Thursday, February 3, 2011


I have a few customers who are "butterfly happy" and I endeavour to keep them up to date when I come across new butterfly fabrics. I must admit that I also find these beautiful insects compelling and may one day be tempted to make myself a butterfly quilt.

The Japanese consider butterflies to be the souls of the living and the dead. They are also seen as symbols of joy and longevity. I was surprised when I searched the KimoYes website to find that we have no fewer than 35 butterfly fabrics including cotton yukatas, silks, wools and synthetics. Click here to see the range.
Some of my favourites are.....

If you, too, are a "butterfly person", be the first to "like" this post and I'll send you a complimentary pack of butterfly fabrics!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


One of the most difficult things about owning KimoYes is parting with fabrics that I absolutely love. I hate uploading beautiful meisen silks and kasuri cottons, but I know that these fabrics will be truly appreciated and used by their new owners. 

I have, however,  allowed myself a small but growing collection of  Japanese textiles. I come across many intriguing pieces and am often fascinated by the complexity of process and design.

One such process is katazome. This is the process of dying a fabric with the use of a resist paste and stencil (katagame).You often see vintage heavy indigo cotton panels with a katagame design. These panels were usually used to make futon covers and when sewn together could simulate the more expensive Japanese brocades. You also sometimes see the dying method used on silks and hemp.

Katagames are finely carved and typically the size of an A4 page. They are durable and can be used many times. The art also involves lining up the katagame so that the continuous pattern is seamless. The  example above, however, clearly shows the join!

The second piece from my collection is obviously the work of a more skilled person, although indigo dye runs are present. I think that I prefer the first piece as the imperfection gives you a greater insight into the dying process. I believe that both pieces date back to somewhere between 1920-30.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Clever Cushions

I always love seeing projects made from KimoYes fabrics. There are so many clever people around Australia- in fact the world, who put the fabrics to such wonderful use.

One of these people is Janine Kingston, of Perth. Janine, a long time KimoYes customer, has the knack of putting together "unlikely" fabrics to create something special. I got a real thrill to see how she mixed sophisticated silk shibori fabrics with the colourful girls' kimono synthetics and topped of with 1940s rayons. It takes a certain mixture of bravery and talent to work with these fabrics, but the results are so rewarding. I've "pinched" these images, with Janine's permission, from the blog of her local fabric store, so you might like to visit it to find out more and to see the wonderful kimono fabric quilt that Janine is working on.

Monday, January 17, 2011

KimoYes Fabric In Action!

Last October (yes, I know, I'm still catching up!),  Australian Patchwork and Quilting published a beautiful quilt pattern by well known Sydney quilter and quilt teacher, Chris Jurd. I am particularly interested in this quilt, not only for its intricate design and use of colour, but the incorporation of some KimoYes silks, rayons and cotton yukatas. The central medallion, for example, is an interesting 1940s kimono silk ( or perhaps rayon - I can't quite remember). Similarly, the quilt borders are make up of some unusual cotton yukata, some fabric from a girl's kimono, kimono silks and so on. I have found that so many quilters will not deviate from the traditional quilting cottons and it is so refreshing to see what Chris has done with such an array of fabrics. What do you think?

It is really worth following  Chris' blog . Her work is extraordinary and, as you can see, she is very much at ease working with unique fabrics.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year's Resolution!

Yes, I know, we all say it. However, after a quiet KimoYes blog for the last half of 2010, it is time for me to get moving.  For me, last year was a time of both work and reflection. I recently resigned from a 25 teaching career and can now devote more time to the things that I really love and feel passionate about.

The new year also got off to a good start because I've been able to upload some beautiful things to the KimoYes website.  A few months ago I added a new category on the website, obi bolts. These are bolts of fabric intended to be used to make various types of obi, although a few are, in fact, obi that have been unpicked and rolled. The long lengths are great for table runners, upholstery and other home decor. The last few that I uploaded today, however, would make great additions to wedding gowns or tables. The gorgeous cream silk is elaborately woven with gold and silver threads. Just beautiful!

Check out our other beautiful obi fabric bolts - I'm sure that you will find the experience to be inspirational.