Friday, May 14, 2021

Indigo sofa throw progress, and another shrine


I always want something handy to work on in the evenings watching TV, and my latest project is really fun.  I pieced together a small sofa throw out of indigo - some new pieces, and mostly vintage.  

I used the instructions from Susan Briscoe's excellent book The Book of Boro.   Mine has slightly different layout and proportions.   It measures about 45" x 65".  

It was so fun to put together.  I backed it with some beautiful, heavy new indigo purchased recently (no batting).  I basted it the other day, then stitched in the ditch everywhere, and then slip- stitched the hem.  

And now each evening I'm working on adding sashiko stitching in each "patch" - my goal being to have stitching every 1 1/2 inches or so.  

I'm using these beautiful sashiko threads from Blue and White.  

I love working on something so simple - just a ruler, chalk pencil, thread, needle.   Actually I'm now reminded that I do want to add some red sashiko stitches here and there too.  

Meanwhile, the weeks are flying by!  I'm getting busier and have a real sense now of this being our third and last year in Tokyo.   It already feels bittersweet when I think about it!   

This morning, I went on a brief outing with two friends to Konno Hachimon Shrine in Shibuya.  

I love spotting Japanese kamon (crests).  This one is tomoe:  

EDITED TO ADD:  these statues are "Lion Dogs".  

From wikipedia:  

Komainu (狛犬), often called lion-dogs in English, are statue pairs of lion-like creatures either guarding the entrance or the honden, or inner shrine of many Japanese Shinto shrines or kept inside the inner shrine itself, where they are not visible to the public.

This old tree must be sacred.  

It is being so carefully propped up: 

If there's anything tangible I dearly miss, it's living among trees - so I always relish the chance to be in a setting like this - 

Heaven - 



  1. I so enjoy reading your blog, not just for the quilting info but also for all the comments about living in Japan. I live in a Chicago suburb & have never traveled to Asia, so your pictures & info about Japan are most appreciated.
    Diane Carlton

  2. The trees at the shrine are lovely, so reverent and peaceful. The stone lions look rather like Mo the pug when he wears his knitted beanie hat, lol.

    The indigo throw is so beautiful.

  3. Your indigo throw is really lovely with all that special stitching...
    Those venerable trees are amazing...
    So serene....hugs for a great weekend Julierose

  4. The indigo throw is looking good! Your sashiko stitching is the perfect way to "quilt" it. I have a bag of several colors of sashiko threads I bought in Japan in 2010 and I need to start a project like this to use them! Your pictures are great, as usual!

  5. The indigo throw is gorgeous! The shrines in Japan are so fascinating.

  6. Nice way to feature indigo pieces. Maybe I need to try it out My collection is probably large enough to make something larger than a throw. I like those lion-dogs. When they have human figures they also have the open mouth on the right and the closed on the left. I wonder if that is a message for lefties to keep their mouths shut. I don't want to even think of you leaving again. We haven't had enough time. together.

  7. Lovely quilt and lovely post! I love all your posts!

  8. What a nice 'boro' project, giving you pleasant times at night in front of the TV. There are so many beautiful temples and shrines in Japan, and their grounds usually have old and large trees.
    Tomoe is actually our family crest, and it is often seen at shrines.
    I agree with Julie, I don't want to think of you leaving - we haven't had the chance to meet up very often, and the pandemic has certainly robbed you and your husband of many outings and adventures.

  9. Your sofa throw is already gorgeous, and the stitching will add even more personality! What is it about indigo fabrics that is so appealing?!

  10. Your sofa throw is wonderful and as your time there starts ending it and all the other indigo projects will help preserve all the fabulous memories

  11. What a beautiful shrine. I just love your travel photos. I wonder if the three was hit by lighting? Interesting.
    LOve your indigo throw. What a neat project to work on. Beautiful threads and what a zen approach.
    the smiling tigers sure made me smile.

  12. I didn't realize that this is your last year in Japan. You have adapted to well to all the customs and pretty much to the food too haven't you? Too bad this last year you had to stay so much inside... But think of all the handwork you got done!

  13. I read this post when you first published it but I guess I didn't leave a comment. Those lions are too fun. The one with the wide laughing smile just makes ME smile.
    One of the things that amazes me about the Japanese blues you use is how they all look so good together even though they're different shades and tones. I think your couch through will be delightful. What a treat to see that large-motif prints in it.

  14. Love your indigo throw especially its simplicity and the sashiko stitching. What a lovely piece filled with memories of your time spent in Japan. And your shrine photos are amazing! That lion-dog certainly made me smile, too!

  15. I'm late reading this post but I'm so glad I found it. Your throw will be gorgeous! And such a great reminder of your time in Japan. I've never seen real Japanese indigo fabric for sale here near me, is there a favorite place you would recommend ordering from? Etsy maybe? The shrine is such a peaceful place, those trees! It must be wonderful to find these special places. I hope you get to see many more before coming back to the states. Jan in MA


Thank you for visiting! I love reading your comments. As time allows I answer comments directly through email, if you have an email address available on your profile. Happy quilting!