It all started with Collette Patterns selling sashiko embroidery kits for Christmas one year. What was this sashiko stuff that looked so pretty? It turns out it is a Japanese quilting method, where layers of cloth would be held in place by really amazing geometric and beautiful embroidery. Some examples here and here. When I heard “layers of cloth” I thought of the t-shirts I’ve been saving since high school to make into a quilt. I bought a t-quilt pattern years ago, but never started it because the first step was fusing interfacing to all the t-shirts to keep them from stretching. I hate fusing interfacing, even to a collar, and there was no way I was going to do that to 40+ t-shirts. Plus, it would make them all stiff. But what if I could use sashiko embroidery to affix the stretchy shirts to a woven backing fabric?
This idea turned around in my head for a few years. The tidying this spring was what finally got this project in motion. I’ve got an entire drawer full of t-shirt fronts ready to turn into a quilt. I’d better start making a move toward turning them into a quilt sooner rather than later. So I finished all my other at-home-movie-watching projects which meant it was time to buy supplies.
However, I decided to learn sashiko techniques by making two pillows first. Julie and I traveled to Fabric Depot and I came back with this orange fabric, a blue fabric, needles, two kinds of thimbles, sashiko thread and a new color of Clover chaco marking pen.
If the pillows go well, I can begin sashiko on the t-shirts. If it doesn’t, I can use the technique I just discovered, which involves rotating a backing t-shirt to cross grain to provide more structure. This would would be much easier, but I’m hoping the Sashiko thing works out.