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January 21, 2015

several years ago I picked up this printed cotton fabric at a charity shop


the pattern is an Inuit design of birds

cutting it would mean destroying the pattern so it sat in a drawer until I could think of something

looking for something to stitch I decided to copy the birds

and transfer them to fabric


the stitching went more quickly than I expected


the fabric is backed with old sheeting to give it more weight


2/8 cotton thrums are used for stitching thread


now what??


since finishing the boro experiment I’ve missed stitching beside the fire in the evenings

so — here I go again

this time with several handwoven fabrics and a splash of red

the red piece in the center is the first weaving I did at Kawashima Textile School in 1987

 warp and weft kasuri

there is a piece of my Mom’s embroidery

 a linen napkin with red fabric behind the open-work

and a treasured piece of e-gasuri (picture kasuri)

this is going to be fun and should take me into Spring evenings

18 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2015 7:42 am

    Oh, how cool! I love the way you incorporate those bird designs AND find a way to use up thrums. Thrums drive me crazy–such a waste! I’ll look forward to seeing the progress on this!


  2. Judi Bushby permalink
    January 22, 2015 12:27 pm

    Another amazing piece of boro. What wonderful stitching and what patience , to wait for so long before working out what to do with that amazing printed fabric find. You are so prolific with all your experiments! And always such amazing results.


    • January 22, 2015 12:53 pm

      Judi – thank you (I’m blushing). Still don’t know what I’m going to do with the original fabric.


  3. January 22, 2015 10:59 am

    I really think you can take that “appropriation” thing too far though. The bird designs were already printed on fabric by a manufacturer so I would consider your use of them in another medium is fair. Your new piece is going to be fabulous. I loves me a multicultural mashup!


    • January 22, 2015 12:56 pm

      Louisa – I felt the same about the pattern on the fabric, there was no copyright or makers mark in the selvege but I do try to respect individual/ethnic artwork and patterns.


  4. January 22, 2015 1:44 am

    very pleasing composition.the sashiko birds are a great example of recycling images,something i’m currently thinking about.


    • January 22, 2015 7:45 am

      Neki – I think there is a very fine line between “recycling images” and copying. Here, on the West coast it definitely is not ok to use aboriginal designs, different groups and families “own” certain images that define their family or tribal affiliations.


      • January 25, 2015 6:25 am

        oh no, i was talking aboutrecycling my very own images. i have so many and.fortunately keep producing.


      • January 25, 2015 8:17 am

        Neki – oh, my misunderstanding. but I know what you mean,sometimes when I look back I don’t even remember things from a year ago. Think it is good that new ideas keep coming.


  5. Renee' permalink
    January 21, 2015 8:00 pm

    i can totally understand why you wouldn’t cut the cloth with the Inuit bird. It will be interesting to see how this develops.


    • January 21, 2015 10:03 pm

      Renee’ – it will come together in a similar way to the boro piece. I look at colour, shape, size and then fill in the smaller areas.


  6. velma bolyard permalink
    January 21, 2015 2:54 pm

    those amazing birds…i love how this cloth is coming together. perfect with the red.


  7. January 21, 2015 2:37 pm

    Those are some fabulous bird designs! And I love the carpenter’s square? kasuri on the red. I recently bought some kimono fabric very similar although a little more orange. How did you like weaving kasuri?


    • January 21, 2015 3:10 pm

      Kristin – the red kasuri is called “well curb”. Good, traditional kasuri is technically complicated and there are many steps in the process before one gets to the weaving. Designing, resist tieing, dyeing, separating the individual threads etc. Then there are the different types – warp, weft, warp and weft together, picture and picture together with warp and weft. Some patterns are shifted, both warp and weft. Several of the steps need specialized equipment. I love the work and have tremendous respect for the craftspeople who do remarkable complex work. I spent 6 months working with expert sensei but don’t think I would ever get beyond the kindergarten level.


  8. January 21, 2015 1:29 pm

    I love the Inuit design done sashiko style. And how wonderful to include a piece of your first weaving, and other treasures. So many stories will be contained in this cloth.


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