Art, Fiber Art, Hand-bleached, Hand-printed, Patchwork, Quilt, Stencils, Textile art

‘Tokyo’ Quilted Blankets

In the year 2021, I created a series of elaborate hand-stitched quilted blankets for the local ‘Tokyo’ restaurant. The brief was to make authentic-looking blankets in the boro style. Since boro is one of my favourite techniques, the whole creative process was spontaneous and inspiring. Let me explain what the actual boro is! Derived from the Japanese boroboro, meaning something tattered or repaired, boro refers to the practice of reworking and repairing textiles (often clothes or bedding) through piecing, patching and stitching, in order to extend their use. So my brief was to make interior blankets which looks like they were old and made from scraps. And I had a bag of old vintage fabric pieces thoughtfully saved from years ago, waiting to fit this particular project just perfectly!

There are four quilts altogether. They are made out of vintage Japanese cotton patchwork fabrics and old kimonos I’ve bought at the Tokyo’s biggest flea market named Oi Racecourse! All little patches were sewn and embroidered by hand, using white cotton threads so we can see the rural vibe of the finished textiles! The blankets were also hand-quilted in four different styles of Japanese quilting technique called sashiko.

Here you can see how the quilts ended up in the interior of the ‘Tokyo’ restaurant  eventually:

Most of the fabric scraps I have hand-bleached with leaves used as stencils. In my opinion, that significantly strengthened the artistry of the quilts. While there is no such thing as bleached prints required in traditional boro technique, nevertheless it shows the difference in the final result.

All in all, it was a long but never boring process. It seems that my creativity will never end in terms of making quilts from scraps of prints!

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