As an Aurifil Artisan, my prompt for this month was to create something with my favorite thread weight. When I first signed up for this challenge many months ago, I was torn between two thread weights and I wasn’t sure which one would win out as my favorite. Over the last few months, however, I’ve found myself turning more and more towards the calming rhythm of hand-quilting. Thanks to that, I think I finally have a favorite thread weight: 12 weight!
Aurifil’s 12 weight thread is the perfect thickness and feel for big-stitch hand quilting, and indeed, I’ve used it a lot for that! To really showcase the thread, I chose to make a Boro-inspired zipper pouch this month. Boro is a Japanese technique where many scraps are layered and stitched together to form a new cloth. The scraps’ edges are left raw, but because they are stitched over and over again, they don’t fray as much as you would expect. Part of the beauty of Boro is using the new fabric pieces, as Boro cloth seems only to become more beautiful with wear and time.
I call this pouch Boro-inspired, because I did a lot of Googling to try to understand what TRUE Boro was and how to go about it, and I found many conflicting ideas and advice. So in the end, I mashed together the best of them all into my new project. I started with a piece of batting and layered on top a solid piece of white fabric that covered the whole batting. In the end, this wasn’t necessary and when I make a second one, I’ll omit the solid white fabric, since the batting works as my “base cloth” just fine. Then, I sat down with my big bag of white scraps and started finding them a place on the cloth, overlapping as I went. I don’t know about you, but I have a bag of “white” scraps that are all different manufacturers and shades, and I have no idea what they really are. They have enough differences that to try and use them all in a single quilt, you’d see the shades. I decided to only use my bag of white scraps and to highlight their differences. At the last moment, I threw in a couple small scraps of Liberty lawn fabric. I love these little florals and feel they add a nice interest point to the cloth.
I pinned down all my scraps and took them to my machine, where I sewed basting lines about 1.5″ apart to secure them in place. This allowed me to hand stitch my cloth in the evenings on my comfortable couch without worry that I was going to lose a piece. Then I stitched, and stitched, and stitched, keeping my lines close together to create a dense cloth with amazing texture.
Once I felt my Boro fabric was sufficiently stitched, I cut it into two to create the two sides of my zipper pouch. I’m a little low on zippers at the moment but I did find this vintage green one in my stash. I’m pleased that it matches the Liberty florals and adds a nice contrast to the pouch. I lined it in a light blue solid from PBS Fabrics, also from the stash!
My boro-inspired zipper pouch finished at 9.5″ W x 8.5″ H. It is a nice size and has the most amazing texture and weight, thanks to the many layers of fabric! This was such a fun way to use up a bunch of scraps, I’m already digging into my scrap bins for a second one!
This pouch is for sale in my shop! Update: sold!