Monday, January 09, 2012

A New Beginning

I have a love/hate relationship with sewing machines.  I'm not proud of it, exactly, but it is something I have felt for most of my life.  I like to make things and while I have used a sewing machine in the past, it  usually was a painful and difficult project.  I guess this is why hand stitching appeals to me so much.

I have a wonderful collection of Japanese indigo fabrics.  I've been squirreling it away as I come across new pieces for years.  And for years the idea of doing something in a Boro style has been growing and hand stitching it.  (Boro textiles are a sort of Japanese indigo fabric patchwork done by frugal people to use, reuse and re-purpose textile scraps.)

I believe that Boro style came about when something useful was damaged, it was patched with some available scrap.  In the process these textiles became a sort of "story" and many are multi-generational textiles.  These fabrics have become quite collectible and I have been fascinated with them ever since I first stumbled upon a futon cover about ten years ago at an auction.  I love how the tiniest piece of hand-woven indigo might be used to "fix" a hole in a useful fabric, from a futon cover to a workman's coat. Many fisher men's clothing was made in this style as it becomes thick and "padded" with the addition of layers and quilting to hold it all together, and so warm clothing to be worn while fishing
woven square of various fabrics, basted onto tea-dyed backing of light weight cotton
 I have begun to create a boro-style cloth of my own, to use and reuse some of my collected Japanese indigo fabrics as well as other fabrics I have collected and/or purchased for use in this project.  I expect at some far-in-the-future date it might become a duvet cover or quilt for my bed.  What I love about it is that I am working on small pieces that will be joined together later on to form a whole, larger cloth.  So far it is all hand sewn.  (Thus avoiding the dreaded sewing machine!)  In the future I may well use a machine to connect all the parts, but this remains to be seen.  I am just working on small bits as they speak to me and I'm having a lot of fun doing so.

a woven moon, 6 inches square, hand quilted
 This is my new project for 2012.  Who knows how far I'll get or how it might develop?  I don't!  I am having fun and enjoying the process, so it's all good.

close up of a woven moon


diane b said...

I've learnt something new. Boro. It looks like it is going to satisfy your artistic urge and talents. The moon looks great.

kareninkenai said...

Wonderful photos. Have you seen Jude Hill's video on doing the Boro style. I am doing the basic hand stitching (quilt making) class, whispering hearts, and moon, sun and stars... since they are perpetual - hoping to learn hand work, too. You are inspiration - excellent pieces. thanks for sharing. karen [AND, have a fab trip - you think you have to lose the .4 oz? LOL