Sashiko boro quilt

If you’ve seen me at a show or come to the Kimonomomo studio in the last few months, you’ve probably seen the quilt I’ve been working on. Pieced from Alexander Henry, Moda, Olympus, and Kona Bay prints, plus a few 19th century katazome cottons, it’s coming together nicely. Piecing took two days using a 1959 Singer…

Ringing in the New Year with a pile of old indigo

I spent New Years Eve picking apart two vintage cotton kasuri kimono, stitch by stitch. The one on the right with the cypress fence design (numazugaki 沼津垣) was so carefully sewn that it was a terror to disassemble. However, I wasn’t the first one to have taken this kimono apart, as evidenced by how it had…

Unpacking the pretties and piecing them together

I’ve been back from Houston for a week, worked 2.5 days at another show, and now I’m settling into the happy work of sorting fabrics in the studio. My show stock arrived a few days ago and is still being unpacked. Thomas and I discussed the new shelving units he will build for me, and…

Yukata Disassembly – indigo shibori

We live in an era of mass-produced, off the shelf clothing. That which was novel a century ago is now commonplace. To make clothing by hand is no longer a necessity, but a novelty. That’s great for saving time, but where is the love? In vintage, of course. Hand sewn garments of decades past can…

Vintage Katazome Comes Clean

Meiji era katazome cottons have a special place in my heart. I started collecting them years ago, back when I could barely afford to, and now it’s become something of a joy and an obsession. The fine dots and designs that remind me of having henna painted on my hands when I was 12 years…

Nouveau Boro

I’ve brought samples of my sashiko work to various quilt guilds and fabric shops, offering to teach a class or do a talk on the vintage pieces in my collection. So far the responses have varied from the rare “We’d love to have you, how much do you charge?” to the far more common “We…

Shop news and updates for April, 2013

I have no idea what happened to March. It was here, then it was gone. April seems a little more grounded, rooted, and thriving. The shop is buzzing with sales (use the code SPRING at checkout for 15% off until May 1, 2013) and sashiko items have been flying out the door. Going through my…

Book Review: Sashiko by Agnès Delage-Calvet

Sashiko : japanisch sticken by Agnès Delage-Calvet with photographs by Frédéric Lucano 2007, Haupt Publishing. ISBN 978-3-258-07134-3 Language: German I stroll through Amazon from time to time seeking out new sashiko books to add to my library. It doesn’t matter what language they are in, all are welcome. This slim volume starts off with a…

Olympus Wagara cotton sashiko sampler project part 3

After completing the Persimmon Flower background, I felt the coat needed something. Referencing vintage firemen’s coats I decided to go with a plain stitch, echoing the technique of stitching together multiple layers of cotton to make the coats very thick. Historically, the coat would be drenched in water before the firefighter went forth to battle…

Olympus Wagara cotton sashiko sampler project part 2

Here we go, on to the fun stuff. The magic of Persimmon Flower — Kaki no Hana (柿の花) — is how it evolves. Like an actual blossom, it starts off simple and innocuous, then blooms into something wonderful. And it’s all about the math; if you want the blossoms to be bigger or smaller, you adjust…

Olympus Wagara cotton sashiko sampler project part 1

Last year I stocked a single bolt of Wagara fabric. I wasn’t sure if it was worth the investment (they are pricey, even at wholesale!), but once I felt the fabric in my hands, I knew I’d made the right decision. Olympus, the Japanese company who makes all the sashiko supplies I carry in my…

Octopus or Jewel?

Flipping through reference books while looking for examples of goldwork embroidery, I stumbled onto a page in Flowers, Dragons, & Pine Trees that made me pause, somewhat concerned, and turn the book upside-down. The image, plate 77 on page 234, is credited as an indigo dyed Kasuri Futonji from the 19th or 20th century. From the text,…