Monday, March 31, 2008

Ah sew! Quilters Beach Party, Day II

Saturday dawned windy and cool and we were glad our outside fabric blueprinting had been the day before! The second day of Quilters Beach Party was completely devoted to needlework techniques from the East.
In the morning we learned how to do Easy Origami Patchwork, a folded sew-it-and-quilt-as-you-go pattern. It's very portable handwork and the simple sewing (Big Stitch and basting) made this a quick lesson. Beach partiers kept up their strength with hot lasagna and garlic bread for lunch and stayed warm in the afternoon as they stitched overlooking a waterside view of Bogue Sound through the huge windows of the second-floor classroom.
By afternoon we dove into sashiko, the ancient Japanese stitching style that is an outgrowth of darning. The students caught on right away and were happy to see the larger needle and even learned to use the dish-shaped thimble! Pam Jennings (in red) took to sashiko in a serious way, though she'd previously been dubious that Japanese needle techniques would interest her. Robin Finch (in white) also got into the rhythm of "gather stitches, smooth work, gather stitches, smooth work" that characterizes sashiko work. We started with the classic pattern ishiditami (paving stones) .
In the afternoon, everyone got a massage. Each person returned to the table dewy-eyed and slightly limp from her experience with the "tender mercies" of the professional masseuses but refreshed and ready to sew. A massage is definitely a must-do at this handwork celebration! Pepper's pin cushion in asanoha (hemp leaf) design.

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