2023 Q4 SALE
Okan Arts is offering the Sashiko 2 machine for a special Fourth Quarter price! Each machine is bundled with a large extension table (a $129 value) and shipped FREE to your home.
If you’re interested in this special deal (that is too low to be published online), please email Patricia at email@example.com
Okan Arts is an authorized seller of the Sashiko 2. The Sashiko 2 is made in Japan by Baby Lock.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
A detail of the front of Boro—my hand-stitching in the circular patch contrasting with Victoria’s straight-line Sashiko 2 stitching.
The back of Boro with Victoria’s cheerful fabric choices.
A detail of the back and designer facing.
A close-up of the locked chainstitch on the backside of the dashed stitching made with the Sashiko 2.
ABOUT US: Okan Arts, a petite family business, is co-owned by mother-daughter duo Patricia Belyea and Victoria Stone. Patricia and Victoria sell Japanese textiles online, host creative quilting experiences, and lead quilting & textile tours to Japan.
FOLLOW OKAN ARTS ON INSTAGRAM @okanarts