Thursday, 22 June 2017

Glyn's 'funny trousers'

I saw this post today, about Japanese nikkapokka (knickerbocker) work pants. So I thought I'd do a special post about the ones Glyn got on our last Japan trip.  He'd seen them in movies and on Japanese TV and though they would be great for shows - as well as carpentry work of course.  You can read all about their purpose and origins in the link.

He ended up with two pairs, both grey, one in 100% cotton (for everyday work) and the others in 50/50 polycotton with a subtle stripe, which he's keeping as his 'posh' show trousers.  We got them from this store in Tsuruoka city, about an hour from Yuza-machi, where he was absolutely spoilt for choice.  Japanese work clothes are really cool and there were loads of colours and fabrics to choose from.  The shop was so full, it was impossible to take a photo inside.

A few days later, members of Yuza Sashiko Guild made sure he got a few accessories to go with them!  Work gloves, wrist protectors...

Glyn loves a Japanese DIY shop...

He didn't get a pair of these faux snakeskin safety boots, maybe next time...

But the boots he's wearing in the photo at the top are pretty wild.

Forthcoming sashiko courses and a December day workshop

The dates for my new sashiko courses are arranged now, with the courses running from October in Edinburgh and from September in Stockton-on-Tees and Perth.  The Edinburgh and Perth courses are 8 sessions, while the Stockton one runs over 10, as we have shorter days.

Edinburgh dates (all Saturdays), 10.30 a.m. to 4p.m. - at Edinburgh Patchwork - 7th October, 21st October, 25th November, 9th December, 3rd February, 3rd March, 24th March, 14th April.  £40 per session, payable one session in advance - first session fee is your deposit.

Stockton-on-Tees dates (all Tuesdays), 11.30 a.m. to 4p.m. - at All Saints' Church, Hartburn - 12th September, 10th October, 14th November, 28th November, 9th January (to be confirmed), 13th February (to be confirmed), 27th February, 27th March, 22nd May. £32 per session, payable one session in advance - first session fee is your deposit.

Perth (all Thursdays) - at The Peacock and the Tortoise, Perth - 28th September, 26th Oct, 9th October, 23rd November, 7th December, 11th January and 1st February.  Fee for full course £280.

For Edinburgh and Stockton-on-Tees, please book directly via me.  For Perth, bookings will be handled by The Peacock and the Tortoise.

I'm also doing a rerun of last December's one off class at Edinburgh Patchwork, where we looked at designing our own panel inspired by marumon (circular designs), kamon crests and other traditional Japanese floral designs, using the kirigami paper cutting methods shown in old Japanese moncho (crest design books).  This will be on Sunday 10th December.  The workshop fee is £40 for the day and you can reserve your place with me using the contact details on my website.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Getting things done

Progress on the house (and the summerhouse) slowed right down last year and this year we have had a very busy season, with workshops or other textile events almost every weekend since we came back from Japan in January. Yesterday was another fun World Textile Day at Bridge of Allan near Stirling, and today was one of those rare things -  a Sunday at home!  It was quite hot and sunny for Perthshire too.  Glyn got on with building the scaffolding for the chimney repairs/repointing, which is a rather urgent job.  We got the lime mortar colour matched last Autumn, so now we have the good weather, he is ready to go.  Don't worry, we are only a 1 1/2 storey cottage, so it isn't working high up.  Earlier, he had the Land Rover Discovery in bits and the bad news is that is has got a cracked cylinder head, so we might just sell it now as 'spares or repair'...

After a delicious meal last night at an Italian restaurant in Bridge of Allan, I did my own version of anti pasto tonight.  It was a bit more international, with a French walnut salami among the meats, Greek olives, Italian salami and ham, and Polish pickled salad, served with Italian white wine.

A white ago, our old plastic laundry basket cracked into several pieces.  This is one of the replacements.  I have nicknamed it 'Glyn's pants pod' - ! I crocheted it from T-shirt strip 'yarn' I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show at the end of April, using a 10mm and 12mm hook (Clover make these big sizes).

It was hard work and slow to crochet, but I'm pleased with the result.  I had to increase at eight points on every alternate round to make the base, and decreased a bit at the top, to help with the shape - hence the 'pod'.  The 'basket' is quite soft and floppy, but fine when filled with laundry.  

The top is slipstitched around twice.  This gives it a really good, solid edge.

For the other laundry basket, I got one of Bob's African baskets.  I thought I had a photo of these but I can't find one.  They are very flexible baskets made from woven grasses, with leather handles.  We got the 16in market basket because, full, it is about one load for our washing machine and is easy to carry, but he also sells a specific laundry basket.  It is so much nicer to have handmade baskets for laundry, rather than something mass produced.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Masu revisited

Working out the block arrangement for my new version of my Masu quilt, this time using the original pattern strip width but only twelve fabrics rather than eighteen and alternating stripes and chusen stencil dyed florals in the strips.  All the stripes are by Nukomori Koubou.

In the first arrangement (top), the outer fabrics are arranged in columns.   In the second, they step across the patchwork in sequence.

I don't have a design wall set up at the moment, so the only space to arrange them was on the bed.  Not ideal.

This is the original version of Masu, as it appears on the pattern cover.

A Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks sampler

Tammi Hackley of Chugack Mountain Quilt Guild, Alaska, contacted me a while back about making a raffle quilt using blocks from 'Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks'.  It's nice that people want to make fundraiser quilts from my books and I love seeing the results.  Tammi wrote -

The ladies in the guild found the blocks challenging but the challenge fun.

Certainly looks like they made a beautifully coordinated quilt!

Tickets can be purchased either by contacting Tammi at just be sure to put in the subject line “CMQG raffle” or by going to the website address on the flier below.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

World Textile Day Scotland, at Bridge of Allan next Saturday (June 17th)

WTD Scotland is on Saturday -  I'm spending the next few days preparing...

I have some lovely new fabrics for this show, including quite a lot of the crisp blue and white yukata cottons I'm so fond of.  After launching the blue and white version of the Fanoe quilt last year, I now have some kits packed up too.  I'm doing these with a great discount for the bundles, as the fabric costs are approx. £185, but we are doing the kits, including the £8 pattern, for just £165.