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Thread: Japanese Quilt Blocks

  1. #1
    ali
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    I've started making blocks from Susan Briscoe's excellent book (in terms of scope and clarity), Japanese Quilt Blocks. Are there other Japanese quilters--traditional or contemporary--here?

    First four blocks in book
    Name:  Attachment-183052.jpe
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  2. #2
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    Beautiful. I love that fabric.

  3. #3
    ali
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    Thanks, Betty. I'm in China, and I don't have access to Japanese fabric, so I used some fat quarters I had on hand.

  4. #4
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    I just took a screen shot of your blocks. I save things that interest me in a word doc. While I'm not too fond of the lower right one, the upper left intrigues me. Thank you for sharing!

  5. #5
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    I think it's going to look neat Ali. You actually may find some quilters from Japan on here. Good luck to you! Looks good so far.

  6. #6
    ali
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    Thanks for your comment! I agree that the lower right doesn't do much on its own--in fact, it looks a bit like a swastika, which is an ancient and sacred symbol seen on temples in India, but of course reminds us of the Holocaust since the symbol was corrupted in WWII. As one of many blocks, however, it starts to look quite different--almost like a woven pattern.

  7. #7
    ali
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    I hope so! Thanks.

  8. #8
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    I'm 1/2 Japanese does that count? Lol. I am finishing my 3rd kimono quilt!!

  9. #9
    e4
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    I'm not Japanese, but I love to work with Asian prints and have several books on Japanese quilts. Interestingly, many of the "Japanese" blocks are actually just simple blocks that take on a different look when used with certain color combinations or prints. Every one of the blocks in your example is a variation on a rail fence block with either 3 or 5 rails. Several members of my family made quilts from my FIL's shirts after he died and we all used a Japanese pattern (he lived in Japan for 3 years) that is nothing more than a very simple version of a log cabin. Simple and beautiful.

  10. #10
    ali
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    I love the idea of using men's shirts for quilts, and your FIL's made them really special. I'd love to see pictures if you have any! "Simple and beautiful" says it all, I think! Thanks. Of course, the Japanese were quilting hundreds of years before we were here in the West, so maybe log cabin blocks are variations of old, traditional Japanese blocks.
    Quote Originally Posted by e4
    I'm not Japanese, but I love to work with Asian prints and have several books on Japanese quilts. Interestingly, many of the "Japanese" blocks are actually just simple blocks that take on a different look when used with certain color combinations or prints. Every one of the blocks in your example is a variation on a rail fence block with either 3 or 5 rails. Several members of my family made quilts from my FIL's shirts after he died and we all used a Japanese pattern (he lived in Japan for 3 years) that is nothing more than a very simple version of a log cabin. Simple and beautiful.
    Here's another block I made from Briscoe's book: It's block 45, called "Kurume kasuri fukumoli" which means "good luck character." The symbol is very similar to the good luck character in Mandarin as well. The blocks are about 9" square, and the tiny squares in the bottom right piece of the block came out to 1/2 inch square--a challenge for me, especially with solid colors!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    I'm a huge fan of Susan Briscoe. Have 3of her books and use them all. If I could keep only one book, it would likely be one of hers. She teaches sashiko, appliqué, piecing, and quilting in one book!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mrs B's Avatar
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    Ali I love your Japanese quilt blocks and your fabrics are beautiful.

  13. #13
    ali
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    Thanks so much, Mrs. B! I'm having fun (mostly :)) and learning so much. I really appreciate your comment!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs B
    Ali I love your Japanese quilt blocks and your fabrics are beautiful.

  14. #14
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    I love the blocks and the fabrics.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kheliwud's Avatar
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    Gorgeous. I haven't made any Japanese quilts "yet", but I have one on my to do list. I am wanting to do one using the taupes and beiges, or an all blue one. I collect Japanese quilt books and magazines and they always inspire me!

  16. #16
    MTS
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    While those blocks look technically simple from a construction perspective, they are actually renditions of Kasuri woven patterns (double ikat) that are/were part of Japanese woven textiles for centuries.

    My friend just did her version of Susan B's Kasuri Sampler, and someone also made the comment about it containing simple blocks. :roll: :roll: They didn't get it.

    Here's a link to some actual kasuri blocks - the patterns are the result of the weaving:
    http://e-gasuri.com/ikat/204-geometric.jpg
    http://e-gasuri.com/ikat/170-pines.jpg
    http://e-gasuri.com/ikat/181-turtle.jpg
    http://e-gasuri.com/ikat/240-hoju-noshi.JPG

    Because it's so labor intensive, the amount of fabric being produced is seriously reduced. There are some machine made kasuris on the market, but you can immediately tell the difference. Blech. And any of the new handmade stuff is $$$$$$.

    I collect rolls (bolts) and older kimonos made from kasuri fabric - I've got over 300 designs in my collection. And some boxes I haven't even been through yet. :roll:

    It's just amazing, gorgeous fabric, and the skill and talent and love the artist had for the work is evident.

    And, btw, Susan's TAUPE book is also GORGEOUS. I think it's even better than the Indigo one (even if I'm more partial to indigo than Daiwabos). The production value is off the charts - it ain't your typical C&T jelly roll book.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...+taupe&x=0&y=0

  17. #17
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    SO cute!!! :D

    (add this one to the list of things to try!)

  18. #18
    ali
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    Thanks, MTS, for all this great info! I see sashiko in some of the images; patterns and directions for sashiko are also in Briscoe's Japanese Quilt Blocks. I have the "Taupe" book on order--eagerly waiting its arrival!

  19. #19
    ali
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    I agree, Maia. These books are a treasure trove of useful information--history, technique, and patterns!
    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    I'm a huge fan of Susan Briscoe. Have 3of her books and use them all. If I could keep only one book, it would likely be one of hers. She teaches sashiko, appliqué, piecing, and quilting in one book!

  20. #20
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    Years ago I started a quilt with blocks like the upper left. Didn't know it was a Japanese pattern. Just an idea I had. I use leftover fabric for it so it is a work in progress. When I have enough squares for a queen size quilt I'll put them all together. May not be a work of art but it will provide warmth.

  21. #21
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    very pretty !

  22. #22
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I'm not Japanese either but my DDIL is. She made me some gorgeous pillows with Japanese fabric. I will take a pic for you. They just got married so I'm excited about having a DIL who likes to sew!!! :D:D
    Your blocks are beautiful!!

  23. #23
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I also have Susan's book, and have been working on the sashiko blocks as well the the quilt blocks. It is labor intensive at times, but the blocks are so stunning when I get one done.

  24. #24
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by ali
    Thanks, MTS, for all this great info! I see sashiko in some of the images;
    Just to clarify - if you're refering to the images in the links I supplied in my previous post, those are NOT Sashiko.

    Those images - also from Japanese culture (crab, dragon, bird, etc). - are also woven (ikat) into the same piece of fabric, just like the block designs.

    It's pretty awesome.

  25. #25
    ali
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    I'm eager to see those pictures! I made some sashiko patchwork and I'm ready to put it together into a project! Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    I'm not Japanese either but my DDIL is. She made me some gorgeous pillows with Japanese fabric. I will take a pic for you. They just got married so I'm excited about having a DIL who likes to sew!!! :D:D
    Your blocks are beautiful!!

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