Thursday, June 30, 2011

men’s club

These traditional hand-dyed bolts are used for making men’s yukatas.

delicate color

I always like to pick up vintage bolts with colored patterns on white backgrounds. They are less available than indigo designs.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

indigo blossoms

Chrysanthemum and plum blossoms flow the length of these vintage bolts.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Cascading leaves and flowers dance all over this classic bolt of indigo and white.

Friday, June 17, 2011

rare bolt

This is an exquisite bolt with indigo stripes and intricately tinted fans.

exciting flora

Patterns with tree peonies, swallowtail butterflies and colorful lilies make a triad of wonderful yukata cottons.

gloria’s square

Gloria Pfeif is starting on a queen-size bed quilt with vintage blue and white yukata cottons. She’s combining florals and geometrics, lights and darks. The block in the photo is approximately 12 inches square.

Using the “tumbler” paper piecing technique, Gloria will be working on the quilt during Mariner games this summer. All hand sewn, it’s an ambitious project!

Monday, June 13, 2011

more red

This is the second bolt of pure vintage red cotton that I have bought in a month. Made by different manufacturers, I’ll compare the quality and color of the fabrics once this one arrives.


Thursday, June 9, 2011


An excellent bolt with a wonderful polka dot pattern in the background of the flower motif. ARRIVED. A DOT LOVER’S DELIGHT.

the bamboo forest

I have bicycled to the Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama, outside of Kyoto. The lush growth of the bamboo trees overhead makes the air seem green. This traditional indigo bolt is a lovely reminder of alluring Arashiyama. ARRIVED. A PERFECT BOLT THAT GENTLY SAYS “I’M JAPANESE.”

modern butterfly obi

This bolt of obi cotton is much heavier weight than yukata cotton. It is used for making a single, very conspicuous obi—likely for an unmarried woman. ARRIVED. THIS OBI COTTON IS NOT MUCH HEAVIER THAN YUKATA COTTON. VERY SPECIAL.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

more expo 70

I already have a bolt with the Osaka World’s Fair logo on it. This version is much more dynamic. They could go together without being too matchy-matchy (that is not Japanese but it sounds like is!). ARRIVED. I LIKE THE TWO TONES OF BLUE—DARK INDIGO AND ROYAL BLUE.

quilting neutral

This simple fabric is useful as a “filler” in a quilt. Typically the vintage cotton would be used for a married man’s yukata as it is geometric (male) and not flashy (signalling: already taken).


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Japanese bellflower?

Do you know that there are no flowers with seven petals?

I believe this is a bellflower (kikyo) motif and the two small petals don’t count. The five petals of the bellflower are often used to represent the elements of wood, earth, fire, water and air.


the best!

My bolts are like my children—I love every one. So it’s not fair to pick favorites. All the same, this is the bolt I like the most—right now. (When another great bolt comes along, I’ll likely jump allegiances.) SAD NEWS. THE VENDOR DOUBLE SOLD THIS BOLT SO IT WILL NEVER ARRIVE. :(

Friday, June 3, 2011

indigo gardens

Lyrical repeats, complex hand-dyeing, and rich indigo make these vintage bolts spectacular. ARRIVED. DELIGHTFUL TRADITIONAL BOLTS. I LOVE THE MORNING GLORIES.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

springtime bolts

Here are two bright bolts from an antique shop in lovely Hiroshima. The hydrangea pattern includes metallic threads! (One of my favorite quick meals in Japan was okonomiyaki, a thick noodle pancake eaten with a utensil-sized spatula, at a counter in a high-rise in downtown Hiroshima.) ARRIVED. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BOLT WITH GOLDEN THREADS STITCHED THROUGHOUT.