Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hearts and Hands for Sendai

Planting the Seed
     Hearts and Hands for Sendai is a project through Crazy Quilting International.  These blocks will be assembled into wall hangings and sent to Japan to be displayed in the International Quilt Show in coordination with Patchwork Tsushin to raise funds for the recovery of Japan.  Here is my contribution.

Harvesting the Inspiration
     The first fabric I chose was a vintage silk scarf with a dusty purple background decorated with berries and flowers.  My main concern was that it didn't fit within the parameter of "jewel tones".  The scarf was calling to me so I had to use it.  I chose the rest of the fabrics hoping to add jewel tones, contrast, and funk.  I didn't want to old scarf to look too stuffy.
Mixing the Soup
     I started with a 5-sided piece of turquoise and lime vintage paisley silk off centered to the left.  I then added dupioni and cotton solids in bold colors:  deep purple, hot pink, and rich gold.  There are 3 different sections from the scarf that I "fussy cut" for color and motif.  You can see the pink and gold butterfly from the scarf. I put in another piece of deep purple patterned silk.  This piece is in the top left corner.  Lastly, I used a groovy cotton toward to bottom.  It is the fabric with the orange swirl.

Adding the Spice
     I started with the heart.  It is done in colonial knots of rosy silk ribbon and beads.  I can't resist butterflies - it's my heritage!  I made the royal blue butterfly out of hand dyed hannah silk ribbon.  I hoped that the deep blue and black in the butterfly would bring down some of the heat given off by the bright colors.
     Since I didn't use any kimono fabrics in constructing the block, I wanted to bring in an Asian feel with the silk flowers.  I used a piece of vintage kimono fabric as inspiration for the hannah silk flowers and leaves on the lower left side. 
 Soup is Served
I continued to try to add Asian flavor by adding a branch of small pink flowers to give the impression of cherry blossoms.  To tie in the swirl fabric and to create movement, I repeated the swirl with thread through the blossoms.  I nestled the blue butterfly and silk flowers with small butterflies stitched in shades of blue and purple floss.  I balanced the weight of the overall design by stitching over the pattern of the original silk scarf.

Since I hate to cook, this is the only "soup" being served at my house these days!  I'm still trying to figure out how to use my kitchen cupboards for my stash instead of for all that cooking stuff.


  1. Oh my gosh! This is absolutely stunning! Beautiful, I can't stop looking at it! The vibrancy, the detail, just amazing.


  2. Wow...with that kind of stunning needlework, why waste your time cooking? It is BEAUTIFUL!!

    Deb from

  3. wowee love THAT soup - its the best looking one I have seen in quite a while girl. It is so beautifully bright and has me in such a happier mood just for seeing it...............
    love n hugs bear xoxoxoxoxox