Sunday, January 12, 2014

Red and White Japan Quilt

Soon after the big earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, I decided to make a Japan-inspired quilt. I had been reading Dan Rouse's blog and was loving his incredible reverse-appliqué quilts (seriously, go check it out), so I decided to do reverse appliqué using red background fabric and an off-white fabric on the front. The idea was to sort of mimic the Japanese flag.  This quilt took me a long time to finish (about 2 years??), although it was sitting around waiting for a long time.  After doing the appliqué and then basting the quilt, I got hung up on how to quilt it.  My favorite suggestion from someone was to use free motion quilting in the Japan portion to make it look like topography.  However, I had tried free motion before and decided it didn't work on my machine because I constantly had tension issues.  I finally read more about FMQ and decided I needed to put my tension way up (to 9 or10) and try again.  I finally bit the bullet and decided to go for it.  It actually worked really well!  I had a lot of starts and stops and I wanted to do it "right," so I decided to bury all the threads by hand.  That took quite a bit of time but it was worth it.  You can't really see the topography lines on the front, but because I used red thread, they look great on the back.  Here are some overall photos (sorry for the poor photo quality - I'll need to work on getting better photos in the future!) and some detail shots. I hope you enjoy it!


  1. Oh how fabulous!! My husband said just the other day I should make a Japanese map quilt... I shall just send him this pic instead, haha!

    1. Thanks, Alyce! Glad I could save you a little work. ;-)

  2. Hora! This is amazing ~
    I'm so glad I found your blog (via IG). Can't wait to sit down and read more of your story.
    yoroshiku ne~
    Jess in NY (previously Kyoto and southern Hokkaido)