Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kanreki Journal Cover

happy b-day johnny
In Japan, turning sixty is a big occasion known as “kanreki”.“Kanreki” is a big event in Asia for people who have completed 5 revolutions of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. In Japan, this monumental event is celebrated by giving the honored person anything in the color red.

In celebration of my boss turning sixty, I decided to make him an agenda book using the colors red. I used various scraps from red and black traditional kimono material. I tried to make the book cover simple, functional yet something that my boss could carry around without feeling embarrassed.

I used a quilting pattern called “Drunkards Path”. This pattern can be put together in various different forms to make many different shapes, but for this project I decided to make simple circles. When using antique kimono material I found it beneficial to first fuse on some thin material, which then made the material more stable and easier to sew.

The book cover was then put together with some plain black cotton material. For some reason I didn’t really like putting the silk material of the antique kimonos together with a basic cotton material. In accordance with my quilting teachers guidance I used this material. In retrospect, although this material is very strong and simple to quilt, perhaps a coarser material such as linen or hemp would have matched my vision and the rugged use that my boss needed for his journal cover. What do you think?

It’s been over a year since I made this project, and I’m happy to report that my boss still uses this book cover. That is really the best compliment you can give a quilter, isn’t it!
happy b-day johnny inside


  1. What a neat idea! So useful. I like your idea of a coarser material. But obviously the cotton is still standing up. I think I recognize the material on the inside cover. A piece that might be in my purse perhaps?

  2. You are right! I used the red material in the purse that I made you. The material was given to me by my Japanese dancing teacher. In Japan, after a woman gets married, she cuts the long sleeves off of her kimonos. I suppose the long sleeves on a kimono are very decorative and alluring, perhaps like long hair?!

  3. Very pretty. The story is very enlightening to me.

    I collect & sell feedsack fabrics, we have 2,300 now. www.feedsack.biz OR www.blushingroseboutique.com

    Have a great weekend.
    TTFN ~ Marydon


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