Enrolled in Japanese Embroidery Classes

Hello everybody! Since my last post I got a new job and moved to Houston! And Houston is home to Mary Alice Sinton’s Bluebonnet Studio! I’ve signed up for some Japanese embroidery classes, and have started the Flower Circle design. I know I’ve been quiet for a bit, but I’m going to aim for posting every Monday from now on. I have lots of material!

Before you start your Japanese embroidery stitching, you have to lace the silk fabric into the wood frame. This is quite an operation. Here it is in progress:


The Japanese silks are flat silks, so if you want to stitch with twisted silk you have to twist it yourself. Here I am setting up silk with my awl to twist it up:


I started with a pine tree in twisted silk. You can see the twisted effect in the pictures below. I stitched it and then couched it down (I guess to make sure it wasn’t going to run away).


After the tree I started working on a chrysanthemum. It’s in twisted silk too. Here’s my frame, where I’m working on twisting even more silk. The giant silver thing is the “tekobari” which is basically a laying tool. You also need lots of rulers to do Japanese embroidery. It seems rather persnickety.   DSCF1092 DSCF1097  Next up I began work on a plum flower in flat silk. It really makes a major difference in texture.


Stay tuned for more adventures in embroidery!

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23 Responses to Enrolled in Japanese Embroidery Classes

  1. Debbie says:

    This is beautiful embroidery, Hannah. Very skillfully done. Looking forward to seeing the progress!

  2. Peta says:

    What an opportunity to learn such an ancient and beautiful art. I have seen Japanese wedding kimono that you actually can’t distinguish the embroidery on the pattern until you are almost touching it. Exquisite.

  3. Cath says:

    I did Hanazume 2 years ago. It’s a lovely design to start with. Precision is definitely required for Japanese Embroidery and the results are worth the effort. Looks like you’re off to a good start. Good luck and have fun with it 🙂

  4. Anita says:

    Welcome back Hannah! A beautiful design ,gorgeous silk and perfect stitching. Looking forward to see your JE progress and other embroidery adventures.

  5. Julie says:

    Hope you love Houston! I love shopping in the airport there! Oh, and eating there too!!! This looks like quite an fun adventure and it is turning out beautifully!!!!! Can’t wait to see more!

  6. Japanese embroidery does seem persnickety (love that word!) but it gives you a whole new range of skills, and all your other embroidery will benefit too…

  7. Marie-Claire says:

    Un beau début de broderie je suis curieuse de voir plus bonne broderie Marie-Claire

  8. Lahoo says:

    Where did you get the tekobari? I looked and asked for one in Japan so many places but no one recognized this word. Your embroidery is gorgeous!

    • Hannah says:

      I got it from the instructor at the Blue Bonnet studio! You probably have to ask at a specialty shop. They’re available in the US through the Japanese Embroidery Center too – they probably could tell you who to contact in Japan.

  9. Julia says:

    Hi Hannah,
    Your work as always is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
    Take care,

  10. Elmsley Rose says:

    oooo! I’m so glad that you have the opportunity to learn JE! I want to, one day. I have several friends that are doing a course here in Australia and their comments are “the rules! the rules!” and sweary words about learning to twist the threads. :-). I don’t know anything about it, so I’m not qualified to say anything but “ooo, pretty!” – and your’s is pretty!

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