May 20, 2013 Japan

Koyata Okonogi-san’s silk worm farm He uses an older breed of silkworm from the Edo era to reproduce finer quality silk. Lime is sprinkled on the worms and leaves to keep them dry. Noriko is his apprentice. Awareness of how alive textiles are here. From raising silkworms and spinning the silk to tending the indigo…

May 18, 2013 (part 2) Japan

Itchiku Kubota Museum Wayside flowers = tsujigahana “I want my textiles to tell a story. I will discover new techniques.” – Ichiku Kubota Gold work on kimono “Ou” c. 2002 #17 in exhibit – At least four types of thread. Bricked and sometimes top outlined. Thin and thick bands, gold and silver. Kimono colors gold…

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,…

Where can you find Kimonomomo in March?

Quick update (because I’m working on four other slow updates from my Japan trip and something needs to get posted, let’s be honest): Upcoming Sashiko Class: Sashiko Specifics – Learning the Stitches Part 1 with Kimonomomo – March 26, The ReCrafting Co, Alameda, CA Upcoming Quilt Shows: East Bay Heritage Quilt Guild – Voices in…

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…

Sashiko Subscription Box Beta coming soon!

What is the Sashiko Subscription Box (beta), you ask? The beta part refers to the first box being a limited release which will also come with a feedback questionnaire so you can tell me what you think needs to be improved or what works well. The goal is to have a presentable subscription box that…

Pardon the long absence, it’s been a busy year

Hello, dear readers. It’s been a while. In January & February I traveled Japan. More about that coming soon In March we launched our wholesale import business and showed at the San Francisco Quilt Guild Show In April I wrote a bunch, then stopped because there was so much more work to do with the…

Textile Trading in Osaka

Tokyo has the biggest quilt show in Japan, but many of the fabrics in those quilts start out somewhere else. Home to the bulk of the Japanese cotton trade for the past 300 years, Osaka is where next year’s trends are designed and next season’s designs are sold. In 2016 my husband and I decided to…

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…