Friday, February 26, 2010

Sashiko Exhibition in York and Plymouth

An stunning exhibition of Sashiko textiles is on display at Collins Gallery in Scotland. Later in 2010 it will be at Plymouth. The link to the website for further details is here.

Japanese Sashiko Textiles
27 February – 10 April (closed 2 -5 April inc)

Originated by York Museums Trust and researched by Michele Walker, this is the first major touring exhibition of Japanese Sashiko Textiles to be mounted in the UK and the Collins Gallery is the sole Scottish venue for this visually stunning and comprehensive collection.

Sashiko (sashi-to stitch and ko-small) is a technique similar to quilting characterised by geometric patterns stitched in white on indigo coloured cloth. The motifs used indicate where the garment came from as well as the occupation and social status of the wearer.
Sashiko evolved from a need to re-use and repair, associated with the making of work clothes throughout Japan until the mid-twentieth century and today, Sashiko textiles are protected as Folklore Cultural Assets, categorised as Mingei or traditional crafts integral to a community’s culture.
The exhibition focuses on the lives of the makers, working- class women from fishing and farming communities , through items dating from the mid 19th century ,work by the Okio group (carriers of logs) and by Ciau Sato, a 90 year old from Sado Island.

It also explores the fact that Sashiko garments offered both physical and spiritual protection since the indigo dye was repellent to snakes and harmful insects while certain patterns , symbols and “talismans” were stitched on the inside of the garments to protect the most vulnerable areas of the body.
The exhibition comprises over 70 garments and related objects complimented by films and images by the renowned Japanese photographer, Iwayima Takeji (1920 – 1989).

Lenders of historical material include: The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, The Aikawa and Ogi Folk Museums, Sado Island, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Fukuoka City Museum while contemporary work has been sourced from the NUNO Corporation and from textile artist, Tokunaga Miyoko who created garments especially for the exhibition.

Supported by an on-line publication, practical workshops in Shibori and in Sashiko led by Jeanette Sendler and Sara Keith, and a symposium with presentations by Michele Walker, Lou Taylor, Tim Parry-Williams and Sara Keith.

For further information, please contact:
th Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, 22 Richmond St, Glasgow

Tel : 0141 548 2558

27 February - 10 April 2010(Closed 2 - 5 April)
Address of Venue:Collins GalleryUniversity of Strathclyde
22 Richmond StreetGlasgowG1 1XQ
Opening Times:Mon - Fri 10am - 5pmSat 12 noon - 4pmSundays ClosedPublic holidays - Closed

Touring Venues:
31 July - 26 September 2010Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery,8 Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AJ

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bag Envy

Have you ever seen a friend's bag and thought "I'd like a bag just like that". Well this has happened to me on many occasions but today I was happily in bag heaven (or its earthly equivalent) when I had to forcibly remove my bag from the shoulder of someone else at The Cotton Patch who had taken rather a shine to it.

Amy Butler Swing Bag being made with Echino Fabrics
Not that my bag will appeal to everyone of course but its kinda funky and quirky and that's the kind of bag that works for me. We saw the fabric by Echino at a show in February and could not resist it (the fabric is on our website with other fabrics by Echino as well as some embellishing tape, some of the fabrics are even more quirky and funky!). The fabric is great for bags being a linen/cotton mix. The pattern is the Swing Bag by Amy Butler which if you've never made a bag before is a great starting point - its not that difficult and in total took 3 hours to make (including a substantial amount of checking it looked good in a mirror and taking some photos so really about 2.5 hours)

To give it stability I used Duck Cloth 10oz which is what Amy recommends in her pattern.

The green fabrics has a design that runs from selvedge to selvedge so it would also make a great blind. Watch out for these fabrics on our website soon!

So a great project for an evening when you can't get in the garden due to torrential rain :-) and its reversible too!Amy Butler Reversible Bag

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Japanese Quilt

Keeping with the same Japanese theme, one of our customers in Portugal - Marian, has made many quilts, wall-hangings and craft projects including this one which really took our eye.

She explains
"I saw the collection of Chinese materials in your catalogue some time ago and thought "That's for me" as we have many things from China . My husband started going there on business in the mid 70's and he brought home "reminders of the country" . We were both taken around a Cloisonné factory in Beijing in 1978 - quite an experience . He also visited remote areas where many of the locals had never seen a white man before !
I always buy an extra length of material for the border of a wall hanging or quilt matching the materials I am going to use as I have found that if I leave the choice of edging until the end I can never find something suitable ! Living in Portugal means that I can't pop into the "Cottonpatch" .
The little Cloisonné plate gave me the idea for the design . I did at first consider cutting out a big dragon from the dragon material and letting it climb through the blocks but settled for embellishing the dragons with embroidery and beads instead . It is also a nice way of displaying things like the jade dragon .
Best wishes from a very hot Algarve ,
PS I have almost finished the Kaffe Fasset "Post card" quilt ! I've used 500 metres of hand quilting thread so far . I cut the templates last September !"

Thank you to Marian for letting us know more about the quilt and we look forward to seeing the Kaffe Fassett "Postcard" quilt soon!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alternatives to Quilting and Quick Projects

Val, who has worked here at The Cotton Patch for just over 14 years, is into lots of craft projects, not just patchwork and quilting. One of them is card-making. She made a beautiful card for Denise whose birthday was on Wednesday (no ages to be revealed!).

She used a stunning Japanese fabric and what you probably can't see is that the fabric is raised away from the card, creating a dimensional effect. The result is very effective and an excellent use of the oriental style fabric. The trick seems to be to cut out the fabric really carefully by using very sharp pointed scissors. Finding a card base that was the perfect matching colour also helps!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Its in the Bag!

Sometimes it doesn't take much to add something unique, yet simple, to an item that completely changes the look of it.
A great example is the little bag that David (our webmaster) and his wife Janet found at a market in Leicester. The bag wasn't particularly expensive but with a few Yo Yo's on it (Suffolk Puffs by another name) in Japanese fabrics it becomes an elegant accessory.

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