Sunday, 20 January 2008

Kimono Dreams (Friday), home (Saturday), Nantwich (Sunday)

Friday at the gallery was quiet, more like the first week. I stitched the side seams and okumi (front overlap panels) on the pink hemp kimono and helped Maureen alter a wool hitoe (unlined) haori, taking off the sleeves and side panels, and resewing to fit. She is quite a lot taller than the original wearer, so we will resew the sleeves to the body with minimal seam allowances. As I usually suggest for an alteration, she unpicked the sleeves first, then unpicked and resewed one side of the haori at a time - that way you can use the original side for reference re stitches used, finishing etc. It is best to remove the sleeves while you deal with side seams on both kimono and haori, as you don't risk pulling at and tearing the sleeve seams.

Half way through the afternoon, a beautifully dressed lady came in - wearing kimono! I didn't recognise her, and she was so perfectly dressed, she looked very authentic. It was shira from the Immortal Geisha forums. Here we are with the ship hikizuri. Shira's kimono is wool hitoe, and she accessorised it with a white obi with a floral motif in sumi-e (ink painting) style, a black obiage sash and a pink & black obijime.

Saturday was spent working on my entry for the Quiltfest 2008 challenge - the block is "Sister's Choice". I'll post a pic of the results in a few days' time. I used a Kona Bay panel from the Emperor Collection - the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto - and there are only six fabrics in the quilt. I've machine quilted it, using shaded and metallic threads, in intersecting grids.

Sunday (today) was the day of the quilt fabric sale at Nantwich, held annually in January. I was there demonstrating sashiko - stitching komezashi (rice stitch) variation on a panel made from two checked fabrics. My editors at David & Charles sent me an extra advance copy of "Japanese Sashiko Inspirations" for the door raffle, and Marian (pictured below) was the lucky winner. She will be able to read her copy of the book 2 months in advance of the publication date!

I put up a display of several items from the new book, plus my Kurume Kasuri sampler quilt from "Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match" and a few bags from "The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook" (I was using these for my workbag and to carry the sample books). We gave away dozens of postcards featuring the new book cover and had a sample copy for people to see. There was a lot of interest in the new projects and the concept for the book - each chapter has a small "taster" project as well as a main project to stretch your talents, and every project's design is inspired by vintage Japanese design sources.

I also spotted this version of my rice sack bag #4 - by Vicky ? (Sorry, I have suddenly got a block on your name - please remind me!) She used red and cream sashiko thread on brown sashiko fabric to stitch a larger variation of the patterns on my bag - a variation on ganzezashi (sea urchin stitch), also called hishi shippou (diamond seven treasures).

A great day out (even though I overslept this morning and we didn't arrive till 9.30 a.m.) I got some more Gutermann silk threads from the Contented Cat and some black & white fabrics for a future project. But the best thing about a day like this is meeting so many other quilters!

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