Indigo Sashiko Boro Leggings

These pants go by various names depending on where you look: Mataware また割り(splits), Momohiki 股引, Matahiki また引き. Essentially they  are a type of trousers worn tight at the calf and baggy at the hip. Common in rural Japan until the early 20th century, these were worn by shop workers and farmers alike. These are different from Mompe…

Big Blue Boro

Closeup view of one of Carol’s favorite antique Japanese indigo boro!

Sashiko and Double Gauze – the Ripple Effect

Sashiko doesn’t have to involve a lot of fancy stitches. Sometimes you can achieve delightful visual and tactile effects with a simple straight stitch. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using double gauze cotton fabrics. What is double gauze? It’s exactly what the name implies: two layers of cotton gauze fabric,…

Sashiko Thread – Which type should I use?

If you don’t live in Hawaii, California, Oregon, or Washington state it may be difficult to believe Sashiko has been in the US for decades. For those of us on the Pacific side of things, Sashiko has waxed and waned in popularity since the late 1970’s at least, with a big upswing in the 1980’s…

Kogin Institute, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan

I visited the Kogin Institute in Hirosaki on January 31, 2017 after visiting the Tokyo Quilt Festival, Takayama, and Osaka. It was a pleasant flight from Osaka to Hirosaki, with the view of snowy mountains most of the way, and many, many empty seats. My companion Toyo looked around the plane, counted the passengers, and…

Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival 2017 part 3

Some photos were taken in a hurry as I rushed from the booth to lunch, or back again. Closeups are all I have of these beautiful quilts. The geometry is complex and amazing. When people who don’t quilt think that quilters are old grannies who sit around making simple blankets, I want to show them…

Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival 2017 Part 2

I’m writing this while sitting in a Tokyo hotel, but I have so much more to tell you about this trip. Since leaving Tokyo Dome I took a train up to Takayama, another train down to Osaka, flew to Hirosaki in Aomori prefecture, then back to Tokyo again. Three weeks on the road and I’m almost ready…

Quilt Show at Meguro Gajoen – Tokyo – June, 2016

I love happy accidents. As June sweltered on, I had a few spare days in Tokyo to do as I pleased and wander about. Still working out the subway system, I took a few wrong turns and unexpected detours, but any excuse to stretch my legs or see a different part of Tokyo seemed fair….

Sashi.co – Interview with Keiko Futatsuya

I first stumbled onto Keiko Futatsuya’s work two years ago while searching for botanically-dyed sashiko thread. She was working with Hida Sashiko at the time, but has since moved on to produce her own work as an independent artist and designer. The quality of her work is amazing, and has developed over time to reflect…

Indigo Unraveling – Kyoto Blue 京都の藍

What is it about indigo textiles that bring up so many sensations? The depth of blue, new or faded; the stiffness of the fibers from repeated dips in the dye vat; the fuzzy nap of fabric from years of use; all of these add to indigo’s allure. It’s alchemical, magical, practical, and deeply, vividly, a part of…

Flower of the Forest – Takayama 高山市

Taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagoya is a thoroughly modern ride. The high-speed train glides along while the view of lush farmland interspersed with citiscapes rush past. And of course, there’s Mt. Fuji. Transferring at Nagoya to the Hida Express, the journey is somewhat different. The train chugs along, ever upward into the mountains,…