Amistad Chapter 6: taking big stitches

I’ve started the hand quilting, and in the process I’m rediscovering my quilting calluses.

The design is a step and repeat of two alternating patterns based on Japanese sashiko stitching. The first is a grid of interlocking circles called Shippo, or Seven Treasures. It looks a bit like the quilt pattern for Cathedral Windows. The second is a simple square design called Raimon, or Spiral, which is almost a Log Cabin. As the quilt top and backing are not sashiko fabrics, I’m not attempting to use the thicker special sashiko thread, which would be impossible to force through this closer weave.

Screen shot 2014-08-15 at 5.41.10 PMScreen shot 2014-08-15 at 5.41.26 PMScreen shot 2014-08-15 at 5.41.41 PMThey’re both pretty easy to stitch, and I’ve managed two 12″ squares today. Only 23 more to go….

The photography lighting is a bit moody, but it was the only way to show the quilting up against that extremely busy floral, and as I’m using white thread, it doesn’t show on the cream back either unless I light it from the side.

I’ve just taken a look at the latest post from Aussie Hero Quilts, and they need 4 more quilts urgently for HMAS Toowoomba before she sails. I’ve put  my hand up for one, but it’ll have to be a very simple one that I can finish in under a week, or it won’t reach her in time before she deploys. I’m waiting to hear if they still need it or if someone else has snaffled it up…

Nothing like a deadline to make me get my act in gear.

13 thoughts on “Amistad Chapter 6: taking big stitches

  1. tialys says:

    I like big stitches and I cannot lie. I didn’t realise that sashiko quilting thread was different so, there you go, that’s something new I’ve learned already today. I see you use a hoop for your hand quilting – can you use a thimble? I can’t, never have been able to but I wish I could.

    • katechiconi says:

      Sashiko thread is thicker and flossy, a bit more like multi strand embroidery thread. I don’t always use a hoop – I didn’t for the Tree of Life quilt, but I wanted to make sure the shapes were accurate so the fabric needed to be fairly taut and smooth. I can use a thimble, but I don’t like it much, I generally wait until the needle is wearing a hole in my finger and then stick it on till I can’t stand it any more!

  2. Love the quilting design – simplicity is best with busy fabrics. I can’t sew withOUT a thimble, wearing one so much that I’ve been known to turn up at the supermarket checkout with one on! But I CAN’T use a frame, much as I would like to.

    • katechiconi says:

      I have a substantial callus on the tip of my right middle finger which does service as a thimble until I’ve been quilting for several days and wear a hole in it! After that, I have a lovely flexible ‘jelly’ thimble I wear until it drives me mad! I don’t always quilt in a frame, but for this job, where the blocks are 12″ square, the big frame is perfect.

  3. Kim says:

    I use a jelly thimble. I really like your design and big quilting is a favorite of mine too.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! I was stuck for the longest time trying to think what would work in its own right and as a foil to the exuberance of the fabrics. The lovely thing about big quilting, of course, is how quickly you make progress!

  4. Kirsten says:

    Ooo, I do like a cathedral window – one of my favourites!

  5. Shippo is seven treasures? It is also tail! Aha! Shippō (七宝, seven treasures) vs shippo (尻尾 tail). My favourite long vowel confusion is the subtle difference between one’s own husband (shujin) and a prisoner (shūjin).

    • katechiconi says:

      Exactly right, with the long vowel, but I didn’t have anything on my keyboard to show it. And only you would know the difference anyway! But I do like the husband/prisoner confusion…

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