Posts Tagged ‘kimonos’

Kimonos: Peru to Japan

I finally got around to asking my friend to take a picture of the kimonos wall art I made for her! It isn’t the greatest, but it shows the final product, anyway, with the borders put on and framed. I really love the way this came out. And she loves it, which is the most important thing.

It was a real adventure in framing, though, I’ll say that much! If you decide to have quilt blocks framed, make sure you go to someone who is experienced at it! I had decided to get this framed and then take it on the flight to Florida where I would be meeting up with my friend, and give it to her there, instead of trying to mail it and wonder if it would get broken or lost or what have you. Of course, I began the whole “find a framer and get it done before your flight leaves” about a week or so before my departure. And the frame was to be ready two days before we left, on a Friday.

You see where this is going, right?

The framer had never done quilt blocks before, and ended up spray-mounting it to cardboard (the horror!!!) and putting about a thousand wrinkles in it that I had previously ironed out. I loved the mat and frame, but of course since he had made such a mess, the borders did not line up properly and the whole thing looked not only wonky but BAD. When I saw it, I sat in my car and cried for like half an hour. I couldn’t believe someone would be so careless about someone else’s artwork, you know? How could he let this go out of the door of his shop such a mess? Without so much as a call to say, here’s what’s going on, what do you want me to do? Without offering even a discount for his extremely poor workmanship? Yep. Cried.

My husband called the guy and reamed him up one side and down the other. That made me feel better. The guy said he would reframe it, and I said no way in hell would I let him touch it again, except to take it off the cardboard and give it back to me. It’s now the day before I’m leaving for Flordia, and I am hand washing the spray-mount out of the blocks and hanging it on the line to hopefully dry in time.

By the next morning, the blocks are finally dry, so I press the hell out of them and try my best to get them in that frame. I ended up using clear packing tape to tape the raw edges to the back of the mat, stretching only as much as necessary to not let it wrinkle, cursing the guy at the frame shop the whole time. Well, it came out better than the spray-mount! I had the four-foot something frame packed up in several flattened cardboard boxes and ready for my trip about a half hour before I had to catch a taxi to the airport. Then I measured it to see if it would meet the airline’s requirements for checked-in baggage (it was over by about 5 inches total and they really gave me a hassle on check-in, but the manager ended up letting me carry it on anyway). Talk about cutting it close!

Surprisingly, it went through security at both airports easily, and made it without a scratch. And she loved it. Whew.

Oh, I found the magazine this pattern was originally published in: Quilts with Style (not a surprise!), the May/June 2003 issue #40. Which is, of course, sold out on their website. But if you really wanted to find a copy, eBay is the way to go. I’ve gotten tons (literally!) of quilt mags from eBay over the years.


A career in kimonos

A while back, I made a set of paper pieced kimonos for a friend of mine who is in the foreign service. She’s currently serving in Peru, and is heading for Japan very soon. I wanted to make something for her to celebrate the career she’s chosen, as it’s not always an easy one and I’m so very happy for her to have a job she truly loves. I hadn’t posted any pictures of it, becuase I wanted to give it to her first, but she was just here visiting for a vew days and I was able to at least show it to her (even though I still need to get it in a frame). Her reaction was priceless; she really loved it! You know how when you make something that is a surprise for someone else, and you just hope they will like it? I wasn’t sure how she would feel about it, honestly, but I had to really talk her into letting me frame it before she left with it! 😀

So here are a few pics. I can’t quite recall the magazine I found the pattern in (I know it’s called “Robes of Honor,” though), but will post that info when I find it again. I used tropical fabrics for the kimonos themselves, and called this “Kimonos from Peru to Japan.”

These are the kimonos sewn together in a row. The original pattern had them in a square, but I liked this layout better for framing. This is also without the border added.

These are the kimonos sewn together in a row. The original pattern had them in a square, but I liked this layout better for framing. This is also without the border added.

A closeup of one of the kimonos.

A closeup of one of the kimonos.