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Scrap Happy March

March 14, 2021

marching on—slowly

in addition to March’s colour study page “in the pink

I’ve been stitching all white

this definitely is scrappy – no trimming or squaring up the edges

two of the fabrics are handwoven – the bottom, center is my handspun shifu gami (Japanese paper yarn)

it is surprising how many shades of white there are when you put them together

the backing is a damask linen napkin – it was intended to be a cushion

but – I quickly became disenchanted – too much white and too scrappy

it may end up as a page in the colour book – white is a colour too!

I often think, after finishing a boro stitched piece, that the back is more interesting than the front

when it comes to using up small scraps Japanese boro is my favorite technique

something I have realized while reading the book is that most Japanese boro is stitched with fabric pieces that are straight/squared

possibly because they used narrow, handwoven fabric and they don’t cut shaped pattern pieces

it really looks nicer than my squiggly bits

Gilbert is showing some of my work, done over several years

I finally broke down and ordered the newly published  “the book of boro”

written by Susan Briscoe -a western expert on sashiko (a very precise, decorative, Japanese stitching technique)

the first 30 pages of techniques, history and stitches etc. is interesting

then 10 project chapters, including a bookmark, pincushion, placemat and coaster

several types of bags, including a traditional komebukuro bag

a hanten (work jacket)

  and a hinagata hanten which is a minature piece used to teach young girls how to stitch

I actually have one of these purchased in a Kyoto market years ago – maybe I’ll stitch my own

all the projects are photographed and illustrated in very precise detail

in the end, it really is all about sewing projects from patched fabric pieces you have made yourself

I have to confess to being somewhat disappointed – what was I expecting?

I didn’t need to pay for a book to tell me how to make a table runner

some fabric books I have stitched, in this past year, to use as teaching tools

a “new normal” can’t come soon enough!

here are Kate’s links to other happy scrappers;

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean (me), Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, NancyDawn 2, Noreen,
Bear and Carol


35 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathy permalink
    March 16, 2021 7:02 pm

    I love your study in white, but if you do white, you should also do black. Given your disappointment over your new book, I am curious when you are going to write your own. I think it is time. I am looking forward to a visit in the garden soon. Kathy


    • March 16, 2021 11:12 pm

      Kathy- I have already realized that there has to be a black piece. No, no book! James and I visited outside on Fri. it is almost getting warm enough.


      • Kathy permalink
        March 19, 2021 12:04 pm

        James thinks the book should be called “The Ramblings of a Crazy Weaver Lady.”


      • March 19, 2021 10:09 pm

        Kathy – so that’s what he thinks of his mother!! No book.


  2. March 15, 2021 10:33 am

    Your white on white is absolutely gorgeous! And, of course, so is your other work- just lovely!


    • March 15, 2021 11:28 am

      Noreen – thank you. Think I will try white on white again but be a little more organized and work with finer, lightweight patches.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Going Batty in Wales permalink
    March 15, 2021 9:37 am

    I too love seeing your work. I will see if I can persuade the library to get that book when they finally re-open. I think the first part would be very interesting although, like you I know how to make a table runner!


    • March 15, 2021 10:12 am

      Sue – yes, see if you can get the book from the library, they may have some of her other books and will definitely recognize her name.She also does workshops and craft sales around the U.K.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 16, 2021 4:04 am

        Oooh! I will look out for her!


      • March 16, 2021 10:40 am

        Sue – when the time comes, if you meet her in person, I’d be interested in what you think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 17, 2021 4:36 am

        I have discovered that the library has another of her books so have requested that – they open today for click and collect so hopefully….


      • March 17, 2021 10:49 am

        Sue – interested to hear which book you get and what you think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 18, 2021 4:33 am

        I think it was a compendium of quilting techniques but may have misremembered. I have just had a call from the library inviting me to go and collect some books but I am not sure which ones – certainly not all the ones I have requested! If this one is not in the bag hopefully it will be available soon and I will make a note to let you know what i think of it.


      • March 18, 2021 11:19 am

        Sue – she has published more than a dozen books so it will be interesting to see which one you get. I have “The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook”, have referred to it many times over the years and think it is excellent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 19, 2021 1:45 pm

        I think the library had only 3! and not that one or the one on Boro. I will try Carmarthenshire when I get a chance and see if they have a better collection.


      • March 19, 2021 10:16 pm

        Sue – the Boro book was only published a few months ago. probably too soon for libraries. I had to get my bookstore to order mine. Other than Sashiko I have never seen any of her other books.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 21, 2021 4:05 am

        Then I shall borrow what the library has and tell you what I make of them!


      • March 21, 2021 11:11 am

        Sue – 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • March 15, 2021 10:23 am

      Sue – I wrote a reply and then it disappeared! Yes, try to get the book from the library, they may have her other books and will certainly recognize the name. She does workshops and craft fairs in the U.K.


  4. March 15, 2021 6:38 am

    Good morning! I love your stitching..yes, even the white scrappy piece. I’ve never heard of “paper yarn” before, though.


    • March 15, 2021 11:22 am

      Jellico – the art of making and using “paper thread” is an old technique in Japan. Also done in some Scandinavian countries at one time. I use good handmade Japanese paper. I have posted many blogs on how to do it – can be found under “shifu” in the tags section of my home page.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. March 15, 2021 6:11 am

    I love those little fabric books.
    I often find crochet books disappointing as they all seem to assume you are a complete beginner and use up quite a few pages explaining ‘how to crochet’ which is fine but I don’t want it in every book taking up space that could contain more projects.


    • March 15, 2021 10:29 am

      Lynn – as the book is only recently published I couldn’t get it from the library and the book stores didn’t have it so I ordered it unseen. Guess I was expecting something different.


  6. March 15, 2021 5:18 am

    I got all excited when I saw the book, but I too wouldn’t want all those projects, just the first 30 pages!
    I love your work, but especially Gilbert and the books.


    • March 15, 2021 10:33 am

      Jan – I have really enjoyed making fabric books. Reminds me of the fabric books of my childhood (still have a “Night Before Christmas” oilcloth book). Also the ones my kids had and then the grands. They feel so comforting in the hand.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. claire93 permalink
    March 15, 2021 4:24 am

    what gorgeous texture on your “all white” page!


    • March 15, 2021 10:36 am

      Claire – I love the texture – like ripples in the sand as the tide goes out. I thought the absence of colour would make the texture more visible.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. March 14, 2021 7:09 pm

    I love the precision of your work, combined with the informal placement and delicate change of white on white. And I also love seeing your indigo boro work all assembled like that. I have a couple of Susan Briscoe’s books on Japanese blocks and colour, but as I’m nowhere near as expert on Japanese textiles as you, I found them rather good!


    • March 14, 2021 9:49 pm

      Kate – thank you. I don’t consider myself an expert, by any means, on Japanese textiles. I have one of Susan Briscoe’s books on sashiko and also think it is good, have even tried a couple ideas from it. Just feel that pages of how to make a bookmark, pincushion, etc. is a bit simplistic.


      • March 14, 2021 10:12 pm

        I suppose for complete beginniners it’s somewhere to start and not a huge waste of time and resources if they find they don’t care for it.


      • March 15, 2021 10:37 am

        Kate – I guess we all have to start somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. March 14, 2021 4:09 pm

    it’s too bad the Boro book disappointed…how small is your miniature Hanten? Enquiring minds want to see!


    • March 14, 2021 9:52 pm

      Kjerstin – I’ll photograph and measure the small hanten, it is much too big for a Hitty but of course you could adjust the measurements. You are welcome to borrow both the book and/or the hanten. More to come.

      Liked by 1 person

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