Kimono offcuts with sinusoidal quilting

Six years ago my good friend bought me a little bag of Kimono offcuts from a quilting store in Japan. I have always adored Asian style fabrics and this was a wonderful gift, but I never had the confidence that I could do the fabric any justice, and the pieces were all different shapes, sizes, materials, textures and thicknesses.

At that time I was just starting out in traditional quilting, following patterns and mainly working with kits. The little bag both puzzled and delighted me.

But over time I have built my skills and confidence, and discovered that mixing textures can provide wonderful results, and that piecing doesn't have to be 'perfect' to be beautiful. In fact I have come to really love freehand piecing and machine quilting.

So, it was finally time to get out the treasured fabric. I started by randomly sewing pieces together. When their shape, size and composition pleased me I cut them into 3.5" strips, which I then re-pieced into long strips. I then arranged these strips to form the quilt top.

I am now (slowly, in between everything else) quilting the top in a freehand, sinusoidal pattern 'across' the strip pattern, in colours of maroon, pink, dark blue and green, with little hints of gold and silver. Each colour has a slightly different sinusoidal pattern (varying width, height and style).

I think this quilt represents the ying and the yang of me and my journey into art quilting. I am an electronics engineer by career, and with no formal training in sewing or the arts, I am totally self taught. The rigid nature of engineering informs my art, but I am also trying to break free and be more creative – strips and straight lines are the engineer, random peicing and wobbly seams are the artist, sinusoids for the engineer, many colours for the artist.

I originally intended turning this piece into a bag, but now I think perhaps it would be better left as an art piece in its own right. I am yet to complete the quilting, which I think will be quite dense in the end.

I'd love to hear some thoughts and suggestions as to how I could finish this off! (It's only my fourth art quilt!)

Thank you


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6 thoughts on “Kimono offcuts with sinusoidal quilting

  1. I wonder if it would be a good idea to add some applique? Perhaps three large flowers with uneven length of stems? The flowers should be very simple. You could use gauze or something else, something transparent? This would break the monotony of the design, but still see through the beautiful “background”.


  2. I like the flower idea as well. Could you make a flower border? I would even go so far as to have parts of the flower drift off the edge now and then. That way the flowers are the frame and the kimono offcuts are the center of attention.

  3. ohh, thank you for your wonderful suggestions! I was focusing on what I could do with the quilting and didn’t even consider applique!

    I’m not sure about the flowers, but I am going straight to my books on Japanese and textiles to investigate a motif of image that I can apply. I also like the idea of a borfer – I’m re-inspired! Thanks again. I’ll work on it some more and maybe put it up again.

  4. Great job!  I applaud your confidence…I’m getting there.  I would do a solid border in something of a deep tone, maybe even black to make the pretty colors of the fabrics in the quilt top pop….