Friday, April 20, 2018

Kiku sashiko project class

Yesterday the time flew as I taught a fourth sashiko class at Cobblestone Quilts.  Five ladies, each with her own connection to handwork and either a new or a developing interest in sashiko stitching.

We explored this timeless motif - the chrysanthemum - or kiku - which represents long life and rejuvenation or energy.  The Chrysanthemum was adopted by the Imperial Family of Japan as the Imperial Flower and has become a symbol of Japan itself.

We see it everywhere -

I love these vintage bits of indigo katazome (stenciled patterns)  featuring kiku

You can start to see the "fan" appear as the motif gets more simplified:

So when you see something like this, go ahead and think "fan", but know that its origins are in the hearty and elegant chrysanthemum!

A piece like this might be made into a pillow, but a more classic use (lined, or unlined) would be as a furoshiki, or traditional Japanese wrapping cloth.  The braided stems are perfect for this use.

I wish I'd taken more photos!  Isn't it always a balance between being in the moment and documenting the moment...

In other news... this was yesterday morning.  Come on, April, stop with the snow!



  1. Wow, thanks for the free lesson. I never even thought about how the fan resembles the chrysanthemum. It makes perfect sense now!

  2. Interesting! Thanks
    This spring is cray

  3. I, too, enjoyed this mini lesson.
    We had spring in midwinter, and then had winter in early spring. :)

  4. It is a small window for entry but you can enter next year. I missed it this year too. are you going?


  5. I enjoyed your mini lesson too.

  6. Your supplies didn't get much rest from their journey. Glad to see you sharing your passion.

  7. Someone will be very lucky to recieve your little quilt. You used some great fabrics representing the time period. Love your binding too.



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