After finding out at the very last minute that I had been accepted for Festival, I packed up the majority of my stock and shipped it out to Houston in mid-October. Then I did the East Bay Mini Maker Faire at the Park Day School in Oakland, California, and packed up what was left from that show and hauled it all with me in two large suitcases to Houston. From the airport to the hotel, then off to Quilt Market (the wholesale portion of the show), I didn’t skip a beat. That was Saturday; by Monday I was exhausted and had ordered several dozen new bolts of fabric and sashiko supplies from Japan. The last booth I visited was offering Daiwabo yarn-dyed cotton taupes. I was doomed.
At Market I had the pleasure of meeting Pepper Cory, a quilter and author who has done some beautiful sashiko work in traditional Japanese designs using non-Japanese materials. She and I discussed her preference for using English-made needles for sashiko, as well as perle #8 thread. I’ve been using Olympus needles and thread since 2008, and have only recently branched out into using other threads such as Hida (available by request) and supplies from other Japanese companies such as Tulip, Kinkame, and Clover. Talking with other sashiko stitchers, I’m finding a broad variety of preferences for either Japanese or Western tools and supplies.
Back home again, I’m working on plans for upcoming sashiko classes and events, so of course my mind would head of in another direction… back to Japanese goldwork embroidery, which I haven’t done in a year. The last piece was for the Winter Gifts issue of Stitch Magazine, 2012. Maybe it’s the impending holiday season that is inspiring me to do something sparkly again. The last project was on smooth blue habutai silk. I think this next one should be on rich red chirimen.