Thursday, 22 November 2012

All the Quilts I Ever Made

Ok, first things first, I should qualify the progress I've been making by confessing that very little of it would have happened without Grandma and Granddad doing stirling work to entertain Amelie. She will nap happily during the day... on a lap, she will sit contentedly in her long as there's a friendly face up close to sing, chat and smile back. Thank you Mom and Dad!

My Boro inspired quilt is coming along. I do enjoy a bit of research and so have been reading around the subject. I came across these videos which if you're also interested in the Boro tradition you might like. I would love to see a copy of the book that they flick through...

and here's the second part:

Here I am working on my version. Accompanied as you can see by my new studio assistant.

As I type Linda be may well still be weeping. I've robbed her of this stash of authentic Japanese shibori and sashiko fabrics, threads, needles and thimbles. She was given them by a dear friend who visited Japan. They were so treasured that they sat unused in her studio waiting for something special. Well you know the theory of 'use it or lose it'. They're mine now. 
I should explain the title of this post. It's also the title of the quilt. I like to have the title nailed early on. It sets the scene. Usually if I don't have the title before I start or very early on into a piece then it turns out to be a dud. Linda and I were talking as I laid the quilt out on the table. I was chopping up bits of fabric and laying them down and we were commenting on this bit being a leftover from a quilt in 2003, a sample fabric from 1998 (gosh that makes me feel old), bits of printing that went with a quilt from whenever, you get the picture. I said this quilt would be like all the quilts I'd ever made, et voila!

The nicest Boro quilts and garments are the ones with lots of mends. I'm interpreting the originals by including sections with lots of small patches or mends like this section. 
This photo shows the progress as of yesterday afternoon. That side is finished now and is tacked. Today I'll flip it over and will repeat the process on the other side. Then I'll start the stitching which I can't wait for. Working in this way at this scale is something new for me. When I've done this kind of free applique, I suppose you'd call it, before, then it's always been for much smaller pieces. I feel excited about this construction process and that it could work on a grand scale. I may have to draft in elves to help with the stitching if I go much bigger, but I like a challenge.


  1. It's looking totally amazing! I love the snippets of the union flag amongst the blues, and the red text,-beautifully balanced.

  2. ps the videos were very interesting too - I might just have enough fabrics for a Boro cushion or one of those pot holders. What a splendid project!

  3. Hi Annabel, Take a look at They have Boro textiles to buy, fragments of fabric to make your own and these layered and stitched cleaning cloths that are like the pot holders. Not that I'm tempting you to part with cash, but the photos are worth looking at!

  4. Hi Laura, It's great to see you back to work! especially with your lovely assistant.
    Thanks for sharing all this Boro inspiration! - as I was watching the videos I was thinking of the backs of some of the Indian pieces I have picked up over the years. Just as my mind was wandering, there was mention made of the link to African American quilting styles and Boro- it really is a small world.I am heading out to the workroom later today to see what I have for a Boro- I have a bag of old kimono bits somewhere- mine might be a colorful Boro!?
    Anyone up for a little Six and Friends Boro challenge?

  5. Well I went to the website and it was very interesting; some quite expensive stuff, but also some fabbo jackets in my price range!! Six and Friends challenge??? Hmmmm, well I'd certainly give it a go! A bit of bonding over the Boro sounds good to me :))

  6. Hi Catherine, long time no catch up! What are you working on at the moment? You should post some pictures!