Sunday, March 30, 2014

Korea Trip Part 2: Americana/Koreacana quilt for a friend {A finished Quilt}

This is part 2 of 4 chronicling my experiences in South Korea. I came back earlier this month from a 10 day trip to South Korea and thought I would share some of my experiences with you that tie in with sewing and quilting. Of course, through a quilter's eyes, everything can spur inspiration or remind you of something sewing related. This will be at least a 4 part series.

Part 1: Quiltspirations - quilting ideas inspired by things I saw during my visit
Part 2: A finished quilt I made for a Korean colleague and now a new friend
Part 4: Fabrics I purchased at Happy Quilt

A week or two before I left for South Korea my hubs requested that I make a quilt for coworker of his. One of the fellows on his team was a sweet young woman named Sun Bean (cutest name ever) who really helped Juan feel at home in Korea. She took him to lunch and dinner many times and since she is his senior paid for everything. In Korea the seniormost member at the meal pays. No exceptions. Do argue. Just say thank you. Anyway, he wanted to repay Sun Bean for her kindness and she was recently married. A quilt seemed perfectly appropriate! Juan requested a quilt with a traditional Americana feel and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Being short on time I decided to do some large 7" (final size) HSTs. I selected fabrics leftover from a salt air layer cake (Cosmo cricket for Moda which I won at last year's The Stash Bash) and mixed in some complementary prints and mirage almost solids (from connecting threads). The color scheme was muted(ish) in blue, red, yellow/gold and green.

The layout is a 6 x 8 grid with a 6" border. Normally I'm not a border-er but the busy prints and random layout here was screaming out for a border. I love the woven look of the blue print I chose. The back is a small-scale red flower print on a cream background. It was interesting, traditional, and calmed down the front of the quilt. The binding is some salt air yardage I also had. It is a multicolored floral print that ties everything together.

I decided to hand-tie rather than quilt it. I had never hand-tied before and thought that would add to the overall traditional Americana look I was going for. I used 6 strands of a red DMC embriodery floss, meaning I didn't unravel the floss). I am so glad I looked up a few tutorials because it is a lot easier than I thought it would be. I was going to cut little pieces of floss and thread them individually through the quilt and tie as I go. But, it is so much easier to basically do a really wide baste stitch with the thread or yarn and then cut halfway in between each stitch and tie at the end. I can't find the specific tutorial I used by here is this tutorial by The Last Piece which is essentially the same. 

I would use this technique again. It was a nice change from quilting. I wish I could have used bulkier yarn for the job but I had a hard time pulling the needle through when I tried. Any advice on that?

Here is the finished quilt all folded up on a chair. It feels so Laura Ingalls Wilder to me.

Of course, when I go to Korea I realized I had inadvertently used a very traditional Korean color palette. See the painted architecture below. Even the blue border print echos some of the woodwork patterns seen in the traditional buildings here. Oh well. That is why in the end I chose to name the quilt Koreacana.

Quilty stats:
Name: Koreacana
Size: 54" x 68"
Fabrics: Salt Air (Moda), mirage near-solids (connecting threads) various other prints.
Pieced with Aurifil 2200 and hand-tied with a red DMC embroidery floss
Hand stitched the binding (another salt air print) for an extra special touch

It is now living overseas in Korea. On a happy couch. Next to a giant stuffed bear. The end.


  1. Koreacana !!! I'm sure Sue loved it. Did she love it??

  2. I think this is great. I need to check out the tie tutorial.