Saturday, 21 June 2014

Finally Found What I'm Looking For

You would have thought that a city the size of Tokyo would have a patchwork shop. Fabric shops, of which there are many, are good but they aren't the same. They lack the precuts, the notions, the patterns, the knowledge. I spent a morning trying to track down one called Palette last week but to no avail. I widened my search and came across Quilt Party in Chiba.
Regions and Prefectures of Japan
Image from here on Wikipedia.
Tokyo is area 13 and Chiba is 12, so to get from central Tokyo to central Chiba you have to go all the way around the top of the bay, which takes about 70 minutes on public transport. My point being, this is not my local shop, but was definitely worth the trip! Sadly photos were a no no but look at my haul. First the 'american' fabrics - by which I mean ones I've seen available outside Japan.
Fabric
Then we have modern japanese fabrics:
Fabric
And finally the traditional japanese fabrics - these are the ones I specifically went for and that I have seen so much of in quilt magazines and books here.
Japanese Fabric
I had a go at a colour circle.
Japanese Fabric
I love these colours. They are so different from what you get in the UK and elsewhere. I was trying to describe the palette to Noriko, who is pukka Japanese but not a quilter, but knew as soon as I used the word 'murky' that I'd failed. I have in mind a dresden quilt but I am just enjoying looking at them at the moment.

Meanwhile in my more usual colour palette I have finally got the handles attached to this bag.
Wooden Handle Patchwork Bag
I finished the patchwork (which is on both sides) aaaaaages ago but had been balking at attaching the lining and handles in such a way as to not cock up either. This is my first time using these solid wood handles (I got these secondhand at the Salvation Army Bazaar a month or so ago) and it took a long time for my brain to work it all out to my satisfaction.
Wooden Handle Patchwork Bag
While I was enjoying my moment I realised I'd forgotten to add an inside pocket - but I decided not to cry about it. The lining is these two sashiko-ish placemats I also found at the Sally Army.
Lining of Wooden Handle Patchwork Bag
I have two more hexagon projects that need finishing but these are much smaller.
Hexagon Metal Frame Purses in progress
My next project awaits though and will use my final purchase from Quilt Party.
Applecore paper liners
This is a completely new shape for me. I tackled clamshells earlier in the year and made my camera pouch from them. I haven't yet decided what the applecores will become but I am sure that something will present itself in due course.


Friday, 20 June 2014

A Spot of Making

The two Sew Together bags I blogged about last week are now finished.
Patchwork Sew Together Bag
The buttons disguise where my patchwork came out just a teeny bit short and didn't meet the binding.
018
Not that it takes much to prompt me to add a button to something. The velvet one is a present.
Patchwork Sew Together Bag
She's going on holiday at the weekend so I thought it might come in handy.
Patchwork Sew Together Bag
I'm not sure what to use mine for yet.
Patchwork Sew Together Bag
I deliberately used colours outside my usual palette but while I'm very happy with it, it is a little more butch than I'd usually go for. I think it's the black.

I also found a moment to spit out another frame bag so I could recheck the process for my workshop next month.
Red Frame Bag
Red Frame Bag
Red Frame Bag
The organiser is thrilled and I am pretty happy with it.

Lastly, this is what I am most proud of this week:
Tomato Plants 17 June 2014
I know Rachel is also sprouting and in fact is a week or so ahead of me. Things 'growing' is something that has always fascinated me. Babies to adults, crystals in jars, tomatoes - it is all as one in the part of my mind labelled "wow". I am fully aware of all the science behind it but still....wow. That one was only about a day old and had gone from this in that time:
Tomato Plants 17 June 2014
Can you see it? Where the yellow flower had just dropped off and there's a tiny little bump? Amazing. I mean - cells, water, nutrition, but still...so cool.


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Hydrangea and Iris at Hondo-Ji Temple

This is somewhere I saw on Rurousha who gives me all my tips about which gardens to visit and when. It was truly beautiful. The moment when you come out of the first set of buildings (various shrines and memorials to former chief monks) and see the iris's is really something. A few photos.
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hydrangea Medley
This is the view from that moment...
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
Hondo-Ji Temple, Chiba, Japan
It was a very lovely way to spend a morning.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Teacher Byrne

I had a meeting this week with the woman who organised the Yukata Classes. I had offered to teach classes on various sewing, knitting or crochet topics plus said we could use my flat for the lessons if it was on a weekday. Along she came to see my various creations and also check the flat was suitable.

I had laid out various projects on the dining table for her to see and she was immediately drawn to the metal frame purses.
001
She said traditional bags to go with Yukatas were often like this but larger with a handle - was it possible to make one of those?

Hmmm, hummmm, ummmm... I pondered. Oh hang on, I think I have some like that in the bedroom.
Two frame purse bags from my past
I had completely forgotten about these when I was selecting things to show her. Turns out this is exactly what she wanted. She particularly adored the patchwork one but I made it clear it would have to be a single fabric piece to get the workshop done in a day. So...I'll be teaching a metal frame handbag making workshop in July preceded by a shopping outing to Shinjuku for a frame and fabric for the lining and outer - to be chosen by the attendees using guidance from me. I am off there on Monday to scope out the prices of various bits so she can work out the costs of the class. Exciting!


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