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scrap happy June – boro

June 14, 2018

 there was a time in Japan when the ragged clothing and fabrics

known as boro – literally translated as “rags”

was hidden away

 they were an embarrassing reminder of a time of desperate need

now becoming trendy in the West

they are being celebrated as “unintended art”

the Amuse Museum in Tokyo is solely devoted to these “rags” of old

many are featured in the book “Boro”

pictures from my visit in 2016

for several years I’ve been stitching dyeing and weaving samples

old Japanese pieces and rags/scraps from my stash

into my idea of boro

lower left is the backing on one quilt using fabric from a well-worn yukata- (cotton summer kimono)

the quilt binding is handwoven using up small leftovers of indigo dyed cotton yarn

the two long pieces are old Japanese sarasa fabric sent to me by a friend

in the middle is a very old piece of e-gasuri  (picture ikat)

bought in a Kyoto market in 1987

in a corner of this quilt I’ve stitch an indigo dyed piece of my Mom’s embroidered pillow case

the inspiration for this piece was the printed fabric of Inuit designs bought in a charity shop

used as the backing and then repeating the designs on the front with stitchingcurrently I’m stitching a small piece

to cover book board and use as the front cover of a book in progress

all the yarns I use for stitching are thrums – leftover warp yarns that can no longer be woven

all the boro pieces are completely hand stitched

the front cover finished and mounted on book board

now to decide on how to cover the back cover

and from Kate’s blog, the other ScrapHappy participants

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). We have two new members today!

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon
and Hayley

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2018 6:14 pm

    It’s interesting to me that here in the States there was a time when quilts were perceived as embarrassing evidence of poverty – until museum curators put Amish quilts on the walls for an art exhibit. Meanwhile, I love what you’re doing!


    • June 15, 2018 7:20 pm

      Sue – thank you. Both my mother and grandmother made quilts, not as a hobby or for artistic reasons but to add beauty and warmth to family beds. I’m familiar with the history and quilts of Gee’s Bend, also made from necessity.


  2. June 15, 2018 8:39 am

    I embroider with thrums too – Aurelia’s smocking is done with silk thrums!


    • June 15, 2018 9:32 am

      Kjerstin – thrums are perfect and even a good length. It feels good to give them a second life. I loved your smocking, my Mom used to make me smocked dresses, unfortunately I don’t have one – she used to pass them on to younger cousins.


  3. Louisa permalink
    June 15, 2018 8:00 am

    Just lovely, Jean! There’s something about boro stitching that really appeals to me. The memory scraps, using up bits of this and that, and creating something useful in the end. I’ve only made a couple of pieces so far but use them every day with great pleasure.


    • June 15, 2018 9:33 am

      Louisa – each piece is personal and unlike any other. I particularly love the texture, like ripples in the sand, the rows of stitching create


  4. June 15, 2018 3:16 am

    I hadn’t heard of boro before I started reading your posts, Jean, and I’m fascinated with it! I love seeing how you make it your own.


  5. June 15, 2018 1:15 am

    Beautiful work, and in the best tradition of ScrapHappy, making unpromising bits and pieces into something more beautiful than the original. I love that indigo dyed pillowcase piece, the stitching is gorgeous.


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