Samurai-ish Quilt for Dad


Dad's Quilt Ready to Bind

I finally got my Dad’s “Samurai-ish” quilt back from the quilt shop!  (We had quite a delay because my backing was inches too short and they forgot to call me.  Oops for both of us!)  It’s made from mostly Parson Gray’s Curious Nature line and some random semi-solids from the quilt shop.  Parson Gray’s fabrics are GORGEOUS!  They’re masculine without beating you over the head about it, and somehow have a Japanese vibe to me.  I’m not imagining it, my friend Kaori who is Japanese said they looked like Samurai fabrics, so she named the quilt.  Kaori’s daughter Anna spent a summer with us and my Dad (“Pop” to Anna and his other granddaughters) just loved her, so it’s nice to connect them to the quilt, too.

Another detail about the quilt: it’s made from 3.5″ squares and NO strip piecing.  I really love my Dad.

I spent the weekend doing binding.  I love a scrappy binding, so I added white and paler blue in the upper left corner.


Then for the first time I attempted to sew the binding entirely by machine.


I’ve always taken the time to stitch down the back by hand, which leaves invisible stitches.  I love the look, but I give my quilts as gifts and time … well, sometimes there’s just not as much of it as I’d like.  So I decided it’s OK to try sewing down the binding by machine, especially since this one is a queen sized quilt (huge!) and is completely free to the new owner.  So a little practicing shouldn’t hurt too much, right?

The black thread almost disappears on dark fabrics, but is really visible against the white.

Samurai-ish Binding Blue

Samurai-ish Binding White

Still, I don’t hate it and it saved me weeks worth of hand sewing … so I’m likely to stick with it.  I’ve seen another method that works to hide the stitches along the front of the quilt, I may try that one with the next quilt.  (I keep telling myself that if I hand someone a handmade quilt, they really aren’t that likely to quibble with me over my binding methods, are they?)

As I said, this one’s for Dad, so he’s getting a cross quilt to go along with the cross quilt I made for his granddaughter (my niece), Alexis.  My Mom also got a cross quilt.  I just like the idea of them connecting back in some way to Alexis.  Her parents, my brother and my sister-in-law, got a quilt made from the left over fabrics in Alexis’ quilt.

Samurai-ish Quilt


For some reason this quilt just never wants to photograph well.  I’ll try again when it’s in place on Dad’s bed.


Checking the Fit …


Checking the Fit of Dad's Quilt top

… of Dad’s Samurai-ish quilt, and I think it’s just fine without borders added.  Yay!  I’ve changed my mind about backing fabrics, so I’ll have to order something else and then get this baby to the quilt shop.

I’ve slowed down a little too much on my hand sewing of binding.  There’s another quilt that only needs a little bit of work to finish, but every time I try to sit with it on the couch,  kittens crawl all over me.  It sounds really odd to be complaining about kitten affection, but it does make it hard to sew.  I think I might have to switch to binding completely by machine or it’ll be forever before Dad gets to use his quilt.


WIP: Seams



I’m still working on Dad’s Parson Gray “Samurai-ish” quilt. This is the back of a strip of 300 squares that will be the middle section of his quilt.   The finished squares are about 3″.  Lots of pressing involved here, but I’m loving the results.

So far, I have 720 of the 960 squares sewn into larger blocks.  The end is in sight!


Changed Plans

X & + Pillows for Dad

These started out as blocks for a quilt for my Dad, but after making just a few of them I changed my mind.  The very things I really liked about them, their dark colors and masculine prints, worked against them in the Japanese X & + blocks.  In the well lit photo it’s harder to tell, but in real life they just looked kind of “muddy”.  I was afraid the “X” and “+” parts would get lost in the darker print patterns and it would just be hard to make anything out.

So now Dad is getting a couple pillows made from those blocks as a teaser of the quilt to come, and I think I’ve decided on a simpler pattern of small patchwork squares.  I think Dad will be happier with it, and I think it will really show off the gorgeous Curious Nature prints from Parson Gray.  Here’s hoping!


Here We Go Again

Another X & + Quilt Begins

I’ve just finished one Japanese X & + quilt and already started on another!  The new one will be for my Dad.  He’s wanting a queen sized quilt, so I’ll be making these for a while!