"Sushi Jewels"

A quilt for the "NoTrad Does Nippon" Exhibit by Susan C. Druding

November 1997

size: 35 x 25 inches

The theme of this exhibit was for each member of the NoTrad Group (an online group of non-traditional quilters) to choose an aspect of Japanese culture. The quilts were made to exhibit at the Quilt Expo in Yokohama in November 1997.

I first tasted sushi when I came to Berkeley, California in 1964 to attend graduate school (in Marine Ecology) from Michigan and it was love at first taste.   Later, when I changed focus and started my MA at UC Berkeley in Textile Design I came to know and appreciate Japanese textiles - it seemed right to combine sushi and two old kimonos in my "Sushi Jewels" quilt for this exhibit.

The overall layout of my sushi on this quilt is meant to remind viewers of the huge medieval necklaces worn by royalty. The sushi takes the place of the large jewels in these necklaces.

Sushi Jewels full view of quilt 

Transfer printed sushi images were printed onto white cotton using ink jet transfer paper printed on a Canon BubbleJet printer. The images were printed at 125 dpi and showed good detail. The images were photographed at 3 different Japanese restaurants in Berkeley, CA - the sushi was eaten after photography was complete. The background (dark material) was the sleeve of an old men's kimono sleeve and the binding was made from an elderly silk ikat kimono.

 Cotton batting was used for the quilt and extra batting was placed behind some of the sushi images to give them more dimension. The sushi was trimmed with satin stitch machine embroidery around each piece. Leaves were made using 2 layers of fabric (the top layer a green organza) and couching deep green rayon ribbon to the surface of the leaves added the "ribs".  Small embroidered motifs of leaves and tiny circles were added for surface embellishment using rayon machine embroidery thread and motifs from a Pfaff 7570.Sushi Jewels quilt detail


Beads in two sizes were sewn on by hand to simulate fish roe (eggs) on the appropriate sushi. A few small brass clam shells and ceramic fish were added. The tamago (egg) sushi had a wrap of green-black synthetic fabric which looked surprisingly close to the original seaweed wrap used on the real sushi.

 sushi jewels quilt detail

Machine quilting in a grid arrangement was used to flatten the background and give more dimension to the raised sushi pieces.










The sushi photos were taken with a digital Sanyo camera in restaurants. The photos of the quilt here were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 950.

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February 20, 2006 last revision

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