Friday, August 28, 2009

Obi Quilt

This is a quilted wallhanging that I made using a Japanese obi. A couple years ago I went to a vintage kimono sale, and picked up several kimono and obi, thinking to use the nice (mostly silk) fabric in quilting and crafts. This obi is a very deep purple/maroon color (almost brown), with a pretty texture woven into it. I attached it to a piece of raw linen, and that in itself was a challenge. The obi is actually made up of quite a few thicknesses, some of which are all sewn together in the long obi, and some of which are not completely sewn together. I sewed the parts that I could on the machine, and the rest I tacked down from the backside of the linen, so my stitches wouldn't show. I wanted to do my best to ensure that this wallhanging doesn't go limp on the wall and sag. So I reinforced the back with fusing and heavy fabric, before echo quilting around the obi. It makes my shoulders ache just to remember it! Quilting that baby was really tough. It was very heavy and hard to manage, as any large quilt is. I used the walking foot on my machine, and had to pivot and rearrange every so often. But now it's done and I'm happy!

It's now hanging in our guest room. From a bamboo pole, which I think fits the "mood" perfectly. Plus, bamboo is lightweight (good for something overhanging a bed in earthquake country) and strong (good for a heavy hanging like this).

Here is a close-up of the obi, showing the beautiful texture in it.


  1. After sleeping beneath this wallhanging, it's nice to hear the story of its creation.