Thursday, August 14, 2008

Japanese Tailors' Knot

While Ayumi was with me she taught me the way Japanese tailors tie new thread onto the end of the nearly used-up old thread. This is so as little thread as possible is wasted. The knot ends up against the fabric so you can continue to hand sew without having to pull the knot through any fabric. I have never seen this done before and Ayumi was very pleased to be able to teach it to me. Her grandmother taught it to her and because her grandmother has passed away, it was a special thing for her to be able to pass that skill onto me. I asked Ayumi if I could photograph the steps so I could remember. To make it stand out in the pictures we used two different coloured wools and a scrap of fabric. I hope you get the idea.

After sewing 2 stitches in the same place, the used up thread goes out to the left . .
. . . and is held in the left hand. The new length of thread (black) is place under the old thread:
The new thread goes around over the left thumb and under the tail of the new thread (but over the tail of the old thread):
Hold everything between the finger and thumb:
Grab the tail of the old thread and poke it through the loop of the new thread:
Hold both tails in the right hand and . . .
. . . drop the loop of the left thumb and hold both tails in your left hand:
Pull on the old thread to get the loop down onto the fabric:
Hold the loop with your left forefinger:
And pull on the new thread:
Make sure the knot is lying against the fabric:
Now thread your needle with the other end of the new thread and continue sewing with the new thread.

Thank you Ayumi for teaching me this. You have beautiful hands!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A visitor from Japan

It has been a busy month since I last posted (no excuse, I know). It was particularly busy for the last 2 weeks as I have been hosting a teacher from Japan. Ayumi teaches English to her Junior High School students in Toyooka. She came on a school trip with 11 of her students for 10 days. The students were billeted with some of our students who study Japanese and I had the pleasure of having Ayumi stay at my place.

Ayumi has never done quilting before so I showed her some of my fabric stash and let her choose some to make a small wall quilt. We got some of the cutting out and sewing done that night. It had to be a fairly simple pattern given the time available. The next day was club day which gave her another opportunity to get some more sewing done. Here she is using the rotary cutter like a professional:
One of our members showed Ayumi how to attach the binding:
And a few days later the quilt was finished:
Pink is Ayumi's favourite colour!