In the past few months I've been working on a special project, designing and making little needle books. It is so fun and satisfying.
Amy Katoh, owner of the iconic Blue and White shop in Azabu Juban, liked my samples and we made a plan. She asked to specify the fabric, giving me a bag of vintage indigo scraps to sort through, as well as beautiful washi buttons to use. You KNOW this made my heart go pitter patter. I liked the challenge of working with the quirky and limited palette she gave me.
So, I set out to work, washing the fabric, sorting it into usable/not usable (stained).... and made more samples to show Amy...
Then upon approval, piecing piecing piecing, in full production mode the past couple weeks:
The pages are woolen and felt, and the ties vary from French ribbon to organic Japanese cording, to flax.
When I brought them in to Blue and White, Yoshiura-sensei patiently taught me how to finger knit my own cording...... which could be a great possibility for future books (time allowing).
The theme is mottainai - nothing wasted. For me, nothing could be better than playing with fabric, piecing and creating one little panel after another, and sew them into something practical, and pretty. I'm pleased as punch that they will be offered at Blue and White, a shop I admire so much.
And speaking of shops, my buddy Kazuko K (she blogs at cocolog-nifty here) took me to the cutest embroidery/fabric shop, in Jiyugaoka. She's a delight to spend time with - a really remarkable person. Anyway the shop is called Hobbyra Hobbyre and there are branches here and there - so special.
Kazuko also showed me to a little indoor mall also near the train station - a very eclectic mix of specialty shops all lined up. Tiny shops - stalls really. You name it - clothing, birds (!), bags, kimonos, office supplies, a deli....
and yes, a little fabric shop called Pico. Only in Japan!
That's all for now.... looking forward to the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival next week. Bracing myself for the crowds, and anticipating lots of inspiration.