Korean patchwork

East – West Clash

This is my latest Korean patchwork project.  I have to say that this almost finished me for Korean patchwork.  I know it is hard to believe, but it is one of the hardest projects I have ever done.  Almost every seam had to be taken out and re-done.

When we choosing the design in class, I chose this one.  My teacher commented on how interesting it was that I chose the most American-looking.  When she commented, I realized that she was right.  It doesn’t look like traditional pojagi, it looks like a traditional American quilt block.  Traditional pojagi is made with random sizes of squares, rectangles and trapezoids (never triangles) that are put together in strips, but never line up at the corners.  I didn’t realize how key this was.

This was a new technique.  The seams are like felled seams, so it is completely finished on both sides.  Here is side one:

Here is the other side at the exact same spot:

This kind of seam means two things:  1. the seam allowance is included in the size of the block, depending on what side you are on.  This means that you cannot cut out pieces ahead of time, they must be cut to measure the exact spot.  And I had to measure to the millimetre.  2. You have to make sure the seams “fall” in the right order for the points to line up.

I am a very visual person who usually has no problem seeing how pieces go together to make the finished product, but this was very difficult.  Because I am a western quilter, I began with the assumption that the corners do have to match up.  After redoing the 10th seam, I began to realize why Korean patchwork is different.  It didn’t help when I commented to my husband on how difficult it was and he said “Haven’t you made hundreds of those?  How can it be hard?”

I finally finished, and yes, all the corners line up on both sides.  Here is the reverse side:

I’m pretty sure I will never attempt a western block in this technique again.

I am excited about my next project, which is a totally Korean project.  Here is a little peak:

This is the kind of project that looks more difficult than it is – which I like a lot better.

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3 thoughts on “East – West Clash

  1. I love the east/west block. You did a beautiful job. I also love the pretty colors of your next block. Keep on posting. I love to see the fun Korean projects you get up to!

    xo -E

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  2. I have recently taken up quilting and saw this beautiful patchwork while in Korea last month. I’m curious why not triangles? I saw a beautiful piece in a hanbok shop selling for $1000.00 US dollars. All I took away was a picture in my mind and a goal of creating a similiar piece. Do you have a tutorial for the three tiny basting stitches Isaw on so many?

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    1. You could use a triangular shape, but because of the seams and it being reversible, it would only be a triangle on one side. On the other side, it would be a trapezoid. It’s hard to understand until you’ve tried it.

      I have a list of tutorials that I want to do, and that is on it. They are actually back stitches. I will be on summer vacation soon and will have time to get some tutorials done.

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