Thursday, 31 March 2022

Tokyo Quilt Show

It's been such a long time, not being able to visit a quilt show, not being able to meet up with quilting friends...

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival that was held in Tokyo Dome for many years, and that I have given many reports from, was halted by the pandemic in 2021. Then scrapped a year later, never to appear again. Sigh! 

Needless to say the quilting community missed that show, as everyone wants to see quilts and shop at a gathering of traders, (quilt shops are few and far apart in Japan). Also to have an excuse to meet friends in person whom you might only have had contact with through social media in the last two years.

So in a small exhibition venue in Tokyo, Japan Quilt Society organised a show for four days.

 I am happy we have returned to some form of normal, but must admit I was a bit disappointed with the works on display. Many of the famous quilters were exhibiting their work, but we have seen most of these quilts before. 

For example Yoko Sekita (関田陽子) showed her hilarious Spring Midnight quilt. I took this picture of it at Tokyo Dome in 2014.

The reason I used this old photo is that photography of these VIP quilters' quilts was not allowed at Tokyo Quilt Show! Funny, as they were not 'protected' in that way at quilt shows in the past.

Seven of the most famous heavyweight master quilters (sensei) had a booth each to display some quilts. For example, Noriko Nozawa (野沢典子). Here again, were quilts that we have admired before.

New for this event were smaller pieces, like these embroideries.
Photography was permitted at this section!

Maybe because the show was not advertised early, or well enough, there were only few entries in a contest called Treasure Quilt Contest Vol. 1 (I hope there will be Vol. 2 and 3 and .... for future contests).

Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the winning quilts. Luckily you can see them in Pamela's report at Hokkaido Kudasai.

Anyway, here are some of the works:, and yes, it was OK to take pictures of them.

Happy Tree by Kazue Miyade (宮手一恵)

Four-Patch's Parade by Fumiko Higuchi (樋口文子)

青の輝きby Yoko Aoe (青江洋子)

Colorful Stones by Kazuyo Ishii (石井和代)

橋をかける by Emiko Yakushiji (薬師寺恵美子)

Nocturne by Masako Masukura (桝蔵昌子)

薔薇のガーデンに蝶が舞う by Hiromi Suzuki (鈴木裕美)
Notice all the butterflies on this Hawaiian quilt.

It was lovely to meet my friends, and I hope to do so again at World Quilt Festival 2022 in Pacifico Yokohama. This show will be held 3rd - 5th November, this year. Keep an eye out for Japan Quilt Society

I did not leave the show empty-handed. Here is what I bought:

These are gifts:
The newest gadget from Clover, basting pins that are easy on your fingers.
A lovely loop of bead weaving, two flowers when seen this way, and two cherries if you turn the loop over. This is so neatly done, in hand, by my friend Pamela. Thank you!

Finally, I would like to mention that I want to give credit to the makers of the quilts above. However, Japanese names are difficult to read, and spell. I hope I have been able to give the right information. If not, I do apologise for any mistake.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

WIPW - More Coasters

On the menu for Work In Progress Wednesday report of the week are the usual projects, as well as some gifts.

Sunday Stitch School Stitch Sampler

Here I have completed the swirls of #16 Punchetto Valsesiano that I did not have time to finish last week. There is also a circle of #203 Pariser Stitch, and inside you will find #5 Emire Stitch.

Velveteen Cushion

I used metallic copper thread to Stem stitch some ornaments.

Ukranian Bookmark

The bookmark in Ukranian Cross Stitch I had begun last week, was completed and is now waiting for someone's birthday.

The back is covered with felt that I glued on. I left enough raw edge to made a simple fringe of the Aida fabric. To make sure it does not fray any further I brushed on a thin line of diluted bond to harden the 'roots' of the fringe.
It's a very beautiful design, but took 21 hours to complete. Almost every minute my thoughts were of the country where this design is from.

For another birthday I made five coasters from squares of William Morris' lawn and Liberty's famous paisley lawn (used for the back, so not seen here).
All machine stitched, to save time.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 205: Glove Stitch

I should have added this stitch LONG ago, but either I forgot, or I thought it too similar to #38 Bosnian Stitch.

If you look at a pair of leather gloves you are likely to see how the Glove Stitch has been used to join two pieces of leather together, creating a rim.

However you can just as well use Glove Stitch for embroidery. It is easy. Here is how:


Isn't that neat? Instant impact with very little effort.

Now compare #205 Glove Stitch with #38 Bosnian Stitch, which from the front looks exactly the same, but is worked in a different way:

To start with you work in the opposite direction.

Then you make the Straight stitches, upright

and return by crossing over to the second Straight Stitch.

Here you can see that the two stitches look the same. Glove Stitch in blue, and Bosnian Stitch in red.

It's on the back of the embroidery that you see the difference.

Play around with these samplers.


Friday, 25 March 2022

Friday Homework for Lesson 204: Mountmellick Thorn Stitch

Mountmellick Thorn Stitch certainly looks complex, and it is fiddly for sure, as all stitches where a French Knot is incorporated are. Having said that, once you get the hang of the stitch, then it is easier than you would think. Do give it a try!

Aida Sampler

Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart

Mottled Wool Scribble Cloth

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

WIPW - Appliqué, Italy and Ukraine

Here we are again, time for Work In Progress Wednesday. It includes a fresh bit of appliqué, an Italian stitch and a new project.

Velveteen Cushion

I have needle turned four pieces of appliqué in a grey cotton fabric with metallic swirly print on. 

Then I stitched the edges with #149 German Braided Knot Stitch and have made small French Knots in red at the centre of each swirl. That took some time, but I am pleased with the impact.

Sunday Stitch School Stitch Sampler

For the last set of swirls I used an Italian favourite, #16 Puncetto Valsesiano. As you can see I have not had time to complete the work yet.


I need to make a birthday present.

At Hokkaido Kudasai I found this beautiful bookmark in Cross Stitch with a Ukrainian design. Thank you Pamela for the inspiration and instructions.

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 204: Mountmellick Thorn Stitch

Today let's try a stitch apparently used in Mountmellick embroidery, the Mountmellick Thorn Stitch.

It is thanks to blogging that I found this stitch. First at VirtuoSew Adventures where Rachel used it  - beautifully. 

Basically it is a marriage between two well-known stitches, Feather Stitch and French Knot.

For more examples I dug a bit deeper until I found a couple of videos and some photos.

Some people work the feather part of the stitch side by side, others place one stitch a step further away from the previous. Compare the following:

Ariane Zurcher's video.

with that of Mountmellick Museum (a bit blurry).

Or look at the clear photographs and neat stitch lines at Feeling Stitchy.

I don't know which of these is the authentic Mountmellick Thorn Stitch. My favourite is the one that Rachel and Ariane used.
Moutmellick Museum and Feeling Stitchy show a stitch that in a way resembles the Knotted Feather Stitch as found in Sharon Boggon's collection of TAST stitches. The workings is of course totally different, and Knotted Feather Stitch has a French Knot on every Feather Stitch compared to Mountmellick Thorn Stitch with its single knot.

As you can see left-handed Ariane stitches sideways, while a right-handed person like me might prefer to work the stitches away from the body.

A thing you need to remember is to use a hoop and stretch the fabric tight for the best result.

Here are my photo instructions:

Insert the needle INSIDE the stitch.

Take a bite of the fabric and come out OUTSIDE the stitch.

Place the thread behind the needle and pull the knot tight.

Repeat for the next stitch.

This is how they look when you stitch away from your body.

Turn the work around and you get the 'Feather Stitch' look.

I agree it is a fiddly stitch, but well worth a try. Think of all the beautiful flowers that will open up and bloom!


Sow some seeds on these samplers.