Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a Japanese Textiles talk and workshop conducted by the very charming Katie Chaplin of Japan Crafts. Katie gave us a fascinating talk on the origins of some Japanese textiles and introduced us all to a whole new world. Who knew that weavers of Japanese cloth had their own special saw tip fingernail manicures?
To illustrate her talk, Katie passed around examples of the different textile techniques mentioned, including the glorious kimono you can see above. Surprisingly, vintage textiles are not particularly sought after in modern-day Japan apparently, so can still be found at reasonable prices. The same cannot be said for modern kimonos, which can command eye-wateringly high prices. When you hear that a kimono made using the Shibori technique similar to tie-dying can take up to one year to make, the prices are not, perhaps, quite so surprising after all!
Katie brought along some kimono type jackets for sale as well as a whole range of bag kits, which proved to be very popular with her audience. I may just have succumbed to a bag kit :)
In the morning we had a chance to have a go at Sashiko embroidery and were given a range of patterns to pick from. I chose a wave pattern for my first attempt at traditional Sashiko embroidery. We used a tool that I hadn't come across before to transfer the pattern on to the plain blue fabric.
Katie had some gorgeous printed FQ's for sale too, so I treated myself to a couple as I had had an idea of what I might do with the Sashiko panel when I had finished it.
My youngest son is just about to move into his very first flat, so I thought that this was manly enough for a bachelor pad :) The central Sashiko panel is surrounded by 2.5" square borders of three Oriental-themed fabrics, and the borders are machine quilted with a half-circle pattern to echo the Sashiko embroidery.
If you were at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last weekend you might have come across Katie's stall. Apparently it was strategically placed on the route between the cafe and the toilets, so bound to be passed by everyone at some stage in the day!
Our next session is on couching, another technique that I have never tried so I am wondering what I can do with the results from that.