8 hours ago
Friday, 12 September 2014
Meeting old friends around Yuza
One of the really nice things about coming back to Yuza is meeting friends when we've got out of touch. Before the internet, keeping in touch with many Japanese friends was difficult for me, because I can't read and write Japanese and many of them can't write a lot of English easily. Also I moved house several times over the last few years. I was so happy to meet Kyoko Abe again when we came back to the Sanno Club after lunch on Thursday. Kyoko retired as a teacher when I lived in Yuza and we used to share our interest in lace crochet! Following crochet patterns was how I started to understand Japanese craft book diagrams. We lost touch since about 2000.
Kyoko gave me many pieces of kimono fabric in the 1990s, and a lot of the centre squares in my 'Time and Again' quilt were her fabrics. She recongised them like old friends - the grey one with the pink and white squares was from her.
She told me this pink kimono silk was made into a blouse.
This wool muslin with the asanoha pattern, one of my favorite fabrics in the quilt, was one of her family's fabrics.
I am sure this silk was her's too.
This piece came from the end of a kimono tanmono (roll) and shows the shading at the end, plus part of the manufacturer's name.
She was very interested in all our work. The 3-D balls in sashiko are one of Yuza Sashiko's specialities - they have a play ball inside.
I hope I can meet Kyoko again next time I visit Yuza. She gave me many of her family's kimono, which have such an interesting history, and I have used them in my kimono talks so many times. So I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Kyoko Abe!
Other friends I haven't seen for a long time include Keiko Abe, who started me off with Koginzashi, and Takahashi Obiya, who runs the shop where I learned to sew kimono. These are all people I feel gave me a significant direction change with the work I do. It's great to meet them again after so long. I bought some tenugui towels at the Obiya shop this time and I'm planning to use them in quilts. The Utamaro bijin ukiyo-e handkerchief I used for 'Shonai no Yume', my second quilt, came from Obiya too.