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,…

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…

Chugata, Yukata, and Katazome videos part 1 & 2

I’ve been having fun researching and learning more about Chugata (a form of double-sided stencil dyeing) this week, and how it relates to other Japanese dyeing techniques such as katazome. While I’ve had some of these fabrics for years, I hadn’t really dug into their history too much until now. Here are the first two videos…

市松人形 Antique doll kimono – My New Year Challenge – part 3

A little background on what makes a doll an Ichimatsu ningyo… 人形 Ningyo = doll. That’s the easy part. 佐野川 市松 Sanogawa Ichimatsu (1722-1762) What have come to be called Ichimatsu dolls were first produced in the Kampô and Hôreki eras (1741 – 1764), the faces designed to resemble Sanogawa Ichimatsu, a Kabuki actor who was famous for…

Antique doll kimono – My New Year Challenge – part 2

In the West we tend to think of kimono as a static garment, always one style, one type of construction. Over the past decade I have handled a wide variety of vintage kimono, mostly from the 20th century, and the style, color, quality of weave, etc. do change the same as our own garments, although perhaps…

Antique doll kimono – My New Year Challenge – part 1

You may remember the antique doll I found in a consignment shop a few years back — links at the bottom of this post if you’d like to see the story — and how his restoration went. The very talented Anne Weaver did an excellent job repairing the doll, but the person who worked on cleaning…

Time for a sale!

I brought Thomas along with me to Quilt Market this year in the hope that he would keep my spending under control, but that wasn’t the case. We did stay on budget… until he left and I had one more day at Market on my own to do a little shopping. So! This means I…

New video, upcoming shows, and classes for October

Finally got done editing part 2 of the Deconstructing Kimono videos. They were both long, I’m working on shorter videos but sometimes I have too much fun to keep things brief. Class space is available for the two Sashiko classes I’m offering this month: Voodoo Kitty Pincushions. These will be relaxed, all hand sewing using vintage…

AQS QuiltWeek Grand Rapids Michigan & Japanese Textile Lecture

Helloooo, Grand Rapids! I’ll be heading your way August 11-16 for AQS QuiltWeek and I am very excited. I’ll hit up my two favorite haunts, Reserve and San Chez for fantastic food and drink, do a little shopping downtown, and check out the beautiful architecture of this little gem of a Midwestern city. AQS QuiltWeek brings…