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Yarn-dyed Spring Clean Sale

Exclusively for the month of September, we’ll be having a ‘Spring clean’ sale on a selection of our yarn-dyed stock. If there was ever a time to update your stash, this would be it!

 

 

K051-6 Yarn Dyed Rolls No 6 Chocolate JR

Buy One of our Taupe Jnr Jelly Rolls in any colour and get $10 off the price.  This special is only available until the end of September.

 

 

Taupe Stash Rolls Pink

Buy one of our Taupe Stash Rolls in any colour and get $5.00 of the price. This special is only available until the end of September.

 

Collection DY1407-A

DY1407-A Yarn Dyed Pastels  From the 18th – 22nd September, packs of yarn-dyed pastel fabrics will be $6 off.

 

K050 - Green

Gift Pack of Yarn Dyed Fabrics — Beautiful as a gift for Christmas or a birthday. Available for one day only.  On the 26th September, all Yarn-dyed Gift Packs will be $10 off.

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Getting Creative With The Lola Girl Sashiko Panel

The Lola Girl sashiko panel is one of my favourite designs.

With its interesting take on the traditional Seven Treasures motif, it got me thinking about how it would look as a runner for my dining room table.

After completing the sashiko stitching, I chose a suitable Japanese backing fabric to subtly contrast the design. I chose an indigo cotton print fabric that featuring the Seven Treasures motif.

The results have exceeded my expectations, and the runner is now a permanent (and gorgeous) addition to my dining room.

For my table runner, I used:

On to the next project!

 

 

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Sit & Stitch Classes 2017- Yeronga Workshop

Sit and Stitch at our Workshop –  2017 –  – Bring your Sashiko Stitching for some tips on the day and a very relaxing morning of like minded stitchers – All skill levels are very welcome – 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. on days as noted on the Calendar –

Our 2016 Calendar is now available for your perusal  –   Please click here for dates and times of our Sit and Stitch Classes  –

Also available are our Craft Shows and Workshops for the 2017 Calendar Year –

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Needlework Tour: Sydney to Seattle — April 22 – May 14 2018

New Cruise just been announced.  Sue is delighted to be a tutor on the Needlework Tour from Sydney to Seattle from April 22nd – May 14th – 2018. 23 days cruising the Pacific – calling into wonderful Ports and stitching Sashiko . What a time to be had! click on the link for details   http://www.needleworktours.com.au/booking/craft-creations-cruise-2018/choose-your-projects

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Keiko Futatsuya Exhibition

We’re so very proud to be hosting an exhibition of Sashiko and Boro work by Keiko Futatsuya.

It will be happening at the Indigo Niche stand —Stand A11— at the upcoming Adelaide Craft and Quilt Fair, November 3rd to 6th.

Along with her company Sashi.co, Keiko Futatsuya works out of the little town of Takayama, (which we were lucky enough to visit last year). For over thirty years, she has plied her craft as a world-renowned producer, designer and teacher of sashiko. Additionally, she formulates unique batches of vegetable dyes for sashiko thread, which we proudly supply. They’re gorgeous and you can view the threads here.    

Our exhibit of her work takes in a stunning range of sashiko and boro work that includes traditional coats, vests, and jackets, as well as tapestry, bags and boro pieces. This is a rare opportunity for you to see some work from a true master of the craft. 

Scroll on to view some of the items that we’ll be exhibiting.

very small number of items will be on sale—enquire at A11 for further information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shibori – A Local Interpretation.

We recently got in touch with our friend Jane Postle to check out some of her locally-made Shibori.

Shibori has never been too far from our thoughts. During our travels through Japan earlier this year, we were very impressed by the Arimatsu Shibori Kaikan, a Shibori museum in Arimatsu, Nagoya.

Nowhere else in Japan is there such a central focus on the art and techniques of shibori than in this gorgeous little hamlet, nor such a dedicated passion; they even hold an annual Shibori Festival.

We were quite affected by their passion for this art, and the Shibori Festival is definitely up there on the so-called “bucket list.” (We also love their rough-around-the-edges website, too–very quaint!)

A popular misconception is that shibori is merely a Japanese version of tie-dyeing. This is inaccurate, as there are many techniques that are associated with shibori. Let’s take a look.

‘Wring, Squeeze, Press’.

Shibori is the Japanese word–meaning to wring, squeeze, press–for a number of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing.

The cloth is treated as a three-dimensional form, involving crumpling, stitching, plaiting, plucking and twisting. After the cloth is ‘shaped’ by these methods, it can be secured in a number of ways, such as binding or knotting.

This is all done with one goal in mind: to explore the pliancy of a given textile and thus its potential for creating a multitude of shape-resisted designs.

The key to getting wonderful results from shibori dyeing is to work with the limitations, and to allow them full expression. The special characteristic of shibori resist is a soft or a blurry-edged pattern. The effect is markedly different from the sharp-edged resist obtained with stencil, paste, or wax.

So if you ever try your hand as shibori, be aware that an element of the unexpected is always present. Think of it like a potter firing a wood-burning kiln. All the technical conditions have been met, but what happens in the kiln may be a miracle or a disaster.

All the variables attendant on shaping the cloth and all the influences that control the events in the dye vat conspire to remove some–but not all, thankfully!–of the shibori process from human control.

In fact we’ll even venture to say that it’s the element of chance that gives life to the shibori process. This is its special magic.

1. Shibori in Practice

It was a treat to not only witness first-hand some genuinely local shibori being produced, but also to see how these designs could be used to make stunning silk kaftans and cotton throw cushion covers.

Jane Postle has been studying shibori techniques for well over ten years, becoming a true artist in her own right.

Preparing fabric for folding and clamping.

 

Stitching and folding silk fabric before being placed into indigo dye. Silk is particularly amenable to resist-dyeing. (See the kaftans for the final results.)

 

From the vats. The prepared pieces drip-dry before being opened and rinsed. Note the different methods on display.

 

This fabric has been untied prior to a final rinse.

 

Each method has unique results, and the reveal is an exciting moment. This fabric had been folded and clamped.

 

The undone fabric is given a final rinse.

 

Some gorgeous results set out to dry.

 

“It’s the element of chance that gives life to shibori.”

 

Beautiful Shibori.

 

More lovely results.

 

2. Some Finished Shibori Products

 

Simply gorgeous–one of the Shibori Throw Cushions made from one of the pieces above.

 

One of three lovely Shibori Kaftans.

 

Shibori Kaftan – second design.

 

A third Shibori Kaftan design.

Kaftans

Hand-made shibori silk kaftans are available from Indigo Niche for $450 each. Each kaftan’s shibori design is completely unique, as perhaps despite an author’s best intentions, no two pieces of shibori are ever alike. Please email sales@indigoniche.com for more information. Stock is limited.

Cushion Kits

Shibori cushion designs are available from Indigo Niche kit form.

Each Cushion Kit includes: a unique Shibori cushion front (hand-dyed in an indigo vat); a plain backing for your cushion; a 6″ square sashiko panel for insertion in the back of the cushion (optional).

For more details and further options send an email to  sales@indigoniche.com

‘Til next time…

Sue

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Trio of Techniques – A Lovely Mt Tamborine Retreat

After the Perth Craft & Quilt Fair wrapped up, I jotted down some highlights from a wonderful hand-sewing retreat that we hosted in March. We only wish that we could hold events like this more often!

The previous retreat that we’d held at Mt Tamborine was with sashiko/applique artist Sylvia Pippen in 2011, so this was rather a long time in coming.

And we have to admit: we’d really been missing the place.

For both teachers and students, there is such a big difference between standard teaching and teaching in a quiet serene environment like Mt Tamborine–requisite ingredients for a creative and relaxing time are there, with plenty of space for thirty ladies to be comfortable. The little village is nestled in the Gold Coast hinterland, amongst some of the most stunning national parkland in South-East Queensland.

 Trio of Techniques Retreat 2015 – attendees and teachers. Truly, a lovely time had by all.

We were joined by ladies from as far afield as Bundaberg, Gladstone, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Rockhampton, and Childers, all united by a passion for hand sewing and creativity. It was very encouraging to see some familiar faces from our 2011 retreat, too.

So with a delightfully peaceful backdrop, quaint accommodation and wonderful catering, we were able to apply ourselves to three hand sewing techniques over the space of three days. The end result for each participant? A stunning piece incorporating the techniques of Sashiko, English Paper Piecing, and Hand Applique.

The Team. L-R – Sue Howie from Indigo Niche (Sashiko), Cathy Schibrowski from Swandale Quilting (Hand Applique), Colleen Shepherd from Indigo Niche (Sashiko), Marg Olive from Patchwork Paradise (English Paper Piecing).

So why did we choose these three techniques? We devised a project that would take three days and have a strong social component–in effect, to unite participants in the joys of hand sewing. Each day enabled the students to be able to get a grasp on each technique being taught, so that by the end of the three days each student had learnt each technique well so that they could finally complete their project.

Sashiko

For the uninitiated, Sashiko is a form of Japanese folk embroidery that, like Boro stitching, was born out of necessity before evolving into the beautiful decorative art that we know today. It uses the basic running stitch to create a patterned background. The geometric patterns tend to include straight or curved lines of stitching arranged in a repeating pattern. The word Sashiko is loosely translated as “little stabs”, and refers to the small stitches used in this form of needlework. This technique was taught by Sue and Colleen (Indigo Niche)

English Paper Piecing

Taught by Marg Olive from Patchwork Paradise. English Paper Piecing is a method of hand piecing where paper templates are used inside the block elements to guide where the edges are turned under. Baby Blocks, Grandmother’s Flower Garden and other non-square shapes are often pieced this way. In our case it was used to create the flower petal shapes.

Hand Applique

In keeping with the hand sewing theme of the retreat, we opted for hand applique over machine methods. Sewers cut and arrange the pieces to be layered, usually affixing them with pins; then, the embroidery is applied with a needle and thread. Thick embroidery floss is one of the most common choices, but thread of any texture or thickness will work. Cathy Schibrowski from Swandale Quilting was on hand to advise students on the precision and patience needed for this method.

 
   Julia‘s work in progress. The English Paper Piecing method is used to create the flower petals, which are then transferred to the fabric using Hand Applique. Sashiko stitching is used to create additional decorative effects.

 

Lesli’s completed project: the three techniques have come together beautifully.

Students were able to individualise their projects by the alternate colour ways on offer.

It was so gratifying to see the projects come to fruition after three days–from a teaching perspective, it was extremely rewarding to see such enthusiasm to learn and create.

 

Pleasing to see the new friendships that were made after three days of fun and sewing!

This retreat was such a rewarding experience for everyone involved that plans are on the drawing board for a similarly themed event in 2016. Keep an ear to the ground, or better yet, subscribe to our newsletter for timely updates.