Monday, March 9, 2015

Tokyo Memories Sashiko Sampler

I've been slowly working on my sashiko sampler over the past year... and have finally finished... or so I think for now (I may want to add more hand quilting)... 

The layout design, pieced blocks and most of the sashiko patterns are from Susan Briscoe's excellent book Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match.  

A few of the sashiko patterns are from my sensei Kazuko Yoshiura - from when I took sashiko classes at Blue and White in my Tokyo neighborhood.  That is where I totally fell in love with sashiko! 

tsu no kikko - tortoise shell variation

fundo - balance weights

Nowake - fall grasses, or the storm that arrives in the fall 

I used dark and light blue indigo yardage, and added some bits of vintage katazome purchased at the Boro Ichi and Kawagoe flea markets:

... as well as pieces of salmon pink, 

including these woven tsumugi stripes purchased in Nippori (the fabric district):

I used large sashiko stitches to quilt the border, leaving the knots on the surface (both on the front and on the backing).  

I really like the look of exposed knots in sashiko designs:

Mitsu Ume (three plum blossoms) - from Susan Briscoe's book

In the spirit of wabi-sabi, I will welcome the fading and wear that comes with time and use.  The woven indigo is already rich and nuanced - I love it...

In the meantime Daisy doesn't care about my Tokyo Memories... I'm sure she just wishes these backyard snow mountains would last forever... 

... whereas we are dreaming of cherry blossoms! 


p.s..... I know I will want to remember this seventeen year old's feet... as he reluctantly helps me.... he will be out of the house all too soon!


  1. A beautiful quilt to remind you of your time in Japan.

  2. You are the BEST to represent Japan! What beautiful sashiko stitches! So even! Your teacher will be so proud of your wonderful quilt.

  3. WOW what a lovely memory of your years in Japan, I will have to try and find that lovely wee shop next time I visit Japan. It looks like a treasure trove. Thanks so much for sharing and motivating me to pull out my Japanese WIP's Cheers Glenda PS I have not seen the knots left on the top before with sashiko one learns some thing every day. Thanks for that interesting lesson.

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  5. That's wonderful - full of memories and full of gorgeosity!

  6. I'll bet Any Katoh would hang that in her shop window if she could see it. I like the balance of the red tints you have added too.

  7. This is something beautiful to treasure, and what a lovely reminder.

  8. I've never been a fan of Sashiko. Thanks for changing my mind! This is beautiful! Love you Time Warp stars on Barbara's Blog as well.

  9. What a lovley way to treasure your time in Japan!

  10. Hi! I found Daisy! She is a very beautiful dog. My aunt had German shepherds and I remember how smart and loyal they were, her dear companions.
    Your Tokyo Memories is so beautiful, what lovely dense indigo and great stitching/ quilting. I was also interested in your idea to use your sashiko quilting on your Flags quilt. It would become ''primitive'' and very fitting, i think.

    lizzy at gone to the beach

  11. I think that your blog could be my therapy..encouraging me on with its beauty!!


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