Some of the Best Quilting Cotton Was Hand-Dyed in Japan Thirty Years Ago

Okan Arts imports vintage Japanese yukata cottons for adventuresome quilters. Okan Arts, owned by textile and natural dye artist Patricia Belyea, is a home-based shop in Seattle, bursting with over 1,000 bolts of vintage Japanese cotton. Hand-dyed by artisans in Japan from 20 to 50 years ago, the cottons radiate luscious colors and a graphic boldness. Simple cousins to the gold-enhanced reproductions of kimono silks typically found in quilt shops, these yukata cottons were made for casual unlined summer kimonos. “The summers are hot in humid in Japan so breezy, light kimonos made of cotton are perfect. Silk kimonos are … Read more

Handwoven Silk Tussah Gauze Shawl-Temporarily Out of Stock

One of the really fun things about working with suppliers around the world is when DHL drives up and the very nice driver lugs a bucket, barrel or box up the long driveway. The dog is barking wildly, desperately trying to make best friends before I drag in the goods and close the front door. We both eye the parcel (he sniffs it), and depending where it’s from start unraveling packing tape or string to see what’s inside. I just received a cache of gorgeous handwoven scarves and shawls that are a delight to dye and look beautiful colored with … Read more

Cyber Monday

When you read about Cyber Monday, one thinks of people glued to their computers, madly clicking away and purchasing plasma screen TV sets and oodles of electronica that are ON SALE for Cyber Monday through all the major retailers. Instead, why not celebrate Cyber Monday with a handmade gift?  There are some wonderful sites out there with amazing gifts from Fair Trade and artisan crafts where your purchase will really make a difference.  Of particular note is Hand/Eye Magazine, which has a website devoted to artisan crafts called “12 Small Things”.  It’s a carefully curated collection of exquisite gifts from … Read more