May 5, 2010

Featherweight Challenge and a Little Extra

I am a few days late for the FWC 4th. installment. I have been quite busy since returning from our holiday in New Zealand and Japan. I have still not settled back to my routine yet. I wish I was back in Japan for a bit longer!
I completed the top before we left so the only thing to do was to add the border and while I was in Japan I found the perfect border fabric for it. I didn't go to Arimatsu, a town where Shibori originated. The traditional technique used to tie-dye fabric started 400 years ago, and is still carried on today. Instead I found the same fabric in Nippori Street, Tokyo.
I found this tie-dye fabric in Nippori Street (fabric street) in Tokyo. DH went to the electronics street and I went to fabric street. That sounds fair, right? There was a little hick-up when I got off the train where the instructions said to take the West exit, but the only two exits were North and South, ha? I decided to follow some Japanese ladies out thinking that they might be going to the fabric street too. Yes and I was right!  
After a long walk and stopping at every fabric shop along the way, I found Tomato the famous fabric store which is 8 floors high. I took the elevator to the 8th floor and came down by stairs. Phew that was a smart move walking down because I ended up with a few carry bags by the time I got to the bottom floor! 
 What do you think about the border fabric I found? It is a tie-dye fabric made in the traditional way. I spotted this piece of fabric in a vintage Kimono shop. The fabric was rolled and stored in a basket and placed underneath the hanging Kimonos. I think it jumped up at me when we saw each other...! 
A closer look at the pattern. Can you see the leaping deer? I haven't added it on the quilt yet. I'm happy with how it looks with a small strip of red for the inner border.
Here is Abela, my Featherweight Sewing machine working hard till the last stitch to get this quilt done. 
While I was piecing this quilt I was using the method Leaders & Enders from Bonnie Hunter's new book and made enough bias squares for this mini quilt. All the dark pieces are the end bits from this quilt and the light bits are from vintage kimonos. Some are silk and other are linen and cotton mixed. 
I'm very pleased to end up with a mini quilt from this challenge. I have started quilting it with Sashiko stitching on the light triangles. I'm thinking of making a second rail fence quilt using my scraps with steps setting similar to what Ria and Terry have done with their quilts.

Both Ria and Terry are in this challenge with me so don't forget to check out their blogs for the update.


Teresa Rawson said...

I love your new project with the strip blocks...very fresh!

trish said...

Oh what a beautiful quilt!!
Sincerely ~ Tricia

Little Lady Patchwork said...

A fabric store that is 8 stories high???? That must have been heavenly!

I love the fabric that you chose for the borders. It really brings out the quilt!

Thanks for sharing.

Needled Mom said...

Wow....I would like to visit Tomato! Sounds like fun.

Your projects are delightful and yes, that fabric is beautiful. The sashiko is looking so good on that quilt. Love it.

antique quilter said...

I really love your fabric choices for this quilt
oh the border is just perfect.
MY heart jumped when I saw the little quilt and the quilting your doing on it
just so special!

Anonymous said...

Nat, eight stories? No wonder you came home with your bags full of fabric. What an experience that must have been. I am happy for you. Just love the fabric for the borders. A hand-dyed fabric just has that something special about it. What are your plans for the small quilt? It is working up beautifully. I admire your piecing, I hate to piece, unless it is my appliqué blocks together. I am really horrible at it. So, piecing something well in my book is a talent.


Anonymous said...

You blow me away with your beautiful work... wish I were your neighbor so I could peek over your shoulder and learn some of your wonderful hand sewing.

ria vogelzang said...

You really bought some beautiful fabric, Nat! (No wonder you had bags full of fabric after 8 stories in such a big size-shop......... ;))....).
Your border-fabric matches so lovely! And those lovely deer-prints! So gorgious!
Your little quilt is such a cuty!
Love those little triangles.
Have a lovely Mothersday! XX

Betty said...

It is so beautiful. The border just caught my eye and it is the perfect touch.


Suedio said...

I really like your choice of border fabric. This is going to be such a nice quilt when its done!

Regards, Sue

Sue-Anne said...

What wonderful fabric Nat! I love the leaping deer in it and it is perfect for your border.

Your little half square triangle quilt is a treasure too. All those wonderful Kimono scraps - a beautiful reminder of your holiday.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that quilt top is BEAUTIFUL. The border fabric is perfect for it.

And the challenge quilt is so cute.

Janet said...

You did pick a perfect fabric for the border, it's lovely and so is the mini quilt. The sashiko stitching looks beautiful.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Beautiful fabric! And the quilts are gorgeous. That fabric store sounds heavenly :)

Lis Harwood said...

I love that fabric with the leaping deer.
I'm back from a fantastic time with Japan with a "next time" list as long as my arm, it was wonderful. We must compare more notes. I'll get it all written up on my sashiko blog as soon as I'm home properly (I'll staying with my parents for a few days). Thanks for all your advice, hugs, Lis x

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Love it Nat...perfect!!! And of course it's to fabric...DH to electronics!!!

Terry said...

All great border and small quilt.
Like the quilting.
Glad you followed the women to the street of fabric. IT's such a civilised way to organise things. All the fabric stores in one street. Our Asian sisters have it easy for shopping.
Happy Stitching

Astrid said...

Lovely matching fabric for the rail fence quilt! WOW - 8 storey fabric shop?! And you returned with a few bags only? :))

kaiteM said...

this was such a delightful blog post, i don't know how i missed it earlier in the week...cheers...k.

Jocelyn said...

It's really beautiful Nat. Great job!

Lori said...

Your mini quilt is so lovely!!
And the fabric you chose for the border will be lovely. How fun to fabric shop in Japan!

Sandra said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Nice to meet you. Lovelt quilt. And at first I thought it was a flower fabric, but when I looked a little bit longer I saw a deer! It's magic! I'm also looking forward to Jude's workshop.

Karen said...

Beautiful! What a great shopping trip. I have a little sashiko project to try one day.

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