#14 two cranes designer hanafukin panel
This designer panel is by Hitomi Fujita for QH Textiles, one of twelve I stock (ideal for combining in a sashiko sampler quilt). Her stunning original designs take hanafukin panels in a new direction, while staying traditional. This classic design features two cranes, associated with long life in Japan. Please see my stitching suggestions below for ways to stitch this design to best advantage. Hand printed in Japan.
It is a 'hana fukin' with literally means 'flower cloth' and printed on indigo blue coloured narrow width traditional sarashi cloth (an easy to stitch traditional Japanese cotton cloth). Each panel is supplied in one piece with a plain area the same size attached, because they are designed to be stitched through both layers and the edges turned in to make a little cloth, but you can stitch the printed layer separately (as I often do). They may be stitched with a doubled or single thread (or a mixture of both, for an interesting effect), in white or using coloured threads. Any of my medium sashiko threads would be ideal for these panels.
Stitching suggestions for the panel -
Japanese cranes are have mostly white feathers, although their tail feathers, the front of their necks, and the lower half of the wing feathers are black - this difference could be suggested by stitching them mostly in white, with a shaded grey for the areas of black plumage. The 'cap' on the tops of their heads is red. Alternatively, stitch the whole design in one colour.
These hand printed designer panels are more expensive than the other hanafukin I sell, but the patterns are so beautiful, I wanted to start selling them! I have more more designs by Hitomi Fujita in stock, including larger panels.
Sashiko Cloth by QH Textiles (Australia)
Printed with water-soluble ink - marks wash out
Composition : 100% Cotton
Individual Cloth Size : Approx. 30cm x 60cm (Finished size : 30cm x 30cm)
About Sarashi cotton -
Sarashi cloth is quite lightweight compared with other sashiko fabrics, but is very easy to stitch, super absorbent and wears well. It is one of the fabrics traditionally used for kimono underwear! The second photo shows a comparison between these panels and those by Olympus Thread Mfg. Co., which are most of the other hanafukin I sell. This QH Sarashi fabric is a slightly finer weave, although the stitch length is about 3mm (the same as my Olympus panels), and is the one in front in the photo. The fabric shown both plain and with 5mm dots is the Olympus fabric. The shade of blue is also very slightly different (it actually looks more extreme in the photo than in real life). For a quilt or other project using hanafukin panels, you could mix the two brands and the colour difference would be minimal. If however, you want an exact colour match with all the panels, please just use hanafukin designs from one brand.
Hanafukin cloths are traditionally stitched through two layers of fabric (the second layer is the plain section) but can be stitched just through one if you want to add wadding and quilt the panel after finishing the sashiko stitching. For 'quilt as you go', the plain section can be used as a backing. Black wadding is recommended, because it doesn't show or beard through the fabric.
To stitch through two layers, the cloth can be stitched all round and bagged out before stitching the sashiko; stitched across the short ends with right sides together, then the sashiko stitched, and finally the two selvedges turned in on each other and ladder stitched together; or the edges tucked in using a butted finished and stitched all round. Any of these can also be done after the sashiko is stitched, if you don't want the back of your stitching to be visible.
In addition to simply stitching the whole panel in medium white sashiko thread, you can experiment with different colours and thread thicknesses. It would look great with the circle outlines stitched in one or more colours. Of course, if you are including this panel with others in a quilt or wallhanging, you could take your colour inspirations from the other panels. Whatever colours you choose, remember the lightest colours, white especially, will appear bolder against the dark blue fabric, while colours like deep red will recede, rather than create a bright accent in your stitching.
The whole panel can be stitched in a single medium sashiko thread or with some threads doubled for a bolder effect, such as the circle outlines. If you wish to stitch in just one colour, try combining the 20m medium sashiko thread with the 80m fine sashiko thread. The colours are identical and the finer thread could be used to give a very delicate effect to the hitomezashi patterns.