Saturday, 1 February 2014

Needlequest 2014 - February - design inspiration - Japan

February sees us making a start on our first design area theme: Japan.

Many will want to have a go at creating some Japan inspired designs themselves.  However, if you're not confident with designing, or it just plain doesn't appeal to you, that doesn't mean you have to sit the month out of the challenge.  Have a look through the kits, books and magazines that are available to you and see if you can find something you'd like to work that fits in with this month's theme.  Or maybe you have a suitable part-worked project you can push forward with.

I've been looking out a few of our travel photos and also taking pictures of some of the Japanese items and souvenirs we've collected over the year in order to give you some ideas and inspiration for the month ahead.  Enjoy!

A collection of souvenirs on a shelf in our 'museum' cabinet.

Souvenirs on sale at Nijo Castle in Kyoto above and in Asakusa, Tokyo tourist market below.

The temple area in Asakusa, Tokyo

A shrine in a garden, Kyoto

Some very old houses alongside a stream in Kyoto

Shoppers wearing 'yukata' (a kind of simplified kimono) in central Tokyo

Me posing around in a kimono in a hair salon, Kyoto

Some typical traditional shapes from a book on Japanese embroidery

I hope that helps to give you some ideas to get started with.  You'll be able to find many, many more via a simple websearch, travel brochures, a trip to your local fabric store (as Japanese prints are quite popular - I've seen them in several fat quarter displays) and so on.  Feel free to share your inspiration finding ideas with us here as I fear I'm going to need them when it comes to most other design inspiration ideas!!=)  East Asia I have a lot of stuff for.  Others, not so much.

So, whether you're designing for yourself, working someone else's design or just pressing on with an on-topic work in progress, have a great month being inspired by a fascinating country and don't forget to leave links to your own challenge work on the Monday update posting.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2014


Madtatter80 said...

Beautiful photos and work always enjoy this art! Your work is very nice I have a small collection my self!
from Carollyn at Carollyn's tatting blog!

Queeniepatch said...

You have a good collection of inspirational designs for February's Japanese theme.
Happy stitching!

Jules Woolford said...

A great selection. I covet the tea pot!:)

Rachel said...

Like Jules, my eye was drawn to the teapot...!

Bits of Stitching! said...

Hi, Elizabeth! What a beautiful theme for your February challenge! Wondering, since I don't have much time to dedicate to a delicate more intricate piece... would it be ok to work this month's theme in a very simple, childish :-) way?

Elizabeth Braun said...

Yes, of course a Japanese design can be worked in a simple manner! Any way that you like is just fine. The challenge is very flexible and these here are just some inspiration photos. You can do whatever you like!=) Hope you do join in!

zenuwpees said...

Merci de partager avec nous les belles foto's et broderie du Japon Marie-Claire

Anonymous said...

Loved the Japanese photos and work. Enjoyed seeing all your beautiful work. I mainly work on art quilts.
Happy Blogging! Stop by for a chance to win my nifty fifty giveaway.

Wendy said...

whilst I'd love to work a big embroidered piece, either in Japanese embroidery, or of a picture like the ones at the top of your post, I haven't finished my crewel work yet, so I'm going for something a bit simpler. I'm going to do some Sashiko!

Juno said...

I will post my photo for the January theme in the next few days. I enjoyed it but realised that it lots of practice. A friend has lent me a Trish Burr book on long and short and I think that is going to help a lot.

Would it be alright if a did some work on a Temari UFO for this month?

Whitness said...

Sashiko is my plan, too, Wendy!
I love the traditional silk embroidery, but I'm ready for something a little bit less complex. That fan is gorgeous, though.

Elizabeth Braun said...

Yes of course! Get those UFOs done! :-)