailing and fabric possibilities to make it an enticing project to really get into.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

I mixed a bunch of blue fabrics from many of my collections–Euclid, Friedlander, Botanics and Doe, plus some metallic Essex to add a little bit of sparkle before embroidering some hand-drawn fish on top. I hand quilted it to add even more texture and color.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

Like the first issue, the second issue of Making is a beautiful book with loads of great projects and inspiration. Carrie from Madder was generous and sent me an extra copy to giveaway. To enter, leave a comment below about what you’re thankful for this week, and I’ll select a winner at random by November 27 December 4.

Making Fauna


Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

I finished this guy. Finally. And it was fun. Here’s a look at my Aerial Grove in Liberty and chambray that I started a little while ago (107 weeks according to Instagram) … with status updates here, here, here, here and most recently here. Wow. Lots of updates. But I guess that’s what happens when you can take your time with something. That last shot was taken when I finally decided to finish it up, and for good reason, because I was going to give it away.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

This pattern is a project from my book and one that I’ve now made several times. This version is full of Liberty prints and lots of chambrays and denims.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

One bonus of not finishing this sooner is that I was able to incorporate some euclid.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

This quilt is such a play on texture, both in the fabrics and the quilting. Liberty lawn is so fine and soft, which makes it seem almost delicate. And the chambrays and denims have a heavier look and feel, but they’re also soft and very textured. I wanted the quilting to enhance that softness and create even more texture. Plus, since I used big stitch, there’s an added layer of color in the quilting too.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

I even threw in a leftover Hesperides block. The colors, fabrics and shapes worked, and it wasn’t otherwise being used.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

This version is the first that I’ve made with a darker background. (Seen next to my Kona version.)

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

On the back, I went with this lighter blue Widescreen. I like that it adds color, and you’re also able to see the quilting.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern : Aerial Grove from Savor Each Stitch

Fabrics : Liberty for the appliqués, denims and chambrays (from Robert Kaufman), euclid, swiss dot chambray, leftover nani iro for the backgrounds, Widescreen for backing.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

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