Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts, made with vintage Japanese yukata cottons

simplicity & the sashiko 2

FALL 2022

FESTIVAL PRICING Okan Arts is offering the Sashiko 2 machine at Festival pricing! Each machine is bundled with a large extension table and shipped FREE to your home.

If you’re interested in this special deal (that is too low to be published online)l, please email Patricia at patricia@okanarts.com

Okan Arts is an authorized seller of the Sashiko 2. The Sashiko 2 is made in Japan by Baby Lock.

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By Patricia Belyea

WAUCONDA WA  Boro Quilt may be the most plain quilt I’ve ever made. And yet, it’s one of my favorites.

[Boro is a Japanese word that means patched or old raggety cloth.]

To get started, I made a checkerboard grid of two indigo-striped yukata cottons plus one block of a non-matching geometric yukata cotton.

Once I stitched the big blocks together, I prepped thirteen curved insertions. I made patterns that exactly matched the circular graphics of a faux shibori yukata cotton. 

Yukata cotton with a faux shibori pattern used in Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts

After I inserted one circular element, I stopped. I loved the guilelessness of a solo patch.

I could have kept adding circular patches, but what would I have gained? Making an impressive quilt was not my goal.

Detail: Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts—made with vintage Japanese yukata cottonsBoro Quilt top by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts, made with vintage Japanese yukata cottons

The quilt project got handed over to Victoria for finishing. She made the decision to liven everything up with a bright turquoise and white yukata cotton for the back, a different turquoise and white yukata cotton for the designer facing, and three different thread colors for the Sashiko 2 machine quilting.

Victoria, a guru on the Sashiko 2 sewing machine, developed a straight-line stitch pattern for the quilting.

Stitch design for Boro Quilt, machine stitched on a Sashiko 2 sewing machine by Victoria Stone of Okan Arts

To mark the long stitch lines, Victoria used a 4-foot T-square and compressed chalk pencils—all the while keeping an eye on the design in her laptop.

Victoria Stone of Okan Arts marking Boro Quilt with stitch lines for the Sashiko 2 sewing machine

The Sashiko 2 only uses a bobbin to sew its distinctive dashed stitches. As the machine’s bobbin is a standard size, the threads get used up quickly. 

To get ready for quilting, Victoria loaded up many bobbins with Aurifil 12wt cotton thread—for a big stitch look.

Aurifil 12wt cotton thread, prepped to stitch Boro Quilt by Victoria Stone of Okan Arts on a Sashiko 2 sewing machine

Here’s a close-up of the stitching in progress.

[Note: the quilt sandwich is secured by tailor basting. The thick chalk lines, under the dashed stitching, will be washed away when the quilt is blocked.]

Detail of stitching in progress on Boro Quilt by Victoria Stone on a Sashiko 2 sewing machine

The humble quality of Boro was created with its non-assuming fabrics and uncomplicated design. The final touch, the Sashiko 2 stitching, added its genuine charm. Thank you Victoria!

The front of Boro.

Front of Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts, made with vintage Japanese yukata cottons

A detail of the front of Boro—my hand-stitching in the circular patch contrasting with Victoria’s straight-line Sashiko 2 stitching. 

Front detail of Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts, made with vintage Japanese yukata cottons

The back of Boro with Victoria’s cheerful fabric choices.

Back of Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts, made with vintage Japanese yukata cottons

A detail of the back and designer facing.

Back detail of Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts, made with vintage Japanese yukata cottons

A close-up of the locked chainstitch on the backside of the dashed stitching made with the Sashiko 2.

Close-up of Sashiko 2 stitching on back of Boro Quilt by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts, made with vintage Japanese yukata cottons

LUCKY 21 SALE Okan Arts has 21 Sashiko 2 machines at 2021 pricing! Each machine is bundled with a large extension table and shipped directly to your home.

If you’re interested in this special deal, please email Patricia at patricia@okanarts.com

Okan Arts is an authorized seller of the Sashiko 2. The Sashiko 2 is made in Japan by Baby Lock.

Contact Okan Arts to learn about the latest deal for the Sashiko 2 sewing machine