Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flax leaf - studying the books

Still on the flax leaf kick, I've been pouring through my collection of Japanese temari books and finding some amazing designs that include asanoha, flax or hemp leaf design. No wonder. It's a very old an important product.

From The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook by Susan Briscoe:
"Star-like asanoha (hemp leaf) is probably the most famous sashiko pattern. It originally came from China, where it was associated with Buddhism and represented radiating light or even the inner light of the soul. Before cotton became available to ordinary people, hemp was a very important source of cloth. There are many asanoha variations. It was particularly popular for children's clothes and bedding, and clothing for newborn babies would be decorated with the design in the hope that the child would grow up strong like the hemp plant. It also symbolized a wish for good health."

Left front: dark red simple 16 division covered with flax leaf
Right front: pattern from Color Coordinated Temari, page 18
I get so distracted while stitching a temari from a Japanese book and often change the design along the way or stitch only the part of the pattern that really interests me. But finally, I managed to finish one. The largest ball (right front) in the photo above is from the book Color Coordinated Temari, page 18. I'll be sharing details of how I made this one in our Temari Challenge Yahoo group.

There are still so many more flax leaf temari that I want to try. I'm not sure where I'll head next but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Laura B. recently finished a beautiful temari with flax leaf design. Check it out on her blog...