April 13, 2010

Pieces of Japan

Remember I took all those hand projects to work on my trip? One of them turned into this "Pieces of Japan". I took a bag of off cuts from my rail fence quilt. I didn't know what I would do with them at the time, but I like taking fabric and thread just in case I get inspired to do something during the trip. The pieces inspired me to do utility stitch onto a piece of vintage Kimono I also took with me. I did a couple of pieces in the evening starting from Kyoto and keep adding more pieces as we moved on.
This is just a section from it. The two rolls of sticky tape come in Japanese fabric prints. Aren't they so cute? Unfortunately I only found one pack.
This is roughly the whole piece. I put the last piece in Kanazawa on the last day. I called it "Pieces of Japan" and I plan to put it in a frame. Sorry for the poor photos. I took them with my iPhone just tonight.
This is a piece called 'Isushima-asa' by Miyoko Murata: This is what she has to say about it "On a visit to an antique shop, I was amazed at the beauty of a vertically striped kimono, displayed in the stairway. The Tsushima-asa kimono was just too beautiful to take apart and use for quilting. One day I found a bag full of Tsushima Island fabric. While piecing the quilt I thought of the weavers of Tsushima Island, their lives and the blue sea". This quilt was part of the 100 Japanese Quilts exhibition touring Australia a few years ago. It is an inspiring quilt. I fell in love with it and had to get a catalog as a reminder of it. There is a another quilt I am making from this catalog as well. I will show you later.
Basalt Rock wall at Osaka Castle. It was hand cut and fitted since the castle was built in 1586. This wall is part of Pieces of Japan I found inspiring. When we visited Osaka Castle I had already started my Piece of Japan quilt. I thought a quilt can be made using any shape and size of fabric, not only perfect squares or points. What we need is some stitches to keep the layers together.
A real utility cloth I saw hanging at a shop called Oriental Bazaar near Harajuku station in Tokyo. Oriental Bazaar sells Japanese traditional craft items. It must have been an original piece that had been made and used by the owner. I just love it and thought of all the jeans that no longer fitted me to make one like this some days. I hope that Pieces of Japan inspire you in someway. More photos from Japan are coming soon, but I thought I should show you some stitching as well.


18 comments:

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Wow Nat...what an amazing post!!! Look forward to seeing more of Pieces of Japan...Dzintra♥x

Sue-Anne said...

Great post Nat! Very inspiring and I love your "Pieces of Japan". It will look wonderful framed. I saw the exhibition of the Japanese quilts several years ago and they just blow my mind. Their work is amazing and quite different. I also loved the last piece you showed. There is something about the shades of blue in Japanese fabrics.

Terry said...

inspiring Japaness visual esthetic is different but embrases the same need too express beauty and cherish tradition
Looking forward to more.
Huggs Terry

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow Nat! Great post! Very inspiring.

Pat aka Posh said...

What a neat idea!! oh yes, it inspired me to start doing things like while on trips.. framing it will keep the memories strong each time you look at it.

Kaite said...

very inspiring post, everything looks beautiful and especially the very old utility cloth. i just love what you're doing with your own "Pieces of Japan". |<.

Jennifer said...

Nat, thanks for leaving a comment on my blog so that I could discover yours. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Japan so much. I also love Murata's quilts--did you see hers in my Flickr sets from the Tokyo Dome quilt shows the past several years? She conveys so much in each quilt.

Janet said...

Oh Nat, I was so excited to read this post. It's the very thing that's been inspiring me lately. Your pieces of Japan is fantastic. I loved seeing the other pictures, especialy the boro mono photo at the end.

Julia said...

Very inspiring post Nat, everything looks beautiful...
We had quilts from Japan on dislpay here a couple of years ago...I will never forget how amazing they were..
Julia ♥

Lis said...

Love this post, so glad to catch up with you on your trip, looks like a great time and loads of fantastic inspiration too

Bobbie Ashley said...

Wow Nat,

We are so happy that you are back. You were greatly missed here in blog land. It seems that you enjoyed your trip very much. I just fell in love with the cherry blossoms. You may have inspired me to start an new applique cherry blossom project. Well, welcome home and can't wait to see your other photos.
Blissfully Stitching,
Bobbie

ria vogelzang said...

Such great pictures, Nat!! Lovely!
Love your Japanese piece very much! It's a real reminder of your trip.
Thanks for the lovely stories!
Love, Ria.

Astrid said...

Love your Japanese piece too! The fabrics and colors are great! The finished project will always remind you of your trip to Japan! Very inspiring!

Kim D. said...

Love your pieces of Japan quilt, it will make a nice keepsake. The jean quilt looks well used. I've been saving jeans to make a quilt for years. A soft flannel on the back would work nicely.

ivoryspring said...

Lovely - I like how your quilt tied into a realistic Japanese theme.

Valentina said...

I love your "Pieces of Japan" what an inspiration and the most meaningful souvenir idea ever. wow!

Simone de Klerk said...

I love your Pieces of Japan. What a great memory.

Lis said...

Love all your Pieces of Japan, I am wondering what I will take with me on my next trip, and what I will bring back?!

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