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March 18, 2021

the forsythia is blooming – and yes, the sky really was that blue

for two weeks I’ve been pruning and weeding and cutting and hauling

once a year the municipality picks up garden waste

 I try to take advantage, otherwise everything has to be bagged and hauled to the recycle dump – no burning

yesterday I finally finished as much as I could do

and this morning at 8:00 am they hauled it all away

thank goodness, getting old, my body aches

with the help of my neighbour we cut six feet off the holly tree and reduced it’s girth by two feet

now I can get back to fabric and fibre

Gilbert is modeling the hinagata hanten I mentioned in my March, Scrap Happy blog

“hinagata” are miniature sewing samples hand stitched by young girls when learning to sew

it is surprisingly large, 25 inches/ 63.5cm. in length

old, very soft cotton fabrics, possibly recycled and all handstitched

my memory was wrong, this is a yogi not a hanten

a yogi is an oversized kimono-shaped quilt – a hanten is a work jacketit is made with a thick layer of batting but, as the piece is in good condition, and the stitching firm

I can only guess that it is cotton

the only flaw is a stain on the back

“the book of boro” gives directions on how to make a full size yogi quilt

Saturday is the first day of Spring – enjoy!





























20 Comments leave one →
  1. Going Batty in Wales permalink
    March 19, 2021 2:09 pm

    It is a beautiful piece and Gilbert is very lucky to be allowed to wear it. I love the idea of a quilt designed to be worn – how practical! In the past girls had to know how to sew and it was a highly esteemed skill. I suppose our equivalent was the sampler that young girls embroidered. We no longer need to hand stitch our clothes or even make them ourselves but maybe something has been lost in the process.


    • March 19, 2021 10:20 pm

      Sue – yogi (kimono quilts) were never made to be worn, they are oversized and heavy, they were used on the bed (futon) and in some cases the entire family slept under it. Oh, I would definitely say something has been lost.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 21, 2021 4:06 am

        How odd to make sleeves and everything for a bed quilt! Or maybe just odd to my Western mind.


      • March 21, 2021 11:11 am

        Sue – it is a cultural thing, here is a great link If you go to his web site you will be shocked by the prices on old Japanese textiles. Mailing costs from Japan during the pandemic are also shocking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 22, 2021 4:03 am

        That is a fascinating article – thank you! I see lots of parallels with Welsh folk textiles but the use of ‘darning’ to strengthen old fabric seems to be peculiar to the Japanese. A Welsh housewife would have patched the hole or weak spot on the back and made her stitches as invisible as possible!


      • March 22, 2021 10:36 am

        Sue – this wasn’t just a hole or weak spot, the entire fabric was disintegrating with layers of patches on top of patches.Poverty so extreme it was impossible to hide. And they did patch from the back, now sellers show the back of pieces because they are more interesting than the front.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 23, 2021 3:51 am

        Ah! I wonder what the original makers would think of that? Perverse maybe!


      • March 23, 2021 11:38 am

        Sue – I doubt that they would understand the 21st century. What I really wonder about is how they would feel knowing that some of the larger pieces are selling in the thousands of dollars – mostly to Westerners. More money than they probably saw in a lifetime!~!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 24, 2021 3:53 am

        I sometimes wonder what, if anything, of my belongings will be kept by my children and grandchildren. Which of the things I have made will become ‘heirlooms’ or ‘valuable antiques’ and how soon will the rest end up in landfill?


      • March 24, 2021 11:56 am

        Sue – think most of my “stuff” will go to charity shops, secondhand stores or anything of value will go for sale online.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        March 25, 2021 4:09 am

        I reckon that is what will happen to most of mine too!


      • March 25, 2021 10:46 am

        Sue – 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  2. March 19, 2021 7:51 am

    That’s a lovely little yogi – I think Gilbert looks very snug in it. what a great “sampler”! I have a small puffy kimono that came wrapped around a doll from an auction lot – I wondered where it had come from originally, but I think it was a baby garment.


    • March 19, 2021 9:49 am

      Kjerstin – there were always a few hinagata at the market in Kyoto back in my day, wish I had bought a couple more. don’t imagine they are being made now. I wonder if that is what your small kimono was originally?


  3. March 18, 2021 11:11 pm

    Gilbert looks extremely dignified and cosy, and I can just imagine how very soft and delicate that fabric surface is. Lucky bear!


    • March 19, 2021 9:51 am

      Kate – Gilbert is becoming a fashionista, wonder what he will want next?


      • March 19, 2021 2:22 pm

        Some natty bear suiting in an elegant window check combining cinnamon and chocolate colours, perhaps..? No, that’s just me projecting! I think a nice indigo boro jacket would fit the bill perfectly 🙂


      • March 19, 2021 10:21 pm

        Kate – I’m not promising Gilbert anything, it will be summer soon and he can have a pair of shorts!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. March 18, 2021 5:09 pm

    I know I’ve missed some posts but finally I said “anything older than xyz, has to be gone” and now I will start to read and comment on posts.
    That’s some sample that young people had to make, I see a sample as something that would fit Gilbert or one of his friends…


    • March 18, 2021 10:29 pm

      Catherine – I spent 6 months at Kawashima Textile school, the Japanese are very serious about all traditional crafts and there is only one way to learn – you have to be right and good! Kimono are still hand stitched and taken apart for cleaning and then completely restitched. Women had to know how to sew the family’s kimono.

      Liked by 1 person

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