Sunday, 19 April 2015

Yoshiko Jinzenji Patterns

A few months ago, Lindsay from Zakka Workshop got in touch asking if I would like to try some Yoshiko Jinzenji patterns they were launching.   They are projects from her book Quilting Line and Colour.  I haven't got the book and it is now out of print and rather expensive to get hold of so I chose The Modern Sampler Quilt and Lindsay generously included some other patterns too.  

The patterns are in booklet form, all pattern pieces or templates are included full size on a separate sheet.  I assume that as the book is now not available, patterns like this provide more efficient alternative to a fresh print run whilst making the author's work more accessible and providing royalties.  It's a great idea if you are limited for space- I have lots of books that I keep for the one project I might make.  Buying a booklet like this reminds me of buying a single download instead of an album.  Efficient, cost effective but you might miss out on the joy of the whole book.

In all three patterns, the instructions involve a lot of detailed diagrams- this suits my learning style; plus text and photographs.  Yoshiko Jinzenji's style is clean, minimal, organic and modern.  The patterns are described as 'Japanese Quilt Artist Series' and they definitely lean towards the textile art side of quilting.

I chose four of the  blocks in the modern sampler quilt.  For the blocks that included curves, I traced the block templates onto freezer paper, ironed them onto the reverse of the fabric, drew round them in pencil and added seam allowance all round.

I hand pieced the curved blocks and this method is shown in detail in the pattern.   They could be machined but I am enjoying hand piecing at the moment and I thought I would get better results. I used a selection of linens and cottons for my neutral background and vintage prints for my quiet bursts of colour.

You can see more of the construction on the reverse.

For the square and triangle blocks, I departed from the instructions, traced the blocks onto thin paper and foundation pieced the blocks.

 Each block has mitred border pieces which are a bit of a pain to trace- there are four as the angles have slight variations, but they sew together beautifully using Y seams.  These were sewn by machine.  See my tutorial for this technique here.

I am now at a large cushion cover size but I think I need to add more details to it.  The pattern includes appliqué irregular strips that are sewn on by hand using needle turn technique and I fancy adding some strips to the centre cross.  I love this pattern, it was a calming and pleasing make and I would like to return to and make the whole quilt.  It's a slow burner project that I keep returning to as other sewing comes and goes.

You can find the patterns at Zakka Workshop and in their Etsy shop.  The Modern Sampler Quilt is quite an advanced skill level.  The Graphic Squares Pillow and Throw pattern is a beginner project- covering a 16 patch cushion layout and fussy cutting in lots of photo graphics step-by step-detail and the Quilted Silhouette Pillows are a simple raw edge appliqué project.

What are your thoughts on this sort of pattern production- extracting projects from books and selling then as independent products?  I wonder if it is something we will see more of?

sib blog


  1. These look really sophisticated and effective. So impressed with your reverse side. I'm always relieved to hide mine in the quilt sandwich. I like the idea of buying separate patterns from books and preferably e versions simply because books take up space which is very finite in my home!

  2. I love these blocks (and that's exactly how I prep my hand piecing!) and will keep an eye out for more of them! I like the idea of the booklets, as long as the author is getting royalties at a suitable rate (i.e. high enough!) as it makes books which are out of print a little more accessible.

  3. All the blocks are lovely ~ especially the domed and circle block.
    I just happen to have 'Quilting Line and Color' and love to look at all the lovely quilts in the book (I have yet to make one tho). Thanks for this review ~ I'm going to check out her blog!

  4. Just stunning.Happy sewing!


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