Saturday, 15 September 2018

Update on Edinburgh classes - 

Main course is cancelled but there will now be a 'reunion' session on 24th November, so I'm collecting names for that. Please bring any current sashiko projects you'd like help with, but I will also have a couple of 'new' patterns to show you. Reiko Domon has included some wonderful patterns by Hokusai in the new Yuza Sashiko book and I want to stitch some of those.

Rice Sack Bag class - places still available on this mini course. 15th December (to start the hitomezashi panels) and 5th January (machine sewing the bag). This is the handbag I usually use (in photo). The latest version is called the 'indestructible', as I've added a lot of little strenghtening pieces inside the bag (finally found a use for those sashiko cloth 1cm leftovers!)  It has an outer pocket and a little 'ticket pocket' detail too.

The remaining date (1st December) I'm going to suggest to Gerald and Alison that I run an 'Exploring Japanese Boro' workshop, with the option to start making one of the boro bags or a boro panel. Since I've got the workroom dates booked, I don't want to waste them.

All individual days and courses are £40 per day. I'll take the bag samples over to Edinburgh Patchwork next Saturday morning, so you can see them in the shop too. UPDATE - I've negotiated a special discount offer for all workshop participants on 24th November, 1st December and 15th December -  20% off marked prices across Edinburgh Patchwork's shop for those attending my classes! A great time to treat yourself for Christmas (on 5th January, the shop will be having their annual sale with even more discounts).

Some of the boro bags - first two mini ones are by Fiona Fitheridge -

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

New sashiko courses starting soon!

The next sashiko course in Stockton-on-Tees starts on Saturday 15th September, and the one in Edinburgh (now running as four Saturday and Sunday weekends) starts on 22nd September.  There's all the info links you need on my homepage

The photo above shows some of the quilts made by my students from Edinburgh - Lorraine, Sam, Jo and Pamela (Fiona's is just out of shot on the right) when they were exhibited with Yuza Sashiko Guild's work at their exhibition in Yamagata city in May. This is the second time student samplers have gone to Japan.  As well as this exhibition, student quilts have been shown as part of the World Shibori Symposium in Yamagata and at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, so it is a chance to get your sashiko seen internationally.

I've been very busy over the last month, with Yuza Sashiko Guild members visiting the UK for the Great Northern Quilt Show and World Textile Day East.  I have photos and will post them as soon as possible, but I have so much to do this week, with the new classes starting and a book deadline coming up as well...

If you would like to join us for either class, I have a few places left for each one - contact details are on my website.

UPDATE - I have had to cancel the Edinburgh dates, as I had a couple of student cancellations, which means that the room rental would not be covered.  However, I am looking at running a 'reunion' session for former sashiko students (from any of my courses - Edinburgh, Perth, Kaleidoscope or Loch Lomond) at Edinburgh Patchwork instead, but I would need to know how many are likely to attend asap. This would be an informal session, with one to one help with any current sashiko projects you have, and I'd probably add a new pattern design for the group. It could be on 23rd September, 24th November or 1st December - all Saturdays - but I would need to know likely numbers (and take payment for the day) asap.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Great Northern Quilt Show is coming up

Yuza Sashiko Guild teachers Reiko Domon and Chie Ikeda, and members Akiko Sakuraba, Izumi Sato and Keiko Ishikawa are on their way to join us for the Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate this coming weekend.  They arrive tomorrow and the show starts on Friday and runs until Sunday - details here.

I'm teaching another boro bag workshop, as my previous one went down very well.  This time, it is for a komebukuro (rice bag), a drawstring style bag with a square base.  We have just finished packing 36 kits, each with a lovely selection of recycled vintage fabric (lots of blues with colourful red accents), a pretty yukata cotton for the lining/foundation, plus a drawstring cord to complete the bag.  Fiona has made a fab version of the bag in green too.  My workshop is at 12.45, but it is advisable to book tickets at the workshop booking desk as soon as you arrive if you want to try this workshop, because the previous boro bag workshops at the Spring Quilt Festivals were selling out very quickly.

Yuza Sashiko will be running a 'make and take' workshop on the end of my stand, so you can try stitching sashiko with the experts.  You don't need to book for this - just turn up and grab a seat!

I'm using my phone a lot to access the internet at the moment and it is quite frustrating that there seems to be no way to post on blogger via my phone.  Can anyone advise me on this?

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Tricycle adventures, good and bad... and Festival of Quilts

We have a problem.  My husband Glyn had a cycling accident last weekend on my 'new' vintage Pashley trike and has badly injured his knee.  He has detached the cruciate ligament in his right knee and damaged one of the other ligaments.  The upshot is that we’ve been back and forth to the hospital all this week, he’s got to have an MRI scan on later August and they are talking about surgery being necessary.  It’s a problem because he can’t walk properly but more importantly can’t drive, and won’t be able to even think about getting back to driving for at least 3 months, possibly longer.  For now he has been signed off from work for 6 weeks (but will be able to do some work from home). We will be going to Festival of Quilts as planned, but he won't be doing a lot of walking around.

First, the happier photos! The pictures at the top show the trike at Edinburgh Bike Station, where we spotted it a fortnight ago.  We brought it home in the car last weekend and put it back together (correctly!)

We gave it a 'new' secondhand gel saddle, hardly used, for more comfort.

Then we took it out for trial rides. It is fun!  It handles completely differently from a 2 wheeled bike, and the last time I rode a trike I was about 5 years old.

Slowing down for a turn is essential, but you can turn in a tiny space. You can't fall off easily (we thought)...

Glyn got in plenty of practice too. The trike has a tendency to pull into the kerb, which was worse on the corner of the lane, following the camber of the road, hence going very slowly there. There is quite a dip opposite our drive, which is where a huge puddle forms in the rain, causing us some flooding problems on the drive in the past.

The gears are 10 speed Suntour Cyclone 2, with a Stronglight 100 chainset. So it is a very smooth ride and a bit too easy to pick up speed. The gear change is on the handlebar stem, so you have to bend down to change gear, which is a bit awkward, as the trike riding position is much more upright than a racing bike. We already planned to change this.

Toasting our success! We really felt we had got to grips with the basics of trike riding. So when Glyn went to the Co op in Coupar Angus later that evening, he rode the trike. Unfortunately, just after turning at Kettins cross roads, he tried to change gear at the same time the bike hit a sudden change in the road camber (not visible on approach) and in a split second the trike had run up a dropped kerb and dumped him straight into the hedge! It does not handle at all like a bike. He had to ride home too because he couldn't walk and had forgotten to take his phone...

Monday morning we were at A&E, and they gave him the first of his splints, after X-rays to identify the injury.

He was fitted for a hinged splint on Thursday. Ouch! But he can hobble around on his crutches a lot better. Glyn just commeted 'I've got a yellow leg' - all the bruising is finally coming out. At least he can still smile.  The painkillers probably help with that.

I'm not too optimistic that this can really heal itself without surgery, as one of my cats, Fluff, did exactly the same injury (not involving a trike, needless to say) and had to have an op to reattach it.  At the moment, we don't know when that is going to be, but sometime after the scan.

We will be at Festival of Quilts on N10, but he's going to be doing a lot of sitting down. We are trying to turn that into an advantage for customers. My sales stand has already been redesigned to use 30cm deep IKEA Ivar shelving approx. 120cm high max, with lower sections to work as 'sales counters' so Glyn will be staffing one of those, sitting on a very comfy camping chair. I'm hoping by having all our fabrics on low level shelving, the stock will be a bit more accessible for show visitors in wheelchairs or on scooters, and also for everyone else. NEC say I can drive in close to the show entrance to drop him off and pick him up later, and we can borrow a wheelchair free to wheel him into the show in the morning and back out again in the evening.

The bad news is that I have had to cancel my Australia trip for this year, although I hope I can return in future. I can't go away and leave Glyn at home for three weeks with no means of transport to the hospital (or work, if he is back in the office by October).  We live 15 miles from Perth, where the hospital is quite close to his office.The specialist was talking about 6 months recovery. I really hate having to cancel the trip, but there's no other way - we live a long way from our families (not that they could do much, as both our mums are disabled themselves) and we don't have friends nearby who are free in the daytime to ferry Glyn around if I am not here.  I'm just glad I hadn't got as far as buying my airline tickets.

This really has thrown a spanner in the works! Ironically, the trike is absolutely undamaged!

Friday, 20 July 2018

Shimacho quilt from Canada

Linda Stephens, who I met when she came to Scotland last year as part of the Celtic Quilt Tours group, sent me a photo of her Shimacho quilt from 'Japanese Quilt Inspirations'. She wrote -

This was a great project to work on and to use some Japanese fabrics.

I love the fabrics in this quilt too.  The cool, turquoise blues, the greys and reds give is a very Mid Century Modern/contemporary look, which really works.  Lovely choice of long arm pantograph pattern on it too - all over leaves (click the photo to see more detail).

The group did the Sashiko on Tartan class with me at the Black Watch Museum and we had a fun time together.  Hope to see you at Festival of Quilts Linda!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Press release for Festival of Quilts

I'm back - with more fantastic vintage Japanese fabrics than ever before!

During the last few years, I've increased my fabric range considerably and now stock a big selection of vintage and recycled Japanese kimono fabrics, including -
* sashiko fabrics and threads, including fine sashiko thread
* traditional tsumugi (slubbed weave) cotton striped fabrics
* indigo and white yukata cotton fabrics, from the 1960s to the present day, in small and large patterns, including geometrics and abstract designs
* colourful late C20th women's yukata fabrics with large scale prints, dyed with the chusen stencil technique (as seen in Patricia Belyea's book 'East Meets West Quilts')
* stunning kimono silks - great for projects like infinity scarves
* silk and wool blends, including tsumugi (slubbed weave), kasuri (woven ikat) and gauzy hemp blend summer fabrics (great for Korean Pojagi)
* recycled fabrics - unpicked from vintage and antique kimono, futon covers and work clothes, these are perfect for boro projects

These are all the traditional narrow width fabrics, approximately 14in wide. Ideal if you are looking for something a bit different for your project.  Whether sashiko, patchwork, quilting, dressmaking, embroidery, bags or home dec, you'll find something unusual at stand N10. Because the majority of my fabrics are vintage, they are unrepeatable, so if you see something you like, get it now. Fabrics from just £12 per metre and fine sashiko threads from £6 for 370m skeins.

See you at the Festival!


This is the press release I have attempted to upload to my entry on the Festival of Quilts website 'Exhibitor Zone'.  I suspect it did not upload.  I'm finding most of their online forms to be quite frustrating to complete!