Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Baby Lock Sashiko Sewing Machine

Sashiko is in the hooouse!

This giant box from Baby Lock was delivered to my doorstep the day before Christmas Eve. I had my birthday in December (I turned 50! Yep, it's kind of a big one), it was like receiving a birthday present and a Christmast present both at the same time! The name of the machine is "Sashiko", look closely, not Sachiko; which is my name(means a happy child or blessed one). Sashiko is a traditional Japanese embroidery or stitching used for the decorative and/or functional reinforcement of cloth and clothing. The items that were created using Sashiko stitching are very beautiful and I feel like many traditional Sashiko designs resonate with modern design lovers too. I found a great website if you know more about it.

A long time ago, I was at a quilt store and saw a Sashiko machine for the first time. To be honest, I really thought that Baby Lock named one of their machines "Sachiko", just like they had named some of their machines "Anna", "Amelia", "Rachel" and such. But I thought to myself "why a Japanese name???" I looked closely and realized it was "Sashiko" instead of Sachiko. I learned what the machine can do and ever since then, it has been one of my dream machines!
Now you might ask; "So, what could this machine do?". Let me tell you ... you can do hand stitching with this machine!!

I was astonished when I first found out about this!

I started out as a hand quilter in my teens and I did piecing/quilting all by hands. I am always drawn to traditional hand quilted quilts. I love the spaces in between the stitches and I feel like hand stitching gives a more softer, cozier and whimsical touch to the quilt. I still enjoy hand quilting, but I am starting to get concerned about my hands now that I am getting older. I will continue to hand-quilt here and there, but it will be amazing if I can use a machine and have it look like it was hand quilted! Wouldn't you agree?

I haven't started learning how to use the Sashiko machine yet, but Baby Lock has helpful online resources and my ever talented and skilled friend Evy of A Bit of Stitch has created a book all about Sashiko machine. I know they will help me tremendously in my learning process.

I can't wait to share my new creations using the Sashiko machine in the near future!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Scrappy Strip/String Quilt

I remembered that I didn't get around to posting this quilt I finished in November. I used the same method that I used to make strip pillows in October. I used 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" tissue papers for the pillow, but I used 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" papers for this quilt, that's it! It is done by exact same technique, just bigger. If you are in interested in the tutorial you can click the link.
After I finished piecing, I wondered how I wanted to quilt it. The options are:

A. Ask someone with a longarm to quilt it for me.
B. Quilt it myself with my machine. I am not that good at it, but it will be good practice.
C. Hand quilt it.

I tossed and turned... well, maybe not that much, but I finally decided to hand quilt it with thick thread and big stitches. I was second guessing myself while I was working on it, but I actually love how it turned out!
I like using pieced fabric for the back of the quilt. It is more work, but I love the small surprize when you turn the quilt over. It adds more interest and character. The hand quilting is more visible on the back side and I love it!
If you have lots of scraps, this quilt is perfect for them. It is easy, quick and fun! Do you want to add it to your "to make" list for this year?
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