Sunday, 20 April 2014

Current Special Exhibition at the Amuse Museum, Tokyo - Nanbu Hishizashi

 Special Exhibition 

We are planning to visit the Amuse Museum while we are staying in Asakusa, and I am looking forward to this exhibition very much.  Nanbu Hishizashi is a side shoot from Kogin or Koginzashi, the counted sashiko from Aomori Prefecture at the top end of Honshu.  Read more about it here.

When I wanted to include a sample of Nanbu Hishizashi in 'The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook', I stitched a replica piece for the photo, because the originals are so rare now.  It was much harder to stitch than Shonai hitomezashi.


Nanbu Hishizashi is stitched over even numbers of threads across the width, which gives it the elongated shape, whereas Kogin is stitched over uneven numbers of threads (my sample piece is shown below). This gives a different proportion to the stitching.


Our main reason for wanting to go to the Amuse Museum is to see the boromono from the Tanaka Collection, so this is a bit of an added bonus.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The 1718 Coverlet - coming soon...

My next book! We are finishing off the editing over the next week and the book is scheduled for publication in August, hopefully in time for Festival of Quilts.  This is what I've been really busy with over the last six months or so, but we were keeping it under wraps.  Royalties from the sale of the book will go to towards the charitable aims of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles, which include the upkeep of the quilt collection of The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles, housed at the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York.  The image on the cover is the original coverlet, which is the star of the book, with all new high resolution photographs and newly drafted block patterns.  Put it on your wishlist!

UPDATE - I should have mentioned, the original is going on show at the museum in York in the autumn, 5th September to 13th December 2014.   LOL, I suppose this is the first book I've 'ghost written' - literally.  It has been quite strange at times drafting patterns and writing instructions for someone else's blocks, especially when that person isn't around to ask for info.  I also forgot to mention that the instructions are for the original technique AND modern techniques (i.e. machine patchwork, needle turn applique, freezer paper applique etc.), so you don't have to make everything over papers.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Summerhouse Gothic


While I've been editing my new book, Glyn has been getting on with the summerhouse.  After constructing the frame for the back wall, repairing the Gothic window frame was the next job, before it can be put into the wall.

The window was salvaged from Plas Newydd, Llangollen in 2005, when an old outbuilding was converted into a gallery/education room.  It had been full of junk, mostly timber and fittings from the two wings that were demolished in 1963.  These weren't part of the original house but were added after the death of the Ladies of Llangollen.  It may be the window in the gable end on the left in this photo -


I had it stripped as soon as I got it, but there was still a bit of wet rot in the bottom.  Glyn cut this out, treated the rest of the timber and recast the bottom corners in resin.  The woodwork was in very rough condition but it has been filled and smoothed, ready for painting.


We are going to glaze it with painted perspex.  The other windows and the doors are also salvaged, but not quite as dramatic as this one.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Koyotcollection tenugui sale on eBay


Gary Bloom at Kyotocollection has got a fantastic selection of tenugui in his eBay shop at the moment, and this week he is having a sale.  He has a wide variety of designs, more than I've seen in for sale in one place (and I shopped for a few tenugui on my last trip). There's everything from kabuki cats to traditional ukiyoe scenes and geisha to more contemporary designs like this fun sewing motif tenugui -



Although they are technically towels, tenugui aren't fluffy but flat weave, absorbent cotton and make unusual panels for patchwork, rather like the cotton furoshiki Gary also sells.  He supplied the 'rabbits and moon' panel for the 'Furoshiki' quilt in 'Japanese Quilt inspirations and is also the person behind the Furoshiki Shop link on my blog.  Unfortunately the large size rabbit furoshiki I used has now sold out, but he has many more furoshiki to choose from.  Have fun browsing!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Summerhouse in Spring

Work on the summerhouse had to be put on hold during the very wet winter we've had, but Glyn got on with some more wall framing while I was in Cullen.  We tried out the Gothic window in the back panel tonight, just to get a sense of how much wall will be on either side.  This is the back wall so it will be at the other end of the summerhouse.  The outside dimensions are 12ft x 8ft, and approx. 11ft 5in x 7ft 5in inside, allowing for the 3in frame depth and the tongue and groove panelling.  More building this weekend...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Kimono World on Youtube

Kimono expert Sheila Cliffe in Tokyo, aka Kimono on Facebook, has started posting an excellent and inspirational series of kimono related videos on Facebook, as Kimono World.  Have a look!