Sunday, March 20, 2011

SAIGAI: a journal quilt

    It is always difficult to create a journal quilt about a catastrophe such as Katrina or 9/11 and the one in Japan.I looked for a fabric that expressed maelstrom or upheaval, and I found the word for disaster is saigai. On-line I Googled "how to say disaster in Japanese" and found some characters and pictures at  Japanese Symbols. I printed a couple of the many possibilities and then put the paper and fabric on a light box to mark with Sharpies.
     My fabric was too dark to see the markers so I got out the black Lumiere fabric paint and a tiny brush to enhance the characters. I will only be satisfied when I sharpen the edges with black crochet thread. I made a sandwich of batting and background fabric, stiched a border at 8" x 8" and cut the excess off with pinking shears. I went back to make a few quilted lines,
Saigai, Japanese disaster
   You can view 9/11, my first journal quilt at my website, as well as Katrina, here at the blog, posted July 1, 2010. Relax a moment while the particular image loads.


  1. Linda, this is a BEAUTIFUL journal quilt. It shows movement ( like the tsunami and the earthquake ), has the Japanese markings, and the colors are exquisite. Like the Japanese people, this journal depicts great dignity. I love this one.

  2. Your choice of fabric was perfect! I agree with everything that Sherron said. I need to go back and try to locate photos for you of what I did to honor those lost in the 9/11 horror--years before I knew anything about journal quilts! I made banners for all 3 of our children, and then for a daughter of good friends, who is married to a career Army officer. Hers was for her wedding. But back to yours here and from the past--as soon as I get some breathing room, I will refresh my memory about what YOUR 9/11 and then Katrina journal quilts depicted.

  3. This is a gorgeous disaster quilt. One of my favorites. (I hope that's in 'good taste' to say.) Love the feathery look and the colors. Another phoenix rising from the ashes? I'm going to visit your webite, too, to see your other disaster quilts.

  4. Am I going nuts, or have you tweaked this post a bit since first I commented???? I see now that go back here that the 9/11 and the Katrina are posted here as well. I can't choose a favorite among these three. Well, perhaps, for me, the Katrina edges the others out a bit, simply because I love the combination of the fabrics, and quilting is so lovely, with the feeling of undulating waves, etc. But all three = outstanding!

  5. Hi Alice, I am always tweaking! Thanx for posting.