October events and news

Here are a few upcoming events I’m working on right now:

I’m putting together some classes in the SF/East Bay Area for November and December after I recover from Houston. Then in January, AQS Quilt Week in Albuquerque, NM and the Tokyo International Quilt Festival in JAPAN!

Sashiko sewing machine – what’s your impression?

I’m a big fan of hand stitching, but I do own 7 or 8 sewing machines, most of them 50-100 years old and not capable of more than a straight stitch. I do frequently meet people who are happy with their sashiko machines but I’ve never used a sashiko machine myself. I can tell you that no, hand sashiko thread won’t work in your machine as it’s far too thick, but other than that, the machine is a mystery to me.

After watching this video I can understand the appeal of a machine that produces a stitch that resembles hand stitching, if only from the front, but I’m still going to stick with my handwork. It’s much more satisfying to me.

What’s your take on the sashiko machine? Would you, or do you use one? Tell me what you think.

I’m in Stitch Magazine again – The Unofficial Downton Abbey Sews

This is a very yummy issue if you’re into historical and costume dramas in general and Downton Abbey in particular, which the editors at Stitch Magazine certainly are!

silk_sashiko_downton_stitch

This very special issue includes instructions to make my tsumugi silk sashiko pillow. I do carry all the supplies needed, including the fabric, but not all supplies are currently listed because tsumugi is a pain to photograph and I need to get that dealt with. I did just find a stash of the Soie et silk thread #519 in the back of a cupboard (where I’d been hoarding it) and that is now back in the Kimonomomo Etsy shop.

stitch_downton_abbey_sews

They edited out some of my references to how Japanese silk works, assuming that most people don’t have access to tsumugi kimono silk anyway, which is sadly true. I chose to use tsumugi for this project because it behaves similar to cotton instead of the slippery (Chinese) silk most people are familiar with. Tsumugi fibers are untwisted and slubby, so it feels similar to dupioni or shantung. As it’s made for kimono, this fabric is typically 14″/36cm wide. I designed the pillow to use a 12″ pillow insert, easy to find at any major sewing or craft shop.

If you’re looking for tsumugi, I will have some listed later this week. In the meantime, here’s another project I did based on the same pattern, using indigo blue tsumugi and Soie et #501 silk thread. More photos later… the project is still evolving. But if you can’t wait to see how it went, check it out on Pinterest. 

silk_sashiko_asanoha_navy

 

Basic Sashiko 3 tutorial video

A customer requested this project, and I really enjoyed doing it!

 

 

New Kona Bay fabrics in the Kimonomomo Etsy shop

Nobu Fujiyama. NOBU FUJIYAMA. sigh. So pretty. The entire Serene collection is just gorgeous. And yes, I have all of these in stock right now, even though they don’t all show in the Etsy shop yet. Patience!

kb_serene_panel_blue kb_serene_colorstory_blue1 kb_serene_colorstory_blue2

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kb_serene_colorstory_red1 kb_serene_colorstory_red2

 

Baseball and Sashiko

I’m teaching a few sashiko classes this fall, so I’ve been working on demonstration pieces to share with the students. I was working on one of them last night while Thomas and I listened to a baseball game on the radio. We cut off our cable TV a few months back to save money and our sanity, and the benefits have also included more time working together in the living room in the evenings. I’d say it’s been good for our relationship. :-)

This was made using pieces of vintage yukata cotton and Hida variegated sashiko thread #201 in the photo below.

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Want to take the class? Live in the greater SF Bay Area? Check it out on Eventbrite. 

New tutorial video and an upcoming show

The latest in my sashiko tutorial video series is longer than the first episode… mainly because Thomas wasn’t here to hurry me along and keep things brief so I rambled a bit. Hope you don’t mind, or at the very least find the ramblings useful. I talk more about thimbles and how to use them, why to use them, and show how the brown and blue “boro” quilt is coming along (almost done!).

Monday evening we shipped 475 lbs of inventory to Grand Rapids, Michigan for AQS Quilt Week. What is significant about the weight? Last year I shipped less than 300 lbs to the site, so this means MUCH more inventory for you to peruse. I’ve graduated from a 10′ x 10′ booth to a 10′ x 15′ booth and can easily fill that extra space. More fabric, new sashiko supplies — some of which arrived in the mail the same day we shipped everything out so we packed them up and I haven’t even tried them yet — loads of gorgeous vintage fabrics and anything else I can find that will fit into a box for transport.

Here at home we’re getting the old homestead freshened up with a new paint job and having a lot of the old wood trim repaired and replaced. Built in 1895 she’s been through a lot, including two big earthquakes (1906 & 1989) and we want to keep her going for as long as we can. For those who have visited the studio this year and haven’t been by lately, I hope you’ll enjoy the new look! For those who have been visiting during the restoration, thank you for being so patient and understanding. For those yet to come, welcome! I think you’ll love the new look. Here are a few before and during photos to give you and idea of what’s going on right now. Click on the photos to get a closer look.

Before - May, 2014

Before – May, 2014

house_scraped

During – first scraping, August 2014

house_primed_1

During – first priming, August 2014

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