Boro Quilt- #myquiltcouldlivehere
Photo by Stephanie Congdon Barnes of 3191 Miles Apart
While writing my book, I knew I wanted to include a project that was not traditional- meaning, in the sense that a traditional quilt has a top, quilt batting in the middle, and a backing. I wanted something lighter weight, a coverlet or lightweight throw. That’s really where the idea began for the Boro quilt. There is only a layer of muslin in between the top and the back, no batting. Making it the perfect lightweight cover for summer, and the perfect project to take with you to stitch on. My plan was to use a collection of hand dyed indigo pieces and Japanese yukata cotton for the base layer of the quilt top. They were pieced together like a puzzle (my method is explained in the book). While creating the base, I realized that there needed to be a contrast color somewhere on the quilt top. Standing back from the quilt top, I didn’t see each individual piece of the blue fabrics. I wanted them each to stand out a bit more than they did. Adding in an opposing color can give all the colors a chance to shine.
And, I was sure it would make a more interesting photograph.
Luckily, there was a cloth rice sack in my stash with just the right amount of pink. I was able to cut and piece it to show off the pink and it gave me the contrast I wanted.
As this quilt top came together, I got very excited about the idea of adding lots of hand stitching to the surface. Traditional Japanese sashiko stitching uses cotton thread and a long hand sewing needle to create visible running stitches on the cloth, used to reinforce worn or thin areas. Hand stitching seemed a perfect accent to this project.
After all, the quilt (quilt-let?) is certainly light enough to stitch on anywhere, whenever there’s a minute. Or add to it over time, maybe practice sashiko patterns on. I explain in the book how to make decisions about what kind and color of stitches to go where on the quilt.
Being photographed in my friend Lisa Congdon‘s lovely home in Portland, OR (first photo above) was a perfect home for it. But of course I had to do a collage image too. What? They’re fun!
(See the whole assortment of quilt collages here- #myquiltcouldlivehere)