Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A pause from quilting, I've been sidetracked.

What a mail week I've had, remember this toile I fell in love with? Cathy from Cabbage Quilts sent a wonderful RAK to me. I adore it and she sent some favourite chocolates and a beautiful wee card. How lucky can a quilter get?
And then I nearly had a tear in my eye because she sent me this fabric. I remember seeing it a very long time ago but it was too late, it was all gone. What a special treasure. Bloggers are among the most sharing and generous, and inspirational  people and Cathy sure is one of them, thank you heaps my  friend!
When I went shopping last, I picked up some Japanese products. I've been wanting these leather thimbles for my hand piecing of the klosje blocks. You wear them on the first knuckle of the middle finger to hold the eye of the needle while you do the running stitch.
After I paid for my goodies, I spied these cuties in a cabinet, they're going to be great for zipper pulls. Actually, do they look a bit South Park to you? I'll call them babies in hooded jackets thank you!
And that's not all, there's more I wanted to share with you. Do I sound like an infomercial? Oh sorry but I'm a bit excited about the next lot of stuff.

I'm channelling the half of me that's Japanese I think. Darn shame my mother never taught us all the language , then I'd be able to read, I could have been an interpreter, I would have loved that. Imagine working with Japanese quilters, sigh.

Anyhow, I got mail from Japan, I might not be able to read or write it but I sure know how to order it on the internet. ( now I have to go on a silly budget)
The book on the right is a pattern book for making Kubinuki, translated it means Japanese thimble.
Here's a photo from the book which shows what looks to be some antique thimbles. These were made from paper, silk padding and fabric. The author's Grandmother (or mother, don't know which but she looked like Grandmother) taught her the art to pass it on. They were used to hand sew the silk Kimono because the metal or leather thimbles were too wearing and damaging for the delicate silk.
They reminded me of Temari in their intricate stitching designs.
Step by step photos and diagrams mean that I can understand what the method is.
So being the sort of person that sees something gorgeous that involves needles and thread, I have to have a go. That's how I started with quilting, Hardanger embroidery, Temari etc. I think I'm stitching my way around the world with my needle. I ordered this kit from Chloe Patricia of Ma Mercierie. It was only $US8 so I bought two. I have to justify the postage you know.

You get the instructions along with the base already made up with two rows of stitching done for you and then you just carry on.
So here it is, my very first Japanese silk thimble stitched with very fine silk thread. Not too shabby for a first timer. I can see the pitfalls, the room for improvement but I loved doing it.
Here's the second kit I bought which is a more intricate design, I can understand how to do  it even though there are no instructions with this one. This is all that's included in the kit. The silk thread is very fine. The black wool felt form is to insert  to make it into a mini pincushion. I'll let you know how it goes.
As you can imagine, there's not a lot of quilting going on while I just satisfy this need to embroider.

51 comments:

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

The thimbles are fantastic!

Kathie said...

you never cease to amaze me!
WOW this is just incredible. LOve that thimble! oh and making it into a pincushion is just perfect!
Kathie

Shirley said...

Wow Janet, how amazing. Aren't the Japanese so clever in what they come up with. Their attention to detail is second to none even for a small item. I too am hooked on Japanese books and the diagrams are brilliant and fairly easy to understand. Well done. You always have something interesting to say.
Love Shirley.x

Steffi´s Candy Quilts said...

How very interesting! These thimbles are just beautiful, thanks for showing! And enjoy the Guylian chocolates, these are the best!!!

Sue-Anne said...

Those silk thimbles are very interesting. I have never seen them before.

Sorry, but I think the zipper pulls do look like South Park. They are still really cute though!

Christine said...

That thimble is just beautiful and I love the whole post thank you so much for sharing, I love visiting your blog it always cheers me up.
Thanks Janet

Christine

Stephanie said...

Bloggers are kind and so giving. What a wonderful RAK from Cathy. CUTE zipper pulls and oh my goodness you take all the time you need to finish your little Japanese thimbles and pincushions. I love seeing your handiwork.

Barb said...

Love those thimbles.....and all your goodies.

Meredith said...

You are so very creative. Enjoy it. Nothing like a little shopping.

Terry said...

Those Japanese thimbles are so sweet! And how cute to make them into a mini pin cushion! :0)

Beth said...

I loveeee those thimbles! Awesome!

Notjustnat said...

Janet, I'm glad I'm not the only one made about everything Japanese! I saw those thimbles in the kimono shops, but of course I didn't know what they were? For you to start making them too! You are incredible and inspiring to everyone!!! Hugs Nat

alobsiger said...

What lovely mail you've gotten, Janet! Cathy is so sweet! The thimbles are fascinating and beautiful! I'm just going to wander off and click on that little link you provided...we'll see what happens when I do. ;-)

katie said...

Amazing and so interesting. I would like a picture of it and the needle as you would use it. Not quite understanding .

But such a beautiful tool.

Crispy said...

Wow love the thimble!! I've tried to make the Temari balls but quit after the first one...quilting is more my thing LOL. I'll be interested on how you like using the thimble....or are you going to use it?

Crispy

Barb said...

that purple toile' is delicious!
I've never seen or heard of those silk thimbles - interesting and beautiful!

Lori said...

Oh my! What a fun new project. They are a real piece of art aren't they?
Such lovely fabrics to be gifted with too.

Thimbleanna said...

Those little thimbles are adorable -- I've never seen anything like them! And I love that cute little laundry fabric -- I have it in my laundry room but in the green colorway!

Carrie P. said...

Wow, that is so awesome. The Japanese people have such an eye for so many different art forms. Your thimble is fabulous.
Love the fabric with the lady hanging clothes. How nice of Cathy to send the goodies.

Jessica said...

The thimbles look really interesting! Beautiful and useful - a good combination!
I love the fabric with the lady hanging washing too!

Shelley said...

Amazing Janet! How are they to sew with? Please let us know!

Annette said...

What an awesome new project. Your thimbles are beautiful! And I love your adorable little people zipper pulls. Great find!

Janet said...

The threadwork on those thimbles is really amazing! It seems there is always something new you can do with a needle and thread.

Darlene said...

Wow, wow, wow - you are so incredibly talented.

When I was a teenager and lived on Okinawa, Japan I remember many talented seamstresses wearing thimbles like those and I thought they were 'cute' - I was 17 - LOL

Erin in MI said...

These thimbles are gorgeous! I've been following Ma Mercieries blog for a while now. She has great how-to hints there.

You're doing a great job on yours - and your first try, too!

Nedra said...

I have never heard of silk Japanese thimbles, which surprises me because I'm pretty current on "notions". You did a beautiful job! Each one is a piece of art in and of itself.

Doris said...

Those thimbles are amazing! I have a SIL who is from Japan, I am so jealous of her three teenagers who are completely bilingual!

sharon said...

Amazing thimbles! I never thought about a metal thimble causing wear on silk!Thanks I always learn something interesting or new from your blog! Sharonj.

^A^ngel said...

Those thimbles are stunning!! Awesome job on yours... Thanks for sharing!

Hugs,

^A^ngel♥

LOVE TO STITCH BEE TREE DESIGNS said...

Those thimblesa are cool and quite like temari balls. Same idea, different shape. What a great find, and how well you are doing with no directions!!! cyndi

frayedattheedge said...

Oh - I don't feel so guilty about my latest shopping spree that I poated about today!! I'm fascinated by the thimbles - I've never seen these before.

Vicki W said...

The thimbles are AMAZING!

Sally Anne said...

You do such beautiful work. The thimbles will be be precious heirloom treasures.I am astounded at all you manage to achieve in a day !

*karendianne. said...

Oh Janet! This is such a neat post. I really enjoy how you introduce new, intriguing things. And this is TOPS in the new & intriguing department. Your photos are great so it was fun to really look and SEE what was going on with these silk thimbles.

You know, you are such a delightful person in the way express and shape and steer your creativity. I DIG IT and I really enjoy Y-O-U.

(ps: the little people, the little zipper pulls are so, so cute and yes, yes, yes South Park! funny)

Maree: said...

I use to run a RAK club in a former Scrapbooking online group so I know the Feeling when you get something out of the blue in the mail from like minded Friends...Lovely Fabrics...Wow.! these Thimbles are Amazingly Beautiful..I can see a New Collection happening in your House.
Enjoy.
cheers

sewjournal said...

Wow Janet you have got a hoard of goodies! Your lovely fabric depicting "Washing Day" would look great as a "designer" peg tidy. I have a free pattern and tutorial on my blog if you're interested.

Those knuckle thimbles look very interesting. I'd like to know if you find them easy to use?

Julia said...

WOW this is just incredible....you never cease to amaze me, Janet!
Love that thimble..gorgeous fabrics.. enjoy!
Julia ♥

sewpam63 said...

I agree with Julia...I am always surprised when I get here. You have such a vast knowledge and broad range of needle talents!

Lovely mail. ; )

Those thimbles while quite amazing are a bit overwhelming. I'll just have to stick to quilting for now.

Robin said...

Fabulous mail, indeed! I had never heard of silk thimbles before. Thank you for sharing so much about them-- what a fascinating art. The ones you've made are beautiful!

You'll have to let us know how the leather thimbles work for you. I do a lot of handpiecing and use a leather thimble (and love it!), but have never seen one quite like the ones you've picked up.

ivoryspring said...

Oh my - those little babies in hoodies are absolutely adorable!!!

Cathi said...

Those thimbles are gorgeous! And fascinating. And -- oh, dear, I want to try making some of those!!
I'm very intrigued by the leather thimble and would love to hear what you think once you've used them.

Cathy said...

Thanks Janet, so glad I could help out a little! You never cease to amaze me either, I love coming over here to see what you are up to next, always something so interesting, these thimbles are gorgeous! xo

Dixie said...

Love your fabric, and your zipper pulls. The thimbles are wonderful and will look forward to seeing what new designs you finish!

MARCIE said...

You have got to be kidding! First of all I am amazed! Those thimbles are beautiful! Will you actually use them or are they strictly ornamental? We all just love little textile designs, don't we?

Karen said...

So pretty!! Can you take a picture to see how they fit on your finger?? Can't quite picture it.

Linda said...

You somehow or another manage to find and research the most amazing things! These thimbles are a wonder. I think we'd all like to see a picture of it being used.

Thank you so very much for introducing all of us to more of the world... oh, Blogosphere Queen.

Karen said...

I have never seen anything like your new thimble endeavor. I don't think I will be trying it but it looks very interesting.

Valentina said...

Oh Janet, how inspiring! my best friend does lovely temari and thanks to you I know know what to get her for her birthday! :) How intensely interesting and beautiful, thank you so very much for sharing these treasures and you are an interpreter to rest of us, because you expose us and share the beauties of your culture with the rest of us!
xox
Valentina

be*mused jan said...

I have never seen these thimbles, Janet! Or perhaps I have seen them and didn't notice them...? Didn't realize what I was looking at and passed them by? Not anymore, thanks to you! These are fascinating!
I do have a vintage book in Japanese on temari balls. Perhaps if I tried a beginner thimble, I could adapt some of the designs. I'll be pulling that book out tomorrow for another look-through!

wishes, true and kind said...

Amazing post -- I'm just blown away! And Cathy really is the best, isn't she?!?!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I'm so in love with all things, well most things, Japanese. Fun stuff all of this. You've got really sweet stuff here.