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September 30, 2019
May 18, 2013 (part 2) Japan from The Ardent Thread

Itchiku Kubota Museum

Wayside flowers = tsujigahana

“I want my textiles to tell a story. I will discover new techniques.” – Ichiku Kubota

Gold work on kimono “Ou” c. 2002 #17 in exhibit – At least four types of thread. Bricked and sometimes top outlined. Thin and thick bands, gold and silver. Kimono colors gold and violet tones. Shibori crimps the fabric horizontally and vertically. Sometimes uses softer threads crosshatched for different effect.

Silver metallic and silk used for snow on Mt. Fuji on “Ohn” c. 2000 #1 in exhibit.

The colors are deeply layered. Greens and blued and browns are especially rich ...

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September 11, 2019
Indigo Sashiko Boro Leggings from The Ardent Thread

These pants go by various names depending on where you look: Mataware また割り(splits), Momohiki 股引, Matahiki また引き. Essentially they  are a type of trousers worn tight at the calf and baggy at the hip. Common in rural Japan until the early 20th century, these were worn by shop workers and farmers alike. These are different from Mompe or Monpe, もんぺ which were baggy trousers typically worn by working women. Today you can still find these tight, wrap-around leggings worn at festivals and parades by men and women carrying large floats or performing in traditional dances.

Let’s take a ...

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August 13, 2019
Little House Japanese Sewing Thimbles from The Ardent Thread

We stock several types of sewing thimbles from the Japanese brand Little House, and I use many of them myself. Which one(s) do you need? That depends on the type of sewing you do, how large or small your hands are, the length of your fingers, your mobility issues (if any), preference for vegan or leather materials, etc. Here is an updated list of what we offer from this brand. You can also read my previous post on thimbles here. 

Palm Thimble – This is extremely helpful for sashiko and I have several on hand so I can always find ...

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July 12, 2019
Sashiko update and the Peacock Party from Wendy's Quilts and More

I'm delighted to say that I've finished the stitching on my Sashiko panel.  Now I just need to turn it into a table runner.

I enjoyed stitching this panel.  It was fun and quite easy because the stitching lines were already marked on the fabric. 

I used gold and pink threads so that my panel would match my dining room chairs.  I also swapped the white for cream, because the white was going to be too bright.

This panel is from Indigo Niche in Australia, but there are many companies making these types of panels. 

What's everyone ...

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June 28, 2019
Sashiko and the Peacock Party from Wendy's Quilts and More

I've been doing a bit of sashiko lately.  It was easy to do on the plane because I precut the threads and left the ends to be trimmed when I got home - so no scissors required on the plane.

This is a pre-printed panel that I bought from Indigo Niche in Australia, but I seen it for sale in other retailers too.

I'm mixing it up by using 3 colours to match our dining room chairs.

Some of you will remember that I made a full sized sashiko quilt back in 2012.

These blocks weren't pre-printed - I ...

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June 25, 2019
A Work in Progress can be a Messy Thing from The Ardent Thread

You know that saying about how you really don’t want to see how sausage is made? It may be true for some people, but I’ve made sausage (thank you, Girl Scouts). It isn’t all that bad. Sometimes.

A few nights ago I sat in bed next to my husband. He read a novel while I scratched away at a pad of graph paper, sashiko reference books by my side. An hour passed quietly while a flurry of paper accumulated on the duvet. Each time I tore off a sheet from the pad, my husband would look over ...

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June 2, 2019
Broken and Mended – patching sashiko hitomezashi from The Ardent Thread

I love my grandson. I really do. Even when he takes a pair of scissors to something I’ve labored over for the past few weeks. Because he inspired me to work harder on my patching skills and actually need to patch something, not just do it for fun. So here we go.

I was standing at the stove on a Saturday morning, making an omelette for breakfast, when my son-in-law came in to the kitchen, toddler in tow. “Um, Finn got into your workroom and… he cut your project…” I pushed the frying pan off the hot burner and ...

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April 4, 2019
mending from Sotak Handmade

Do you mend your clothes? I admit, until very recently I didn't really give mending a second thought and simply got rid of any clothes that were worn out or had holes. Recently though I've been doing a lot of reading on mending as well as ways of living a more sustainable life so, naturally, when my favorite jeans developed these unsightly rips I decided it was time to put my newly acquired knowledge to use :)

I used a small embroidery hoop to keep the area I was working on nice and tight. I then pinned and slip ...

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April 2, 2019
Big Blue Boro from The Ardent Thread

This piece is one of my favorites. Of course every piece in my textile collection is a favorite or it wouldn’t be there, but this piece is significant in how much of a story it tells in layers of cloth and thread.

It’s big. And it’s heavy. Here’s a shot of it in all its glory.

I don’t like to hang it like this due to its weight. It will either pull things down with it, tear itself apart, or both. I’ve hung it for display once. Never again. Here it is casually draped ...

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November 9, 2018
Too many WIPs from Wendy's Quilts and More

I feel surrounded by WIPs at the moment.  I know I should prioritise and finish one or two, but I keep dipping in and out and nothing is getting finished. 

Here's a few of the things I'm working on at the moment:

1.  My Glitter quilt - pattern by Jen Kingwell from Amitie Textitles.  I'm aiming to have all 152 blocks finished by the end of November, and then I can hand sew them together over summer. I haven't looked at them together since about April, so I hope the colours are all fine.  I don't ...

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September 9, 2018
Sashiko and Double Gauze – the Ripple Effect from The Ardent Thread

Sashiko doesn’t have to involve a lot of fancy stitches. Sometimes you can achieve delightful visual and tactile effects with a simple straight stitch. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using double gauze cotton fabrics.

What is double gauze? It’s exactly what the name implies: two layers of cotton gauze fabric, lightly tacked together. Popular in Japan for making light, breathable clothes for humid summers, soft clothes and blankets for newborn babies, and lightweight scarves for winter, double gauze suits all seasons and ages.

Before double gauze, layers of plain homespun cotton were used ...

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August 24, 2018
hand stitching and visible mending from Sotak Handmade

You guys, of course I had to jump on the visible mending band wagon :). How could I possible not? As soon as I first saw the fabulous combination of distressed denim and chunky, prominent hand stitches I was in love.

And, as luck would have it, I had a pair of jeans in my closet that was perfect for giving this technique a try. Now, for a full disclosure, my jeans already had holes in them. But not from wear and tear, they came like that from the store :).

Pretty cool, right? I added a piece of denim to cover ...

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August 10, 2018
Quilting with Sashiko from The Ardent Thread

My mom was a hand quilter, which makes it logical that after watching her enjoy it for so many years,  I’d come to appreciate handwork, too. The slow pace, the gentle and rhythmic stitching, and the fabulous texture of it all.

There are some aspects of hand quilting I do not enjoy so much, especially how painful it can be. I went from hating thimbles to carrying an assortment of them in my shop, mainly because I use the little buggers now and I understand how necessary they are. Needle grippers are convenient to have around, and I have ...

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July 25, 2018
Sashiko Thread – Which type should I use? from The Ardent Thread

If you don’t live in Hawaii, California, Oregon, or Washington state it may be difficult to believe Sashiko has been in the US for decades. For those of us on the Pacific side of things, Sashiko has waxed and waned in popularity since the late 1970’s at least, with a big upswing in the 1980’s and again in the past ten years or so. I started selling Sashiko supplies online in 2005 and have seen demand grow exponentially since.

For years the only brand of Sashiko thread available in the US market was Olympus. If you were ...

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June 22, 2018
Quick Bites – News for June, 2018 from The Ardent Thread

Here is a list of our upcoming events:

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March 8, 2018
Where can you find Kimonomomo in March? from The Ardent Thread

Quick update (because I’m working on four other slow updates from my Japan trip and something needs to get posted, let’s be honest):

Upcoming Sashiko Class:

Upcoming Quilt Shows:

Sashiko Subscription Kit:

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February 24, 2018
My Sashiko Designs - Available Now from madebychrissied

My Sashiko Designs by

Yay, I've done it, I've sewn up my Sashiko designs.
read more » mbCD:

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January 31, 2018
visible mending from Sotak Handmade

Do you mend your clothes? I must admit, I used to see clothes mending as something only poor people had to do because they couldn't afford new clothes. I know, pretty bad attitude for sure, especially since this kind of thinking adds to all the unnecessary waste we produce.

Thankfully though over the last few months I started seeing mending as something not just useful and good for the environment, but also a way to make one's wardrobe more fun and unique. Have you heard of visible mending? I found it super, super inspiring and decided to try ...

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December 20, 2017
End of the Year Updates and News for 2018 from The Ardent Thread

There was a time when I could semi-hibernate through December and rest up over the winter to prepare for spring shows and events. THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED THIS YEAR. We’re pretty much working full throttle this month, and January looks like more of the same, which is a good thing. Here’s what we have going on. Click on the bold headlines below for more information. 

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December 12, 2017
Kogin Institute, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan from The Ardent Thread

I visited the Kogin Institute in Hirosaki on January 31, 2017 after visiting the Tokyo Quilt Festival, Takayama, and Osaka. It was a pleasant flight from Osaka to Hirosaki, with the view of snowy mountains most of the way, and many, many empty seats. My companion Toyo looked around the plane, counted the passengers, and said in a low voice, “We’re the Seven Samurai.” Five men in business suits and the two of us, plus a very cheerful and friendly flight crew, happy to practice their English on me. I shared fresh strawberries from Osaka with the crew, and ...

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  • sashiko
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