Monday, February 1, 2010

Japanese kaleidoscope quilting... the slow burn.

The class was wonderful.

This is what I completed on the day...

One square of Japanese kaleidoscope patchwork quilt. It is a finished unit in itself, but may be incorporated into a quilt/runner/hanging of any size you choose. When pieced together, the units form wonderful sashiko circles:

My sashiko stitches, supposed to resemble floating grains of rice, are quite askance - not nearly so beautifully-even as Lara's effort early last year - but the eveness in spacing and line will come with practise.

This square is a product of a number of processes, all achieved by hand: the creation of a hemmed circle of fabric; the sashiko stitching which both bastes and decorates the circumference; the enfolding of a square of fabric and batting evenly within the circle.

Our talented teacher, textile artist and quilter Jan Preston, led us quite slowly and gently through each process. I suspect she was trying to instill in us a sense of the mindfulness and calm that such a method requires (and, hopefully, nurtures).

And this is precisely why I chose to take this particular quilting class.

So I'm putting it out there. I am going to embrace this quilting method and make a wall hanging. I can already think of lots of possibilities for using this method in different ways and for different projects, but first I'm going to be disciplined, and go slow, and learn to breath and concentrate and be patient.

 Don't expect to see a finished product until late in the year. (I'm writing that for ME more than you!) Other instant-gratification projects will come and go... but kaleidoscope-quilt is here for the long term.


  1. Its so beautiful, what a great way to teach mindfulness and patience. i started embroiderey/ cross sticth for the same reason. teaching my self to slow down. Sashiko is wonderful- I love your quilt peice and will patiently wait to see your end product.

  2. gorgeous Gina!
    good to hear you are slowing down & enjoying it.
    take your time, we'll be here waiting to see your gorgeous finished creation.
    have a great week

  3. Those are going to look great in a wall hanging - enjoy it, and thanks for the reminder about slowing down. Nic

  4. This is really lovely Gina - I love the description of the process too - the slow and mindful way of creating.
    Sounds like you are going to enjoy creating this as much as the finished product.

  5. I'm feeling calm just reading about it. It sounds like it was a brilliant class, and I'm looking forward to seeing (slow) progress on the wall hanging over the next few months. x

  6. Look at you go!

    Now you can return the lesson and teach me how to sashiko stitch ;)

    Wonderful work Gina x

  7. Loving that fabric. . . and the fancy quilting of course!

  8. Same as Cathedral Windows! Love that pattern. Love the addition of the Sashiko stitching. In Cathedral Windows, you don't see the stitching to this degree usually. Nice job!

  9. not usually into quilts but those simple designs look amazing when they are joined up. enjoy!

  10. wow! good work! I like the idea of a long term project. I might have to find me one of those... xx

  11. That block is just beautiful. I really like the look of all of them together.

  12. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the class Gina - and impressed that you remembered I had done it! Your square looks beautiful. I haven't progressed any further with mine since the class, but it WILL happen (if I can put my hook down).

  13. Don't be so hard on yourself Gina, this looks fabulous! Glad you enjoyed yourself, it's great to do something that it just for YOU, not everyone else.

  14. You are so hard on yourself babe. I think your square looks fantastic, Gina, and I can't wait to see your wall hanging finished. This is really interesting and exciting - I love reading about a new technique that comes together into something so much more complex in its design. Kx

  15. What a huge and wonderful undertaking. I hope you give us progress reports through the year.
    (and your stitches look great to me).

  16. I just love that stitching. Looks addictive :-)

  17. Beautiful stitching, love the detail, gorgeous all round, love Posie

  18. Splendid. Such a beautiful craft to be mastering - and your first effort looks fantastic to my eye. Lovely. Take your time and savour the craft.

  19. It is outstanding, fabulous. I want it.

  20. Beautiful! It sounds very meditative and relaxing. Perfect antidote to craft ADD!

  21. Won't hear a word about not having mastered the eveness yet ... it looks marvellous. I think the stitching is lovely. What a beautiful piece of work.

    (Slow and steady is good too - much underrated)

  22. It's looking gorgeous! I have always loved this style, but never had the patience to try it. And your sachiko stitching is stunning!

  23. Absolutely Gorgeous! I think it is just stunning and can't wait to see the rest of the blocks! Your post is thick with enthusiasm - the kind that makes us want to drop everything and run to find a needle and thred.

  24. I love the blocks.
    But, looking at the different
    web sites I dont show a size
    for the circle and
    the size of the block.

    I love the colors you have used.
    A friend of mine received a
    purse made out of these blocks.
    Thats why I am so amazed on
    how these are made.
    Debbie E


“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~Albert Einstein